Scottish Reservists mark Reserves Day with Visit to New Generation Warships

Royal Naval Reservists in Scotland have marked Reserves Day by visiting the Royal Navy’s latest generation of warships being built at BAE Systems, in Glasgow.

Reservists from Govan based RNR Unit, HMS Dalriada, visited BAE Naval Ship’s division, a large reserve employer and Armed Forces champion, to see first-hand the latest progress in the Type 26 global combat ship programme and the River Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) project.

Reservists who work at BAE Systems were there to host their RNR colleagues.

Geoff Searle, a specialist mine warfare reservist and Programme Director of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship Programme, explained how BAE Systems, together with the MOD, will develop the Type 26, a 21st century warship that will replace the Type 23 as the workhorse of the Fleet, through into the manufacturing programme.

Chris Clarke-Brown, a midshipman from HMS Dalriada and BAE Systems engineering graduate working on the Type 26 programme, gave a first-hand account of his experience working on the Navy’s cutting-edge ship building projects.

After graduation from Dundee University I applied for the graduate scheme with BAE Systems and one of my first jobs was to work on the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Midshipman Chris Clarke-Brown

He said: “After graduation from Dundee University I applied for the graduate scheme with BAE Systems and one of my first jobs was to work on the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

"I joined the RNR about 18 months ago and BAE Systems released me from work for eight weeks over the summer to complete the accelerated officer programme.  I definitely gained command and leadership skills from the RNR and I have brought these back into my day job."

The visiting reservists were given the opportunity to have a look around HMS Forth, the first of five Royal Navy River Class Batch 2 offshore patrol vessels currently in construction.

Colonel Jeff Moulton, Deputy Commander Maritime Reserves, said: “Reservist regularly deploy in the RN’s patrol vessels in support of UK Defence operations around the world, so this is a great opportunity to see the new generation of patrol vessels in which we will serve being built.

"We are also very thankful to BAE Systems, and all reservist employers, who recognise the skills that reservists bring to civilian employment and support them through their commitment to the pledges they make in the Armed Forces Covenant."

BAE Systems were very early adopters of the Armed Forces Covenant and employ some 47 Reservists within their UK companies.  They have developed a detailed HR policy that includes measures that actively encourage Reserve service.