August 16, 2019
The SRS is an element of 30 Commando (Royal Marines) Information Exploitation Group, 3 Commando Brigade’s Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) formation. The SRS includes the Brigade Patrol Troop, an elite cadre of Mountain Leaders and Reconnaissance Operators who deploy ahead of the main brigade force to gather intelligence.
During Operation Ursula, Rescue Global’s humanitarian response mission to the Caribbean following Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, we worked successfully with local and global military contingents to conduct reconnaissance and damage assessments, to coordinate the storage and distribution of aid supplies arriving, to assist with airport security and control and to support the evacuation of serious medical cases and vulnerable people, including British citizens. The Rescue Global Pathfinder team were co-located with regional and international military units at Dominica’s largest airport, Douglas Charles, which enabled the critical cross checking of incoming information regarding the ever-changing situation on the ground across the island and beyond.
Operation Ursula exemplified Rescue Global’s unique position as a civilian-military agency connector, a rare but increasingly recognised and critical role in effective, coordinated crisis response situations. We are proud to be working towards bridging the gap in communication and collaborative working between civil, private and NGO bodies and military response actors, and to lead the way in not only advocating for greater integration, but in positively addressing how this can be achieved in practice by demonstrating our ability to understand and work with diverse response actors from all sectors through shared intent, as well as help others to adopt best practices through training and engagement.
Through such partnerships, we at Rescue Global continue to support local primacy and leadership in nation-led resilience and response efforts, while assisting preparedness efforts bolstered by the UK Government and military units. Our assistance to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Rapid Deployment Team in Dominica following Hurricane Maria, which led to our three-year appointment supporting and augmenting their worldwide Crisis and Disaster Response capability, allows us to demonstrate our forward-leaning methodologies for more impactful and efficient humanitarian response, while effectively supporting a unified approach to British assistance in times of global emergencies.
Over the course of our interactive four day training programme with the SRS next week, we will be working through a comprehensive syllabus, developing a broader knowledge base in areas such as the contemporary humanitarian sector, global humanitarian standards, the current operating environment for civilian-military cooperation in crisis response, and providing an overview of today’s UK defence and the Commando Force as well as the UK’s crisis response process and capability. Through a combination of presentations, case studies, facilitated discussions, workshops and exercises, targeted skills specific to varying field assessment techniques, reporting conventions and project impact measurement will be considered.
Training opportunities such as these enable us all to understand more fully each others’ perspectives, priorities and mandates in disaster and crisis response environments. This allows a greater appreciation for the wide range of actors and practices working in disaster response, enabling us to be better equipped to objectively evaluate where the strengths and weaknesses still lie in the humanitarian system.
Having worked previously with their Commando Engineers and other groups on recent operations, Rescue Global are looking forward to this collaboration and to a busy, fruitful week ahead. Check our Facebook page for updates next week as the training progresses.