Royal Naval Reservists Help Out in Exercise Joint Warrior (UK)
With land and maritime forces from Dragonia (the north of England and most of Wales) and Pastonia (or Scotland) facing off in the Wallian Archipelago (commonly known as the British Isles) and a heavily-armed NATO Multi-National Force en route to try to smooth out any tensions in the region, the world seemed on the brink of war.
However, without the Royal Naval Reservists, NATO’s premier joint military exercise off the coast of Scotland would not have been possible.
From the far away island of Stornaway to the bustling Operations Room in Faslane Naval Base, 55 Reservists from all over the United Kingdom pulled out all the stops to provide much-needed augmentees which allowed the Royal Navy to deliver this massive combined and joint exercise.
Indeed, without the Reservists, more than 30 ships, 65 aircrafts and over 10,000 personnel involved would not have been able to count on stores when the ships needed replacement parts, or transport all around the north of Scotland when people needed to be moved from one place to the other, or even an up-to-date Twitter feed to help move the scenario along.
With so many personnel and assets involved in this year’s Exercise Joint Warrior, the Northwood-based Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff, or JTEPS, relied heavily on volunteers to fill much-needed gaps.
Lieutenant Rob Thurmott, a Media Operations Officer from HMS President in London, only joined the Royal Navy Reserves in December, 2012.
The former Royal Navy Warfare Officer now works as a Procurement Manager for New Century, which provides of police and military skills mentoring programmes.
He spent two weeks as the Deputy Director of the Dragonian Media Operations Centre, working out of Faslane but helping the Dragonian Navy win the battle for hearts and minds in Dragonia and abroad. He said:
“Joint Warrior is a fantastic opportunity to train in a multinational environment; the pace of the exercise coupled with the unpredictability of the scenario ensured a high sense of realism throughout”.
Captain Martin Quinn, the Royal Navy Reserves’ Force Generation lead, visited the Reservists taking part in the exercise and said:
“Reservists go to Joint Warrior for one of two reasons. Either they are there providing professional support at the Operational Performance Standard (OPS) – so effectively doing the job they are trained to do, side by side with their regular colleagues.
“Alternatively, a small number of them are there to validate themselves at the end of their training to demonstrate to their branch managers that they have reached OPS, which is exactly what Joint Warrior does for the ships taking part in that it proves that they are ready to deploy on operations.”
And it is clear that the Exercise Directing Staff, led by Captain Phil Titterton, value the contribution made by the Maritime Reservists. Captain Titterton, who hands over the reins at JTEPS later this year, said:
“Joint Warrior is a wonderful opportunity for members of the reserve to build upon their core skills and a cost-effective way for all three Services to bring their Reservists up to OPS.”
With such high praise, there is very real pressure on members of the Maritime Reserves to perform to the highest standards.
However, if this year’s exercise is used as a benchmark, Reservists should look upon Joint Warrior as a professional target, a milestone in their naval career, and use it to prove to themselves and their regular colleagues that they truly can fulfil their potential and make a real difference for the Royal Navy.
Under the Future Reserves Programme FR20 there will be a 50% uplift in reservists with even more roles and opportunities. Reservists will continue to be integrated with regulars and be an integral element of the Whole Force Concept.
Press Release, May 17, 2013