UK Reservists part of multi-national force

Three Royal Naval Reservists are helping in the fight against terrorism, piracy, and drug trafficking working out of the international Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters in Bahrain.

The Royal Navy provides 18 staff to the CMF, a multi-national naval partnership comprising 31 nations and 215 personnel that exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across the Gulf region and western Indian Ocean.

Three of those 18 are reservists, including Lieutenant Commander Jim Martin who is attached to HMS Dalriada, in Glasgow, and is a member of the Information Operations (IO) branch. 

Back in the UK he is a science teacher for teenagers with special educational needs but he is now on a nine month mobilisation as the CMF IO Officer. 

The variety of roles I have undertaken has been very rewarding

Lieutenant Commander Nick Carter

He said: “Every Task Force comes with different levels of knowledge and experience in IO.  This, coupled with working in a multi-national environment where English is a second language for many, makes the job stimulating and interesting.

“As the only IO specialist for CMF, you just have to get stuck in and think outside the box to overcome challenges. The biggest buzz comes from knowing that you are part of a team supporting many successful CMF operations and have played a part in disrupting those illegal activities."

Working as a member of the Media Operations branch is Lieutenant Claire Rossiter – attached to HMS Flying Fox, in Bristol.

With a background in corporate communications, marketing and PR, she currently works as a freelance photographer in her civilian career.

She was the first Reservist to attend Britannia Royal Naval College with a regular intake, completing her basic training in record time.

She said: “Working in such a multinational environment is interesting and brings a whole new set of challenges to the table. 

"Media is a diverse role and as a media officer you get to meet loads of different people and end up being involved in all kinds of different projects. 

"This can be anything from standard press releases, covering foreign VIP visits, to deck hopping from one ship to another in helicopters as part of an exercise.

“Although languages aren’t essential for the job, being fluent in three languages is a massive asset here, and it has served me well, such as during my recent visit to the French Carrier, Charles de Gaulle.”

Also working in the Media Operations branch is Lieutenant Commander Nick Carter who joined the RNR after 33 years in the Royal Navy as a Logistics Officer.

Attached to HMS Hibernia, in Lisburn, he is currently deployed as CMF Deputy Public Affairs Officer and Media Officer to the UK Maritime Component Command in Bahrain.

He added: “I hadn’t thought about transferring to the RNR until close to the end of my regular service and did not expect to be as busy and involved as I have become.  

"Whilst my previous regular service has helped, the ability to move quickly from civilian to Royal Navy ‘mode’ is something that I have had to learn, but the variety of roles I have undertaken has been very rewarding.”

“I enjoy working in an international environment and being in a job that helps shape the face of CMF and the UKMCC, and helps people understand exactly what we do and achieve here.”