Keeping in touch

Deployments are exciting opportunities for our personnel to travel and experience new things – but they can also put strain on life at home. That’s why we actively encourage regular communication with loved ones, both to maintain a healthy relationship and to boost morale.

Regain Marines

What is Regain?

The intent of Regain is to improve the mental health awareness of serving marines, allowing all ranks to receive a basic education about worrying symptoms and behaviours and to seek help.

Regain aims to reduce the stigma and barriers to treatment and enable ranks to present themselves without fear of being labelled by peers or command.

Maintaining your relationships

If you have a loved one away on deployment, being able to stay in contact with them is really important. You can also find it easier to cope with time apart by connecting with other members of the Service community in a safe, online environment. 

 

Methods of communication

There are lots of different ways to contact our deployed units, from emails and phone calls, to post. Take a look and choose option that’s right for you.

Social Media

Many units now have Wi-fi, so Facebook, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Instagram can be used on deployment. As with all types of communication, you must be careful what is discussed due to security.

Interested? Learn more about using social media to stay in touch using the link below. 

 

Mobile phones

Using mobile phones is the most popular way to communicate with deployed units. They give you the greatest level of flexibility and freedom, but they are only reliable when the ship is in an area with network coverage. Their use also needs to be authorised by Command. 

Sometimes communications can be restricted for safety and security reasons. If this is the case a notification will be posted on the Royal Navy Forum. 

It's also important to remember that your conversations won't be secure, so be careful what you discuss. 

Email

If you're trying to contact a deployed unit or ship at sea, email is a reliable way of getting a message to a loved one. 

There may be occasions when electronic communications are restricted, but your email will be delivered as soon as these are lifted. You can see the latest communications updates on their area within the RN forum which may be shared to their official Facebook group if security allows.

 

Postal services

It might not be the most immediate or efficient way to communicate with someone on deployment, but it certainly has the biggest impact. Receiving mail from home gives our personnel a real morale boost, whether they're getting family mementos or a little something to remind them of home. 

Remember to address your post correctly and also check to see if you are entitled to Enduring Families Free Mail Service (EFFMS) which allows 2kg for free:

Service Number, Rank and Name

Unit or Regiment 

Operation or Location Name (if applicable)

BFPO

The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) is exclusively for armed forces personnel and their families. To learn more about using the service, visit the BFPO website. If you want to calculate the cost of a parcel, download the BFPO App


Telephone

If you know a unit or ship is in a UK base port, telephone is the quickest way to get in contact. You can use the MOD Exchange to call Plymouth, Portsmouth or Faslane. 

Plymouth - 01752 55 37 40 

Portsmouth - 02392 72 23 51

Faslane - 01436 67 43 21 

If the ship you're trying to reach is in a different UK port, or abroad, start by calling one of the numbers above and they may be able to redirect you.

WelComE

Welfare Communications Everywhere (WelComE) is a service that provides deployed personnel with at least 30 minutes of free calls every Sunday evening. There is also the opportunity to top-up your account for personal use and to access other services, including internet. As a family member you can also call and leave voice messages and top up too, so make sure you ask your serving person for their account number. 

Want more information? Visit the website or call customer services on 0800 433 49 93. 


Familygrams

Familygrams are specifically for helping Submariners stay up to date with events back home. These one-way messages of either 60 or 120 words are ideal for providing a reminder of home.

To use this service, Submariners need to nominate a friend of family member to send their Familygrams. If you've been nominated, here are a few things to remember:

  • Messages aren't private and will be checked at Faslane and by the boat's Commanding Officer, however, they are confidential. 
  • Bad news or coded messages aren't allowed. In the event of an unexpected death in the family, serious illness or serious family crisis, contact the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre.
  • If you have a local news story that you think may be of interest, send it with your Familygram and it will be included with the boat's next news signal. 

What to do in an emergency

Family members

If circumstances should arise, such as a death in the family or a serious illness, that make it necessary for your serving person to return from overseas you should contact:

The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on 01452 519 951 if the Service person is based overseas. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact an Officer of the Watch

Please call the Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare (RNRMW) Portal on 02392 728 777 if the Service person is based in the UK. Lines are open 8:00am-4:00pm Monday to Thursday and 8:00am-3:30pm Friday. Outside of these hours, the RNRMW Duty Worker can be contacted via the Officer of the Watch, contact details are below.