Opportunities for UK’s Reserve Forces Discussed in Nottingham

Opportunities for UK’s Reserve Forces Discussed in Nottingham

Rear Admiral Hockley, the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Reserves, has visited HMS Sherwood in Nottingham to discuss future opportunities for the UK’s Maritime Reserve forces.

HMS Sherwood is the home of the Royal Navy in the East Midlands and the Royal Naval Reserve Unit for Reservists across the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and further afield.

The unit is also home to the Nottingham Detachment of Royal Marines Reserve Merseyside.

The Commanding Officer, Commander Martin Clegg, and Officer Commanding Royal Marines Reserves, Captain Alistair Edgar, welcomed Admiral Hockley who led a discussion about current service issues, including in particular the key challenges of implementing the recommendations of the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) report accepted by the Ministry of Defence.

These include a significantly expanded Maritime Reserve, which will be better funded and resourced thanks to an additional £96million investment.

“The Maritime Reserves already give valuable support to our regular RN counterparts on contingent and enduring operations and FR20 will enable us to deliver a wider range of high-quality capability,” said Commander Clegg.

“The report recognises the unique contribution of Maritime Reservists, and their specialist skills, and presents an enticing prospect with new roles and training opportunities.”

During his visit the Admiral was eager to meet a large number of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Reservists, including those who had been mobilised for Op Olympics, the successful security operation for the 2012 London Olympics.

Admiral Hockley said: “I was particularly keen to talk to those Reservists who had been involved in the venue security at the Summer Olympics and Paralympics and hear their first-hand accounts of being at the heart of that amazing spectacle.”

Able Seaman Rob Jones, 22, from Newark – who is currently preparing to fly out to serve as a member of the coastal security team in Gibraltar for 12 months – was among the HMS Sherwood Reservists who mobilised for Op Olympics and he was eager to tell the Admiral about his experience.

“I was working at the Greenwich Park Arena providing venue security and I was meeting the public on a daily basis. It was an incredible experience and our presence was greatly appreciated,” said AB Jones.

“I got to see a little of the competition and was present when the British Equestrian Team received its silver medal.”

Admiral Hockley’s visit to HMS Sherwood coincided with a Recruiting Evening attended by a large number of potential recruits, who had been invited to find out more about the numerous opportunities available through a part-time career in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Commander Clegg said: “The Admiral was quickly engaged in conversations with our visitors to find out what had prompted them to consider joining the Royal Naval Reserve and he did a great job in ‘selling’ the advantages and benefits of the Service.”

Measures to overhaul Britain’s Reserve Forces contained in the FR20 report were unveiled earlier this week by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond as part of a new consultation, Future Reserves 2020: Delivering the Nation’s Security Together.

Under the proposals there will be a new relationship between Reservists, Employers and Government, a transparent approach with employers given more certainty about the timing of possible mobilisations and more notice when they occur.

FR20 was initiated by the Prime Minister to examine the future shape and role of the UK’s Reserves Forces immediately after the Security Defence and Security Review 2010; it was conducted by an independent commission and reported in July 2011.

Rear Admiral Hockley is a member of Navy Command Senior Staff and in addition to his role as Flag Officer Reserves his responsibilities also include the coherence of all Royal Navy and Royal Marine activity across the country (outside main RN and RM Establishments); liaison with local communities; and the Service’s engagement with society across the UK.

Naval Today Staff, November 16, 2012; Image: RN