On behalf of the U.S. government, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and The Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) concluded Restoration Island Cays, an annual whole-of-government disaster response exercise, last week. This is the fourth iteration of Restoration Island Cays, which tests The Bahamas’ response to a Category 5 Hurricane impacting the nation.
In the National Emergency Operations Centre, NEMA staff workedwith personnel representing Emergency Support Functions frommultiple Bahamian ministries and agencies.
In response to the simulated disasters throughout the archipelago, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force set up a portion of the temporary modular sheltering system donated by USNORTHCOM in September 2020. This was the first time the scenario required the RBDF to use the donated equipment from USNORTHCOM.
Other rescue efforts included:
- The Royal Bahamas Police Force led the Flood Water Rescue team on the island of Great Exuma
- The Wildland Firefighting team exercised its response on Mayaguana
- NEMA practiced moving relief supplies from the U.S. Department of Defense-donated warehouse onto the HMBS Lawrence Major, a roll-on/roll-off auxiliary vessel.
Subject-matter experts in humanitarian assistance and disaster response from the United States helped facilitate this exercise to further strengthen collaboration and interoperability between interagency partners and validate whole-of-government responses to crises.
This exercise highlights the strength of the U.S.-Bahamas relationship and reinforces The United States’ commitment to our Bahamian neighbors, who are key partners in responding to disasters.