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Call-out Order: Air Policing Operations

Volume 648: debated on Monday 22 October 2018

Changes made by the Defence Reform Act 2014 allow 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.

A new order has been made under section 56(1B) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable reservists to be called into permanent service in support of the United Kingdom’s contribution to air policing operations.

With the changing international strategic threat, I consider there is a requirement for an order that enables the mobilisation of reservists to support tasks which provide for, or contribute to UK air security and policing, including associated strategic tasks. This order also provides for related activity elsewhere in the world, including, for example, the protection of the UK’s overseas territories, providing force protection for air assets, in so far as the activity provides for, or contributes, to the continued security of the UK, its overseas territories, service people and assets.

The order takes effect from the beginning of 1 November 2018 and shall cease to have effect at the end of 29 September 2019, making it coterminous with other standing call-out orders.

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.