This Year’s Regiment Overseas Camp Cancelled

March 2, 2018 | 12 Comments

In a decision that will save between $300,000 and $450,000, the 2018 Royal Bermuda Regiment Overseas Camp has been cancelled, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, adding that the “decision to cancel the camp has been made as a result of identifying better value for money and the need to invest in activities that are operationally focused.”

Speaking in in the House of Assembly today [March 2], Minister Caines said, “Historically, the Regiment undertakes an annual two week training exercise in an overseas jurisdiction; however, the elimination of conscription has presented the Regiment with a golden opportunity to change how they recruit, retain and invest in our people to better achieve its missions and roles.

A look at the Bermuda Regiment training overseas at Camp Lejeune in North Caroline in 2015:

“The decision to cancel the camp has been made as a result of identifying better value for money and the need to invest in activities that are operationally focused – putting the Royal Bermuda Regiment back on the map,” Minister Caines continued.

“In order to meet the operational needs of the Coast Guard, the Regiment has committed to finding reductions in its 2018/2019 budget so that funds can be redirected its development. Additionally, the Regiment seeks to enhance its Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and Military Aid to Civil Authorities capability.

“The cancellation of the Overseas Camp will realize a savings of between $300,000 and $450,000 through the elimination of an aircraft charter and camp operational cost.

“Consideration has been given to two courses of action in place of the Overseas Camp. The first option was to simply do nothing aside from low level sub-unit training.

“This would result in a lapse in recertification for some troops in specialist roles. The second course of action, and the course the Regiment has decided to take, is two-fold.

“The first part will take place in May 2018 with the RBR remaining in Bermuda to conduct a regimental 6 day exercise that focuses on ‘confirming fundamental skills and fully preparing for 2018 Hurricane season’.

“The second part will take place in Oct 2018 and will be a 5-day inter-agency ‘Joint Venture’ exercise in Bermuda, which will focus on ‘Improving Interoperability with the other uniformed services’.

Minister Caines, who served in the Regiment rising to the rank of Captain, added that he is confident that the cancellation “will allow the Regiment to realign its focus and emerge better equipped to provide valuable security and disaster relief services for Bermuda.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise this Honourable House and the public that with the approval of His Excellency, the Governor, the 2018 Royal Bermuda Regiment Overseas Camp has been cancelled.

Historically, the Regiment undertakes an annual two week training exercise in an overseas jurisdiction; however, the elimination of conscription has presented the Regiment with a golden opportunity to change how they recruit, retain and invest in our people to better achieve its missions and roles. The decision to cancel the camp has been made as a result of identifying better value for money and the need to invest in activities that are operationally focused – putting the Royal Bermuda Regiment back on the map!

Mr. Speaker, in line with current planning and the Governor’s further orders, the Regiment will generate and develop a professional, credible full time, inshore Coast Guard.

In order to meet the operational needs of the Coast Guard, the Regiment has committed to finding reductions in its 2018/2019 budget so that funds can be redirected its development. Additionally, the Regiment seeks to enhance its Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and Military Aid to Civil Authorities capability. The cancellation of the Overseas Camp will realize a savings of between $300,000 and $450,000 through the elimination of an aircraft charter and camp operational cost.

Mr. Speaker, consideration has been given to two courses of action in place of the Overseas Camp. The first option was to simply do nothing aside from low level sub-unit training.

This would result in a lapse in recertification for some troops in specialist roles. The second course of action, and the course the Regiment has decided to take, is two-fold. The first part will take place in May 2018 with the RBR remaining in Bermuda to conduct a regimental 6 day exercise that focuses on ‘confirming fundamental skills and fully preparing for 2018 Hurricane season’. The second part will take place in Oct 2018 and will be a 5-day inter-agency ‘Joint Venture’ exercise in Bermuda, which will focus on ‘Improving Interoperability with the other uniformed services’.

Mr. Speaker, the Regiment has already begun the planning stages of a Training Camp for fiscal year 2019/2020, which is proposed to comprise of elements that will meet the Regiment’s intended revised priorities.

Mr. Speaker, the Royal Bermuda Regiment remains committed to its mission “to support the Civil Authority with the security of Bermuda, its peoples, property, livelihood and interests in order to maintain normality.’

Providing defence and security of the island remains a core role of the Regiment. I am confident that the cancellation of the 2018 Overseas Training Camp will allow the Regiment to realign its focus and emerge better equipped to provide valuable security and disaster relief services for Bermuda.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Sound Off says:

    Good decision sir. I don’t often agree with your decisions but these overseas camps to JA and NC have been a waste of money since the 80s.

  2. frank says:

    I also think it is time to cut some of the full time staff
    maybe we could sell of some of that land

    • DS says:

      Might as well get rid of the Regiment… call on some foreigners when disaster strikes

    • somuchless says:

      Sell what land? The plp don’t want foreigners here.

    • puzzled says:

      To whom frank.
      The PLP?

    • wahoo says:

      Sell it all and create a Bermuda Coast Guard/navy at Cross Island. It would be way more useful considering we are surrounded by water.

  3. Stevie says:

    So it means no drugs coming back. The drug lords here going to go nuts.

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    About time. Surely they don’t need to go overseas to learn how to pick up after a storm. Local landscapers can show them how to do that.

  5. Reuben says:

    Fine it amusing that they spin this as savings rather than they cut the budget for the Regiment and the Regiment had to chose between going operational as Coast Guard or doing the overseas camp.

  6. Zevon says:

    Did they announce this to make us feel better about the $200,000 they wasted on the airport report?

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Now that we have a volunteer Regiment we have people want to be there & will be much more productive as a ceremonial squad, additional help for the BPS marine section & additional help for the BPS in event security.

  8. Stevie says:

    The trips cancelled. Wow. The drug lords here going to be highly annoyed.

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