Portsmouth's army reservists are a key asset

THE vital role reservists play in supporting the army has been revealed to business leaders in Portsmouth.

Saturday, 24th June 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:23 am
Army reserves from 295 Battery in Hilsea held a free PT session on Southsea Common Picture: Sarah Standing (160729-9518)

Top brass from Headquarters 11 Infantry Brigade and HQ South East paid a visit to the city as part of their latest engagement event.

Speaking inside the Historic Dockyard’s Action Stations, leadership from the army’s engagement group told how the service was adapting to face new threats.

And they explained to the audience how reservists were becoming a more integral part of the army, with skills that are key for tackling threats in cyber security.

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Colonel Jasper de Quincey Adams, who was leading the presentation, said: ‘We’re on our way to being “one army” but we’re not quite there yet.

‘But what I do know for sure is that without reservists we’re screwed. They have got the skill sets that you only get from people who are in jobs 24/7. Quite frankly, we need a reservist more than they need us.’

The army has reserve bases in Hilsea, including 295 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery Royal Artillery and 128 Field Company 103 Battalion REME, as well D Detachment 243 Field Hospital in Cosham.

During the talk, Col de Quincey Adams said the army was branching out more into the community, seeking fresh talent from people they ‘may never have looked at before’.

‘For example, the long-haired lunatic who is just gifted with computers – he can hack into my bank account tomorrow morning,’ he said.

‘That guy we now need and he’s never going to wear a uniform. He is just not going to do it, it’s not in his culture.

‘But that’s fine, we will find a place for him where he doesn’t have to cut his hair and we will use those skills.’

And he praised the abilities of new soldiers from the so-called ‘millennials generation’, saying: ‘They get knocked, but it’s just wrong.’

Guests were also told about the army’s latest operational deployments, how the force helps soldiers move back to civilian life and how people can support the army.

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, was at the night and said he was committed to improving pay and conditions for military personnel.

He said: ‘The army and navy are part of our city’s DNA. It’s absolutely vital we work closely with them to secure their future.’