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Reserve Forces Call-Out Orders: Defence Objectives

Volume 600: debated on Monday 12 October 2015

Changes made by the Defence Reform Act 2014 allow for Reservists to be called out under section 56(1B) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 if it appears to the Secretary of State that it is necessary or desirable to use members of a reserve force for any purpose for which members of the regular services may be used. Reservists called out under this power may be required to serve for a period of up to 12 months.

With the expiry of the orders made on 1 October 2014, on 21 September 2015 I made four new call-out orders under section 56(1B) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to continue to allow Reservists to be called into permanent service to support defence engagement activities (for example the provision of short term training teams and military capacity building overseas); global counter-terrorism and counter-piracy; the operation of our permanent joint operating bases (PJOBs) in the South Atlantic islands, British Indian ocean territory, Cyprus and Gibraltar; and maritime security objectives.

Under the orders made on 1 October 2014, 280 Reservists have been called out (193 for defence engagement, 66 for global counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, 10 for maritime security operations and 11 for the operation of PJOBs). We anticipate a continued requirement for Reservists, with the right skills and experience, over the period the new orders will be in force.

For operations that fall outside the scope of these orders, for example military aid to the civil authorities, or warfighting, or for operations which are likely to involve a large number of Reservists, I would expect to make separate call-out orders.

These orders take effect from 30 September 2015 and cease to have effect on 29 September 2016.