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Operation RUMAN and Hurricane IRMA: planning, execution and recovery
  1. Andrew M Nelstrop
  1. Royal Navy, Portsmouth PO2 8DX, UK
  1. Correspondence to SurgCdr Andrew M Nelstrop, Royal Navy, Portsmouth PO2 8DX, UK; Andy.nelstrop400{at}


Operation RUMAN was the UK response in the Autumn of 2017 to the Category 5 Hurricane IRMA, which affected the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean. The Joint Operations Area (JOA) spanned an archipelago of Islands over 1000 nm across, stretching logistical and medical doctrinal clinical timelines in a rapidly changing and generally high risk medical environment. Despite significant challenges and a relatively suboptimal start line position, the Operation was a success from a medical perspective, with lower than expected dNBI rates. This paper, written from the medical Operational in-Theatre HQ perspective, charts the phases of Operation RUMAN during Planning, Execution and Recovery. It examines the context and lessons that arose from the Operation RUMAN that could inform future fast-moving Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Operations.

  • military
  • medicine
  • irma

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The opinions expressed here are the author's own based on personal experience as an augmentee and do not necessarily reflect affiliations to any particular organisation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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