RNR AIR BRANCH RESERVISTS ENJOY WARM CULDROSE HOSPITALITY
Members of the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch gathered recently inWest Cornwallfor their Ratings Annual Training Symposium (RATS).
Representing every branch of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, over 100 ratings took this opportunity to update themselves with current FAA doctrine as well as attending briefings on changes to Royal Navy and Reserve Forces policies. Their programme also included routine and compulsory security lectures, fitness tests and operational briefings on what today's FAA is up to. The principle guest speaker at the three day event was Brigadier Mark van der Lande OBE, head of 'Future Reserves 2020’, who was pleased to have the opportunity to meet and speak with members of the largest Branch of the Royal Naval Reserve. At the formal dinner held in the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates mess the guest speaker, Captain Ade Orchard OBE, CO of RNAS Culdrose thanked everyone for attending and provided an update brief on the Air Station and its future.
Head of the Air Branch (HAB) Commander Barney Wainwright, told the Branch members: "You represent over 3000 years of aviation experience. The whole Air Branch will deliver nearly 17000 man-training days of effort to the Royal Navy this year supporting every squadron and unit here at Culdrose and across the wider Fleet Air Arm. That is a tremendous achievement of which you can all be justifiably proud."
Newly promoted Warrant Officer 1 Geoff Kendall, who is the Warrant Officer of the Air Branch (WOAB) was also delighted that so many ratings had contributed to making this year’s symposium the largest for many years. "RATS offers us a great chance to meet with the newer members of the branch and a catch up for others. We managed to get through a number of important briefings, some specific to trade (spec) team briefs around RNAS Culdrose and a visit to Newquay Airport, as well as other team building exercises along the Cornish coastline.”
RATS 2015 also coincided with the Aircraft Handlers Branch ‘Passing-in’ parade and several RNR Air Branch members put on their best uniforms and attended, lending an experience presence to the occasion.