DRAFT by K5DWvQV7

VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 12

									RESERVE FORCES AND CADETS ASSOCIATION

                FOR

         NORTHERN IRELAND

           ANNUAL REPORT
              2006/2007




                                        MARCH 2007
                                     RESTRICTED


  RESERVE FORCES AND CADETS ASSOCIATION
          FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

                             ANNUAL REPORT
                                2006 - 2007
INTRODUCTION

1.      The last year has been the busiest on record. The tempo of volunteer reserve
forces (VRF) mobilisation has continued at a high level in support of expeditionary
operations and the mobilisation culture is well established and understood now by our
volunteers in Northern Ireland. They have continued to respond well to both voluntary
and compulsory mobilisation to Afghanistan for Operation HERRICK, Bosnia for
Operation OCULUS, Iraq for Operation TELIC and to the Fleet. All this is taking place
against a backdrop of kaleidoscopic change related to the Defence White Paper entitled
‘Delivering Security in a Changing World’ which has called for even closer integration of
VRF with the Regular Forces. The increasing reliance on volunteer reservists as the
reserve of first choice, and their greater integration, has created very complex matrices of
work, much of which has been completed in the last year. The Army has been
additionally involved in implementing Future Army Structures (FAS), which has led to
the rebalancing of the Regular and TA order of battle so as to improve operational
capability. Here we have also had to take account of Northern Ireland Normalisation
(NIN) as we approach the end of Operation BANNER. Amidst all this activity there have
been many welcome initiatives in the Cadet world in the last year, which I cover later.
Additionally, this Association and the other RFCAs have been involved in a detailed
Internal Review to better position ourselves to deliver our assigned tasks to our principal
stakeholders.

MANAGEMENT OF RFCAS

2.         Council of RFCA’s Internal Review. I reported on the background to the RFCA
Internal Review at the last AGM. This year has been a year of implementation with a
target date of 1 April 2007. The central tenets of the Review are that the RFCA Council
Secretariat and its Chief Executive will act as a central focus for RCFCAs through
dedicated desk officers for Youth and Cadets, Publicity and Marketing, Property Asset
and Facilities Management, Employer Support and Finance. These functions are known
as the “five pillars” and will be mirrored in each of the Associations led by the Chief
Executive. The 13 Chairmen have become non-executive Directors of a Board of
Governance whilst the executive has been vested in the Chief Executive of Council and
the Chief Executives of the Associations.

3.     RFCA Project SYMPHONY and the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII).
Through Project SYMPHONY, the Associations are now all on an interconnected IT
network. This has been in preparation ultimately for transition to the defence wide
Defence Information Infrastructure (DII). This has involved everyone in a huge amount
of work overlaid on normal business. The project goes live on 1 April 2007 and will help
to manage our business related to our 5 core functions.
                                             2

                                     RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED



THE HIGHER MANAGEMENT OF RESERVES

4.      The Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets), with his supporting
directorate, has continued to give a much needed centralised focus to Reserves and
Cadets. Major General, The Duke of Westminster has been a real champion of the
Volunteer Reserve Forces and has been most effective in highlighting and addressing key
issues. We wish him well in his retirement. He is replaced by another Reservist, Major
General Lalor. His staff, in the Directorate of Reserve Forces and Cadets, continue to be
engaged actively and effectively in such topics as operations support policy, welfare,
employer support and youth and cadets. This Association applauds this excellent work.

RNR

5.      General. The Reserve Training Centre at HMS CAROLINE has seen a significant
change in its command structure over the past 12 months with key changes in the
permanent staff as well as a change of command in the middle of the year. January 2007
saw the retirement of Commander Maritime Reserves, Commodore Elliott Reynolds, who
had been a serving HMS CAROLINE officer. With the move to regional coherency, the
Commanding Officer has taken on additional duties that now see him as the Senior Naval
Officer in the Province and as well as responsibility for ensuring the Unit meets its
national training and operational strengths, he is also responsible for ship visits and
promoting the Naval presence in Northern Ireland. The Unit is now fully DII compatible
and has been running with the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) process since
November 2006. Planning is in progress for the introduction of a Royal Marine Reserve
detachment to Northern Ireland based initially in HMS CAROLINE and later in the year
at Palace Barracks.

