A FARMER from Quenington has described arriving in the Caribbean to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma as “like a Hollywood movie”.

Dom Morris previously served in the RAF before working for the Foreign Office on the front line in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

He was recruited into an advisory role for the British military regarding the UK’s response to the disaster last month, and sent to Anguilla and then the British Virgin Islands.

“The airfields were closed as winds of 160mph from Hurricane IRMA bounced aircraft and storage containers down the runway,” said Dom, 36.

“Not a single leaf was left on the British Virgin Islands, even the bark had been stripped off the trees.”

Within hours of the government’s decision to respond, lead elements of the Military Task Force were flooding into South Cerney military base.

Dom got the call whilst at a wedding at Oxleaze Farm and was on a plane within hours.

“I wasn’t ready for the biblical levels of devastation,” he said.

“Add to that the escaped prisoners, the scale of our Area of Operations – the size of Scotland to Spain – blocked roads and broken power stations and it was a big to do list.”

Within days, the UK Task Force had amassed some 2,000 troops, a fleet of support helicopters and transport aircraft and the aircraft carrier HMS Ocean was on her way.

“The scale of our Expeditionary Amphibious Campaign was extraordinary and the speed of the Royal Marines exceeded all expectations,” he said.

“As they arrived they found governors and communities in shock but already busy trying to put their lives back together.”

Dom said the arrival of military personnel “immediately stopped the looting, restored law and order, gathered up prisoners and crucially bought other government departments the time and space to get food and aid in, and begin rebuilding the Critical National Infrastructure”.

Having now returned home, Dom said: “There is much work left to be done but the crisis phase has passed and the military’s job is done.

“It was a privilege to work with the commander on such a challenging operation and being part of the first UK team onto Dominica is something I will never forget.

The ability and dedication of our servicemen and women to leave their families, get half way around the world and deliver in the most austere conditions never ceases to amaze me.

“Keeping up was quite a challenge,” he added.