UK: Reservists Raise Awareness of Their Role in Navy
The Reservists from HMS King Alfred, the South East’s Royal Navy Reserve Unit, took their bosses on a tour of HMS Dauntless to raise awareness and understanding of the important work that Reservists carry out when at sea in a support capacity. The visit took place during a break in the Type 45 class destroyers busy operational programme.
The group visited the Bridge, Control Room, Hangar, Operations Room and Officer’s Wardroom, exploring the ship’s sea boat and gathering a good understanding of how the Navy operates the new highly capable warships.
The evening visit to Portsmouth’s Naval Base and Reserves HQ in the South included a briefing, reception and presentation hosted by HMS King Alfred and Senior representatives from the South East’s Reserve Forces and Cadet’s Association (SERFCA).
This offered the local employers a chance to meet RNR personnel from different branches and to discuss the Future Reserves 2020 vision and the Maritime Reserves’ recruiting and awareness outreach campaign currently taking place in locations across the South East over the next two weeks.
John Atkins, Sales Director of Aish Technologies Ltd in Poole was impressed by the comprehensive tour of the Type 45 Destroyer, he said;
“It was particularly interesting to see electronics equipment that Aish Technologies has had a part in developing situated here in its natural environment, in the impressive Operations Room of HMS Dauntless
“I’ve been so impressed by the ship, especially the expert knowledge and enthusiasm of our young RN guide, Officer of the Watch, Sub Lieutenant Tom Forster.
“I know my own company is proud to be involved in supporting the Royal Navy’s operational capability, not only by providing equipment but also by supporting the volunteers of the Royal Naval Reserve.”
John employs Lt Cdr Simon Lewis at Aish Technologies base in Poole, Dorset. Simon regularly commits his spare time outside of his normal working day to supporting training at HMS King Alfred and is also the Unit’s Employers’ Liaison Officer -coordinating with SaBRE, the Government’s marketing campaign supporting Reserves and their employers.
Supporters of the SaBRE campaign include the major political parties, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Institute of Directors (IOD), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
At the reception in HMS King Alfred following the evening tour, Sarah Treseder, Chief Executive of the Royal Yachting Association in Southampton was presented with an SaBRE Employer’s award certificate by Colonel Charles Ackroyd, Chairman of Hants and the Isle of Wight SERFCA and the Deputy Executive of SERFCA, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Booth.
Sarah expressed her delight at receiving the award and declared her interest in encouraging more employees to consider opportunities within the Reserve Forces.
1,550 firms across the South East have had their commitment to supporting the Reserve Forces recognised, in formally meeting SaBRE’s criteria for providing significant assistance to their employees, allowing their staff to contribute to national Defence interests with part time military service commitments to the Reserve Forces.
Other Employers represented at this event were AWE Ltd, Datanet Communications, DSTL, (Portsdown West) representatives from the Home Office in Central London, Ricardo UK PLC, The Royal Yachting Association, Virgin Experience Days and South Central Ambulance Service.
In his address to the guests, Jeff Pattison, Chairman Employer Support representing SERFCA, expressed his sincere thanks and pointed out the benefits to business and employers in the additional personal development and training that military service can provide, with Reserves bringing back to the business community qualities of leadership, initiative and management much sought after by companies.
He also explained the recent consultation paper with Employers and Reserves which will soon be published as a Government White Paper and is expected to set out and explain the new partnership with employers as the Reserves Forces seek to expand significantly under the Future Reserves 2020 plan.
Commanding Officer, HMS King Alfred, Commander Kevin Robertson was delighted with the success of the evening and keen for the Royal Naval Reserves to continue to forge a stronger relationship within the community in which they live and work. He said:
“We must continue to engage directly with business leaders and other organisations within our community to communicate the vision and expectation of future defence force structures, building relationships of trust that work for both employer and the individual’s work life balance and above all creating a better understanding of the commitment that being a member of the Reserve Forces is all about; our contribution to protecting this nation’s interests both at home and abroad.”
Naval Today Staff, February 6, 2013; Image: Royal Navy