3000 days of fox on the trot

Bristol's Royal Navy Reservists completed 3000 days of non-stop service to military operations at home and overseas On Monday 28 September.

This impressive run began on 12 July 2007 when the current Commanding Officer, (then) Lieutenant Commander David 'Dibs' Bucknell RNR was mobilised for an operational tour in Baghdad, Iraq. 

Since then, HMS Flying Fox has supplied an officer or sailor to mobilised service continuously. 

In September last year, Bristol's Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Mary Prior MBE, unveiled the Operational Honours Board which recognised the service of 68 HMS Flying Fox Reservists who have mobilised.

This could have only been achieved with the commitment of the volunteer Reservists which remains strong, with the current strength of the Unit at 162, an impressive increase from the 84 of less than 3 years ago. 

Commander David Bucknell said: "the growth in unit strength reflects the command priority of recruiting Reservists and the quality of the people still willing to commit to a Reserve career"

My officers and sailors have stepped up to the mark, clearly demonstrating how the training and experience gained by the Reservists at HMS Flying Fox is of real value to the regular service, and defence in general

Commander David Bucknell RNR, Commanding Officer HMS Flying Fox

Commander Bucknell added: "Winston Churchill described them as 'twice the citizen', and these impressive figures of unit growth and mobilised service certainly prove he was correct.  

"My officers and sailors have stepped up to the mark, clearly demonstrating how the training and experience gained by the Reservists at HMS Flying Fox is of real value to the regular service, and defence in general."

Since 1 January 2003 HMS Flying Fox has provided over 15,000 mobilised man and woman days focused on protecting our Nation's interests; in the 4653 days to 28th September 2015 this averages as just over three people a day. 

Another significant inclusion to the list includes Surgeon Commander Richard Graham RNR who has deployed twice to Afghanistan providing ground breaking medical support at Camp Bastion. 

This experience is now being used to great effect in the NHS at Bath. Richard will become the next Commanding Officer of HMS Flying Fox, ensuring the unit will continue to have an operational focus and the Maritime Reserve will continue to contribute to the UK's Defence.

The Royal Navy Reserve provides direct support to the Regular Royal Navy with stories and an impressive operational history stretching back to the 19th Century.  

Today the RNR deploys across the Globe serving in important and relevant roles vital to the UK. 

The Royal Navy Reserve offers civilians a complimentary career to their daily occupation and the training and skills gained often provides their employers with increased capabilities as well as highly motivated and dedicated people. 

Though known as Volunteer Reserves, members of the Reserve Forces receive pay for the training they conduct. 

David Bucknell said: "a reservist can easily earn upwards of £3000 per year on top of their day job, and with a £5000 bounty being paid to Young Officers, as well as other incentives offered across the board, not only do our Reservists gain complimentary skill sets that their employers value, but they also gain considerable financial reward - and remember, we are recruiting now." 

HMS Flying Fox also has an active Facebook account where local news and events can be viewed.