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Royal Navy (Reserve Forces)

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether any new procedures are to be introduced to improve the administration and readiness of the Royal Navy's reserve forces; and if he will make a statement.

The Royal Navy intends to introduce a system of annual reporting for most members of the Royal Fleet Reserve with effect from 1 April 1986. The arrangements will be similar to those for Army reservists which were introduced in 1981. Once a year, the Royal Navy reservists will be summoned individually, by letter, to report for one day to an annual reporting centre within 50 miles of their home. The aim is to maintain regular contact with the reservists, to verify personal details, determine current state of health and welfare, check and update documentation, and ensure that kit is complete and serviceable. Each individual will receive a payment for attendance. Annual reporting will enable the Navy to make better use of the skills of members of the Royal Navy Fleet Reserve should the need arise, and it will help to ensure that they are ready to play their part in meeting their mobilisation commitments. I hope that employers will do all they can to help in releasing the reservists they employ so that they can meet this important commitment.