Minister praises RNR Air Branch on visit to Yeovilton
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Reserve Forces, Julian Brazier TD, paid a visit to the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch to see how the Fleet Air Arm’s Reserve operates.
Hosting him during the visit to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton was Commander Justin Wood, Head of the Air Branch (HAB). “The minister was following up a previous visit made two years ago,” said Justin. “He came to update himself on recent developments within the Maritime Reserves, particularly to do with aviation in the reserves and how the Fleet Air Arm is supported by the RNR Air Branch.”
His tour of RNAS Yeovilton took in briefings at the Air Station Headquarters and discussions with Commodore Jock Alexander OBE, the Commanding Officer of Yeovilton and senior Air Branch officers. He also got the chance for a look-in on one of the Fleet Air Arm newest Naval Air Squadron that flies the latest generation of multi-role helicopter, the ' Wildcat'.
825 squadron’s Wildcat helicopters are specifically developed to operate from Frigates and Destroyers of the Royal Navy and the squadron was only commissioned in October this year. Their Wildcats are being flown and maintained by some of the RNR Air Branch personnel who are stationed at Yeovilton.
“The Minister was extremely interested in everything he saw and we were able to update him on the way in which the Air Branch is completely integrated into the regular units and Sqn’s across the Fleet Air Arm,” said Justin. “He is most interested that the model we have here in the RNR Air Branch is rather different to how most of the Royal Naval Reserve and the Army Reserve operate, one size doesn’t necessary fit all. We are proud that the way in which we organise our ex-regular manpower is finely tuned to help in peacetime and in times of tension or War, specifically to suit the FAA.”
The Minister was certainly impressed with what he had seen and pleased with his visit and tour of Squadrons and Units at RNAS Yeovilton and said on parting that, “The RNR Air Branch is certainly one of the top Units in terms of delivery for the UK Reserve Forces.”