The convention was signed by Grand Case Airport Director Pascal Marcoux (left), President of the Collectivité Louis Mussington (centre) and Admiral Eric Aymard (right), Commander of the French Army in the Antilles. Préfet Vincent Berton looks on as a witness. (Robert Luckock photo)
GRAND CASE--A convention was signed Thursday at Grand Case’s L’Esperance Airport between the Collectivité, operator of the airport Group Edeis, and the French Army in the Antilles, that will see materials supplied by the Collectivité available to the Army following the passing of a major hurricane.
Signatories to the convention were Grand Case Airport Director Pascal Marcoux, President of the Collectivité of St. Martin Louis Mussington, and Admiral Eric Aymard, Supreme Commander of some 3,000 air, ground, and sea forces in the French Antilles.
Préfet Vincent Berton was present as witness to the signing but the State is not involved in this convention. Also present was Christophe Lieb, Head of the Department for Natural Risks Prevention and Management with Assistant Director Mélodie Illidge-Jenkins.
A large supply of equipment especially for clean-up operations has been supplied and financed 100% by the Collectivité for use by the Army. The equipment is being stored in a 20ft container in a secure part of the airport.
“The idea is that about 30 military soldiers will come in ahead of an approaching hurricane and immediately after the storm has passed to completely clean-up the airport,” explained Illidge Jenkins. “The army’s main role is to clean up at the airport and then go all the way down to Marigot so that the Gendarmerie and the Fire Department can do their work in securing the territory and the population.”
Illidge-Jenkins added that the work undertaken in her department leading up to this convention signing has taken about a year in planning.
Prior to the signing, the officials and Préfet inspected the materials and equipment in the container. The Collectivité has invested some 20,000 euros in equipment and materials which also includes palettes of bottled water and bedding.
The convention is valid for five years and is renewable.