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Call-out Order for the Reserves to Support Defence Objectives

Volume 615: debated on Thursday 13 October 2016

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.

With the expiry of the orders made on 20 September 2015, I have 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; maritime security objectives and the operation of our permanent joint operating bases (PJOBs) in the south Atlantic islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cyprus and Gibraltar.

Under the orders made on 20 September 2015, 492 reservists have been called out —171 for defence engagement, 125 for global counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, 51 for maritime security operations and 145 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 new orders take effect from the beginning of 30 September 2016 and shall cease to have effect at the end of 29 September 2017.