News

April 26th 2014

REDEDICATION PARADE MARKS START OF EXCITING NEW CHAPTER FOR LOCAL RESERVISTS

A rededication parade to mark the official opening of newly renovated headquarters  to re-house Nottinghamshire’s only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) and Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) units took place today (Saturday 26 April).

HMS Sherwood’s rededication took place in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, Honorary Rear Admiral and Commodore-in-Chief Maritime Reserves.

The two hour parade also included music from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and marching platoons from the RNR, RMR and local Sea Cadet units.

The £1 million project to renovate Foresters House has taken nine months to complete and includes a new two-storey building being developed to the rear of the site as well as internal renovation works to the current building to bring the facility up-to-date.

The Ministry of Defence has committed to growing the Reserve forces and the £1 million is part of a wider investment which will see £1.8 billion put into our Reserves over ten years, to give them better equipment and fully integrated training with our Regular forces.

In recent years, Reservists from Nottingham and the East Midlands have played an essential part in operations, serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf, and at home during the London Olympics. Now the investment in the newly refurbished training facilities will help in HMS Sherwood’s efforts to sign-up nearly 70 new local recruits over the next three years.

Foresters House, the RNR and RMRs new home, has been home to 350 Field Squadron Royal Engineers since 1999 and the move means the RNR and RMR are now co-located with their Army Reserve counterparts for the first time in the East Midlands.

Commander Martin Clegg, HMS Sherwood’s Commanding Officer, explained why the move is positive, he said: “The new HMS Sherwood has already received the full approval of my Ship’s company.  I believe the site’s location and its excellent facilities will significantly improve our ability to attract new recruits and provide them with the high standard and quality of training that will fully prepare them to serve with their full time colleagues in the Royal Navy of the 21st century.”

Major Alastair Edgar, Detachment Commander of the Royal Marines Reserve in Nottingham, said: “The facility, custom built to our requirement, is a vast improvement to what we had with access to outdoor training space including a brand new Climbing Rope Scaffold.  Foresters House and the Sherbrooke VC Training Centre will allow the Detachment to grow and will ensure the future of the RMR in the East Midlands.”

East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) has overseen the redevelopment works from start to finish. Group Captain Nick Sharpe, Chief Executive of East Midlands RFCA, said: “East Midlands RFCA is proud to have been involved with the construction of a new home for HMS Sherwood.  The new building has been designed in close cooperation with the Royal Naval Reserve to ensure that it provides exactly what is required.  Equally importantly HMS Sherwood will share the Foresters House site with the Army Reserve, ensuring the provision of excellent facilities for both services in the most economic manner.”

HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO will be joined at the event by Anna Soubry MP, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans. She said: “Reserve Forces make an essential and invaluable contribution to the nation’s security. As part of our programme to restructure the Armed Forces, we are reforming and revitalising our Reserve Forces, investing £1.8bn to make sure they are better integrated, better trained and better equipped. These new and renovated buildings for Reserves here in the East Midlands are a great example of the commitment and support we’re providing. I’m pleased that the Reserve units here will now be able to enjoy their new, first-class training facilities.”

HRH Prince Michael of Kent inspected the parade joined by Rear Admiral Hockley, Flag Officer Reserves and Commodore Jameson, Commander Maritime Reserves.  The Royal Navy’s Chaplain of the Fleet, The Reverend Brown, also led a service of rededication to mark the formal arrival of the RNR and RMR in the new unit.

The Royal Naval Reserve is recruiting nationally. The next open evening at HMS Sherwood in Nottingham will be on Tuesday 13 May 2014 at 1930 hrs.  Anyone interested in attending can find out more by calling 0845 600 32 22 or visiting: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/navyreserves