Regiment Soldiers Ready For AC35 Security Role

March 5, 2017

Around 75 soldiers from the Royal Bermuda Regiment yesterday qualified for search and security duties for the upcoming America’s Cup.

The soldiers spent an entire weekend training in search techniques for people and vehicles, as well as undergoing lessons in how to spot potential dangers and illegal goods.

The exercise culminated with a search of vehicles with prohibited items like firearms hidden in them.

Sergeant Patricia Alexander instructs soldiers in search techniques as part of the RBR’s preparations for a major security role for the America’s Cup.

Bermuda Regiment AC35 Security Role March 2017 (1)

Lance Corporal Coshaun Evans, 24, a doorman at a major hotel, said: “It’s a new challenge – I’ve never tried anything like this before.

“I’ve learned a lot about discipline, communication and responsibility.

“There will be thousands of people travelling in and out of the America’s Cup from all different backgrounds. And there will be people coming into the island perhaps trying to traffic things here.

“The more precautions we take in terms of prevention, the better it will be.”

Private Joannon Whitehead said he volunteered for extra training for the experience – and the chance to work at the event.

The 25-year-old nursing assistant from Paget added: “We’ve learned how to search people and making sure everything is safe. I’m looking forward to working at the cup and applying the knowledge.”

A truck is given a thorough inspection as RBR soldiers train to provide security for the upcoming America’s Cup.

Bermuda Regiment AC35 Security Role March 2017 (2)

The group spent time in the classroom learning about the America’s Cup and the RBR’s role in it, as well as familiarising themselves with search equipment before practical classes on searching people, as well as a variety of private and commercial vehicles.

Corporal Dante Durham, 22, a FedEx employee from Devonshire and one of several soldiers who completed a tough four-day course last month to qualify as security instructors, said: “They’ve done pretty good. They have grasped the search procedures very well.

“They enjoyed the hands on training and learning what to look at in different kinds of vehicles.”

Lieutenant Gordon Emmerson, a 34-year-old secondary school teacher, said much of the course was new ground for him.

RBR instructor Corporal Andre Smith, a trained mechanic in civilian life,  points out areas of a car that may have been tampered with in a bid to hide dangerous or illegal material.

Bermuda Regiment AC35 Security Role March 2017 (3)

He added: “I haven’t done anything as in depth as this. This is certainly a step up from most events and in line with what you see at most airports. We need to be able to safely and respectfully search people.”

“We’re trained to make a judgement call and err on the side of caution and the Regiment wants to make the biggest contribution it can to the America’s Cup.

“We consistently work to make sure we’re part of things and making sure we give Bermudians training which can be useful in their civilian lives.

Lt Emmerson added: “The eyes of the world are on us and we have a rare and golden opportunity to impress people – the next generation of tourists which are so vital to the island.”

“Instructors on the course were only a few weeks ago trained to teach screen and search programmes by security expert John Pears, a former Royal Navy regular and ex-police officer.”

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  1. Real Onion says:

    I’m sure we will see a lot of suspicious activity during the America’s Cup and these young people will be kept very busy.

    • sage says:

      They certainly won’t be searching any AC imports, none of the “super- yachts”, no AC personnel, politician, WEDCO execs or dignitary or any of their vehicles, nothing suspicious about that.