Association members at last night’s HRFCA Southern Area Meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Colonel Gilly Moncur, enjoyed not one but two fascinating insights into aspects of the work of the UK’s armed forces.
The first began with an eye-catching video showing the opportunities, challenges and rewards of serving in the Royal Naval Reserve, after which Petty Officer Joanne Browning (pictured, above) talked enthusiastically of her personal experiences as a Warfare Specialist and how it contrasts with her civilian profession as a Staff Nurse.
Joanne, whose day job is at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, was representing HMS Dalriada at the meeting. Her talk generated much interest and produced something of a wistful shine in the eyes of the salty old sea dogs in the audience. Perhaps they were reflecting on the fact that last night was the 211th anniversary of the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar.
The second presentation was delivered energetically by Captain Euan Irvine of the Royal Engineers, a regular officer currently serving with 124 Field Squadron of 71 Engineer Regiment.
In twenty minutes Euan managed to bring the members up to speed on the evolution of military engineering, the Royal Engineers’ core mission of enabling the UK’s armed forces to deliver military capability, and a whistle-stop tour of current operations.
Underlining the Corps’ motto of ‘Ubique’, Euan briefed the audience that six sappers from the Regiment were currently supporting Op TRENTON humanitarian relief tasks in South Sudan with another thirty on standby and undertaking pre-deployment training.
Others are being held at readiness for relief operations in Somalia as part of Op CATAN, and other members of the Regiment have just completed an Op TOSCA deployment to the UN mission in Cyprus.
Following the formal proceeding, the Southern Area members were treated to supper courtesy of the Cumbernauld Army Reserve Centre’s military chefs.
All agreed that it had been an excellent evening, with the Area Chair thanking Major Rich Kennedy, Officer Commanding 124 Squadron Royal Engineers, for the support of his team.