April 4th 2022

HMS Sherwood Reservist serves as watchkeeper in Arctic Circle

The four Reservists mobilised with Norway's scenary in background.

The four watchkeepers are all mobilised Reservists. L-R: Lt Cdr Rich Notley, HMS President; SLt Helen Tamlyn, HMS Wildfire; SLt Emma Lowe, HMS Vivid; Lt Mat Hendery, HMS Sherwood.

HMS Sherwood Reservist, Lieutenant Mathew Hendery, has been mobilised as a watchkeeper in the Ship-To-Objective Manoeuvre (STOM) team onboard Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay.

Lieutenant Hendery has joined a team of four watchkeepers, all of whom are mobilised Reservists, in supporting Exercise Cold Response 22, off the coast of Norway in the Arctic Circle.

Their role facilitates the movement of personnel, equipment, vehicles and stores ashore by landing craft and helicopter, in addition to providing a communication link between the landing forces and maritime units.

Lt Mat Hendery onboard with mountains behind.

Lt Mat Hendery, HMS Sherwood

A Materials Engineer for Rolls-Royce PLC (Gold Award holders in the Employer Recognition Scheme) in his civilian career, Mat is typically responsible for developing new powerplant materials and carrying out failure investigations of ex-service components.

He said: “Whilst generally my civilian and Naval careers are very different, my experience of managing development programmes and working in multi-disciplinary teams at Rolls Royce was helpful for coordinating the various teams onboard. My managers and the whole business have been very supportive of my mobilisation due to their close links with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy.”

On his experience overall, Lieutenant Hendery commented: “Being my first mobilisation as an HMS Sherwood Reservist, it’s been a great experience to draw comparisons between what was learned in training against how operations actually play out onboard. Due to the real-time changes in operational tempo, there have been plenty of busy periods making changes to the delivery plan on-the-go, in order to achieve the objectives.

“Apart from developing professionally in my role as a STOM watchkeeper, I’ve particularly enjoyed the opportunities provided ashore/off-watch. From skiing with the Royal Navy Adventurous Training Team, seeing the Northern Lights after watchkeeping, to having a brief sea dip in the snowy Norwegian fjords – this exercise has ticked all the boxes for me.”

Interested? Find out more about the opportunities for Reservists.