6.      Operations and Training. The Unit has supplied personnel in support of deployed
ships and exercises as far away as Singapore, Dubai, Brazil and the Falkland Islands.
Training for the different branches is moving away from the Unit which is now conducted
primarily at Regional Training Centres across the UK. Closer to home HMS CAROLINE
hosted national training weekends for Junior Officer training and the Naval Intelligence
Branch but with the closure of Moscow Camp this support will be limited in the future.
Participation in Exercise EXECUTIVE STRETCH, with limited access to ships, was not
on the same scale as in previous years but the unit was still able to supply some
manpower support.

7.      Visitors. 2006 marked the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and HMS
CAROLINE hosted a high profile celebration weekend which culminated in the unit
exercising its right as freemen of Belfast to parade through the city, something they have
not done in 30 years. Guests to events included Prince Michael of Kent and the Duke of
Westminster who attended a mess dinner onboard along with the German Defence
attaché. The Unit also hosted two Royal Gun Salutes and it is hoped that use of HMS
CAROLINE as a venue will continue in the future. The ship was opened up again to the
public in support of the Titanic Festival and European Heritage weekend which again saw
large numbers of visitors through the ship. The Unit hosted 3 training courses in
Intensive Care Medicine for senior NHS staff over the year, as well as a one day seminar
on Leadership. The RAF and a number of Army units have held conferences and
meetings onboard the ship which has helped to promote the ship within the Service
                                               3

                                     RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED


community. The ship also hosted the annual SaBRE Cocktail Party in September which
was well attended by both employers and civic dignitaries and helped to promote the
Reserve Forces in the Province.

TA

8.      Future Army Structures – the TA Rebalancing Implementation Plan. Nationally,
as part of the FAS, CinC Land Command has taken forward the TA Rebalancing
Implementation work to articulate properly the TA with the Regular Army. Regionally,
NI has done very well out of the process with a rise in TA numbers from around 2100 to
2550 at a time when numbers are reducing in other regions. The Association is grateful
for the energetic lobbying of the Commander 107 (Ulster) Brigade and the strong support
of the GOC NI in all this. As stakeholders, HQNI, 107 (Ulster) Brigade and RFCA NI
have been fully engaged in this process with Headquarters Land Command. We look
forward now with 39 Infantry Brigade to continue this good work on the way to transition
to 38 (Irish) Brigade later this year.

9.      The Northern Ireland Perspective. For us in Northern Ireland the end game of the
rebalancing process has been TA establishments, which were recruitable and sustainable
with a sensible mix of arms and services. The establishments in the main were ratified in
December 2006 and the outcome is all this is as follows:

       a.      206 (U) Battery Royal Artillery (V) – re-role to Light Gun.

       b.      Formation of 591 Independent Field Squadron Royal Engineers (V).

       c.      40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment (V) – national communications role.

       d.     RANGERS – an additional rifle company, which includes anti tank and
       mortar platoons.

       e.     152 (Ulster) Ambulance Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (V), converting to
       152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (V) acquiring DROPS
       vehicles and the formation of a third new operating squadron, 400 Squadron,
       Royal Logistic Corps (V).

       f.     253 (North Irish) General Support Medical Regiment (V) re-roled and
       gaining 2 new squadrons.

       g.      204 (North Irish) Field Hospital (V) reduces to a 50 bed hospital.

       h.      Formation of a new Royal Military Police detachment.

10.     NI TA Basing Study. As part of this process in Northern Ireland, taking account
of the additional sub-units, and in anticipation of some Regular estate becoming available
as a result of Northern Ireland Normalisation, the Commander 107 (Ulster) Brigade, with
the Association, finalised a TA basing study based on demography, footprint and
recruiting potential in 2006. The outcome has been assimilated into HQ Land Command
synchronisation planning matrix which was endorsed late last year. The implementation
plan is progressing well and it will go a long way to meeting our aspirations and will give
                                               4

                                     RESTRICTED
                                      RESTRICTED


the Brigade a realistic critical mass, a sound footprint and a strong place in the deployable
Army. The final pieces of the jigsaw will fall into place when some TA units move into
Thiepval and Palace Barracks.

