When Inmarsat sent engineers to Nepal in April 2015 to help first responders and the media set up satellite communications following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the essential role of connectivity in supporting and highlighting disaster operations was never more evident.
At the same time, General Sir Nick Parker, former commander of British Land Forces, put out a call to action asking UK veterans to volunteer their skills and time to provide aid in Nepal, working alongside Team Rubicon USA.
In the following months, Team Rubicon UK was officially established as a charity and today has more than 1,300 volunteers, predominantly ex-military men and women.
Team Rubicon’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters or humanitarian crises, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals and technology solutions, the charity aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.
In addition, Team Rubicon seeks to provide veterans with three things they lose after leaving the military: a purpose, gained through disaster relief; community, built by serving with others; and self-worth, from recognising the impact one individual can make. Coupled with leadership development and other opportunities, Team Rubicon looks to help veterans transition from military to civilian life.
To date, the army of volunteers has helped relief efforts following Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador, severe flooding in the US and storm damage and flooding in the UK, to name a few.
Inmarsat is proud to have teamed up with Team Rubicon UK to provide it with connectivity on the ground, not only as and when disaster strikes, but also for longer-term reconstruction projects, helping to rebuild communities and the lives of those affected by disaster.
The charity has been equipped with BGAN terminals for broadband connectivity to coordinate relief efforts and IsatPhone 2 handheld satellite phones, not only to keep the teams safe and in touch with base operations back in the UK, but also to provide a vital lifeline for those affected by disaster to contact loved ones for help.
In addition, we will deploy our own engineers to work alongside the charity to learn more about how our satcoms are used, provide manpower and assistance, and ultimately develop new solutions and applications to meet the specific requirement of first responders and charities like Team Rubicon.