Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire visits HMS King Alfred

Naval Reservists from HMS King Alfred’s training base in Portsmouth provided a dramatic demonstration of their specialist warfare and medical skills to the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson when he visited their Unit Headquarters and the RN training ship, HMS Bristol.

The reservists devised an emergency scenario featuring the Ship’s Force Protection and Medical teams as the first responders in the ship borne exercise.

The Lord Lieutenant witnessed Leading Naval Nurse Anya Cooper treating a casualty from the Duty Watch following a realistic simulated injury while both Chief Petty Officer Ken Turley and Lieutenant Commander Moira Wilcockson provided commentary, explaining how the developing incident had led to an intruder getting on board the ship.

The ship’s Force Protection team then searched the compartments and finally apprehended the suspect in the Ship’s Control Centre. 

I am absolutely delighted to have visited HMS King Alfred on a drill night and have been thoroughly impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of everyone I’ve met.

Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson

After the demonstration, the Lord Lieutenant undertook a guided tour of the RNR Training Unit, meeting reservists from many branch specialisations, the small team of Royal Navy permanent staff and also spoke to a number of the new entry recruits during their initial naval training class.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have visited HMS King Alfred on a drill night and have been thoroughly impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of everyone I’ve met.

“I was also very pleased to be able present a number of VRSM awards on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen during Evening Quarters.”

At Evening Quarters, with the Reserve Unit mustered into platoons, the Lord-Lieutenant presented Volunteer Reservist Service Medals (VRSMs) and clasps to a number of reservists and thanked those reservists who were mobilised on operations in support of the London 2012 Olympics.

He presented Petty Officer Ian Lane and Able Seaman Shaun Chrimes with limited edition Olympic medallions to mark their voluntary participation in the security operations.

HMS King Alfred’s Employer Liaison Officer Lt Cdr Paul Wolstencroft and Acting Petty Officer Boyd received the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM) marking ten years of continuous RNR Service, while Chief Petty Officer Ralph Swindell received a clasp to his VRSM marking 15 years of loyal service to the RNR Unit.

CPO Swindell’s valuable contribution to Initial Naval Training of new entry recruits has seen HMS King Alfred grow considerably to just over 250, helping to meet the Government’s Future Reserves 2020 targets and significantly increasing the number of reservists in support of the Naval Service.

Commanding Officer of HMS King Alfred, Cdr Anthony Stickland said: “HMS King Alfred is the only Royal Naval Reserve Unit in the county and enjoys an enduring and strong relationship with the Queen’s Representative in Hampshire.

“The Lord-Lieutenant generously recognises the quality of my reservists, with several recipients receiving Meritorious Service Awards in recent years.

“It is excellent that he has been able to meet many more of our reservists tonight.”

For those interested in finding out more about a part time career in support of the Royal Navy the next RNR Live Open Day event takes place between 100-1500 on Saturday 23 April 2016.

To register call  03456 00 32 22.