Reserves support the joint expeditionary force on Baltic Protector Deployment

The 26 June is Reserves Day where men and women from all walks of life are recognised for their contribution to providing operational capability support to the UK military.

The Maritime Reserves better known as the Royal Naval Reserves or RNR is the body of trained individuals who give up their spare time to serve in the Royal Navy, balancing their civilian life with a naval career to ensure they are ready to serve alongside the regulars.

On 20 May a number of Maritime Reservists set off from Plymouth with the joint staff of the Amphibious Task Group and 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines on their Baltic Protector deployment.

This UK-led operation was the largest deployment in a century to the Baltic Sea Region and was the first roll out of the Joint Expeditionary Force as a military force since the 9 Defence Ministers signed the JEF Memorandum of Understanding on 28 June 2018 in London.

In this role I can apply the knowledge and experience gained from my time as a regular Royal Navy Officer as well as my civilian career. I feel that my Reserve role enhances my civilian skills as well as giving me an opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle that the Reserves offer.

Michael, a Maritime Engineer.

Attached for the entirety of deployment is Information Operations specialist Lt Cdr Jim Martin, a former regular in the Royal Army Medical Corps and now a Pupil Support Teacher from North Ayrshire in Scotland. On his third deployment, Jim has previously supported operations in Afghanistan and completed a 9 month deployment with the Combined Maritime Force, in Bahrain. Reservists such as Lt Cdr ‘Nick’ Carter, and Lt Tom Pinfold, Media specialists, joined later in the deployment to provide an additional support for a two week period.

Amongst the newest Reservists on HMS Albion, gaining experience for their STOM B qualifying course, are Sub Lieutenants Sam Beardmore, aged 25, Michael Greatorax, 25, and Julian Fairclough, 38, from the Amphibious Warfare specialisation.

Julian, a Civil Servant in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said “I enjoy the challenge of doing something different and being part of a close knit team. My fiancée doesn’t enjoy me being away but she supports what I do.” Julian is due to be married in September.

Winston Churchill said, ‘The Reservist is twice the citizen’.