NEWS COMMENT: A big salute to all of our armed forces reservists

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 Pride in our armed forces? That goes without saying and we have even more pride in the fact that many more military personnel are prepared to lay down their lives for us in battle.

Of course we hope that scenario will not happen too many times in the future but if one rears its ugly head we can rest assured our brave lads and lasses will be out there fighting for us.

This is why it’s good news to learn that the men and women of the 4th Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment have been praised after being on exercise for the first time.

The unit was only formed a year ago but has already managed to muster about 120 soldiers for the two-week deployment to Denmark.

They may be deemed ‘reserves’ but that tag will never detract from the fact they fight for us and won’t hesitate to ‘heed the call’ if summoned to action.

Brigadier Tom Bewick said he was ‘blown away’ and added the reserves would be vital in supporting future operations across the globe.

During the Danish deployment – known as Exercise Viking Star – reservists worked alongside comrades from the other battalions in the regiment. 

And the troops were honing their urban skills in a purpose-built ‘shoot house’ – a facility normally only used by special forces troops – tackling room clearance drills as well as section attacks and hostage rescue scenarios.

Brig Bewick said this was the right strategy to take and admitted that reserves would be vital in supporting future operations across the globe, especially given the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the war against Islamic State in Syria.

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, herself a reserve officer in the Royal Navy, said the part-time soldiers should be an inspiration to others. 

We echo that sentiment entirely.