11.    TA Operational Deployments. The TA continues to provide a significant
contribution to the defence operational output and over 12,000 TA volunteers have been
mobilised so far – the equivalent of 20 battalions. Currently, 1,300 volunteers are
mobilised. In recent months the reserves deployment balance has switched from Iraq to
Afghanistan and this trend looks set to continue. This remarkable level of operational
support has in the main been managed through volunteering, intelligent mobilisation and
good employer support relations. In Northern Ireland a total of 587 TA volunteers have
been mobilised. In this financial year 81 have deployed with 38 currently mobilised of
which 22 are a formed troop of 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment RLC (V) who left for
Afghanistan to join their twinned regular regiment 4 Logistic Support Regiment RLC last
month.

12.    Impact of Mobilisation on the TA. Mobilisation has given the TA a real sense of
purpose and improved the range of experience of its personnel. Whilst this is most
commendable, I am not sure that it is sustainable at this rate without damage to employer
support, the reservists and their units. The current 3 year call-out cycle will require
primary legislation to change it to a 5 year deployment cycle which eventually may go
some way to alleviate these concerns. The increased call-up of TA personnel has
produced volunteers who are quite clear now as to their liability. There are of course
concerns about mobilisation fatigue, terms and conditions of service, medical aftercare
and domestic welfare but I know that the chains of command are very much aware of this
and are working hard to resolve these matters.

13.     TA Training. In the last training year there have been the normal camps and a
variety of other activities taking our volunteers to Canada, USA, Lithuania and South
Africa. There has been also an increase in adventurous training activities, which has re-
introduced the fun element, raised morale and undoubtedly contributed to the current high
success rates on retention of recruits and volunteers alike. Additionally, there has been a
successful battlefield tour to France. There is no doubt though that the turbulence of
continued mobilisation has affected the quality of training. This has been recognised and,
as part of the TA rebalancing process, unit establishments now include enabling
components, which allows the unit framework to continue to recruit and train whilst unit
members are deployed on operations. Recently the Regional Training Centre moved from
Ballymena to Ballykinler where the facilities are excellent.

14.    Achievements. Notable achievements in the last year have been:

       a.      RANGERS winning the TA Football Cup.

       b.      RANGERS winning NISAAM.

       c.    152 (U) Tpt Regt RLC (V) becoming Champion Unit at the Brigade Sports
       Meeting.

       d.     SSgt Pavis from 152 (U) Tpt Regt RLC (V) selected to represent the TA in
       the US Army SAAM.
                                          5

                                      RESTRICTED
                                      RESTRICTED



       e.      RANGERS winning the Regional Orienteering Championships.

RECRUIT MARKETING

RNR

15.    Recruiting. At the end of this financial year HMS CAROLINE’s complement has
decreased slightly to 90 (compared with 94 at the beginning of the reporting period) but a
slow recovery is now apparent. Recruiting in the last six months has been most
encouraging and there are approximately 17 new entries undergoing training.

TA
16.     Recruiting. Recruiting in Northern Ireland is managed now regionally by the
Commander 39 Infantry Brigade through the Regional Recruiting Coordination
Committee for both Regular and TA recruiting. He has brought to the process a marked
increase of energy and purpose, which is already showing significant dividends in both
recruiting and retention. Exercise MEDICAL CHALLENGE, which attracted 94 entrants
from all the major Trusts and Hospitals, has assisted recruitment into the medical units.

17.      Project OAR (One Army Recruiting). Following the direction of the Army
Recruiting Policy Group, the Project OAR team on behalf of the Adjutant General (AG)
and Commander Regional Forces (CRF) and under the direction of Commander
Recruiting Group has implemented an integration plan to deliver a One Army Recruiting
(OAR) operation. Essentially, CRF has taken responsibility for OAR, i.e. the recruitment
of both Regular and TA officers and soldiers, from 1 April 2007. Regionally, on the same
date, this will become also the responsibility of the Commander 39 Infantry Brigade. The
implementation of the CRF’s Manning Action Plan has also been a welcome development
and has provided additional resources for the recruitment of extra permanent staff to
further energise all TA recruiting activity and process. This Association, as part of the
recruiting apparatus headed by Commander 39 Infantry Brigade, and under the hand of
the Commander Regional Recruiting (CRR), will provide recruiting support. Essentially
it will be business as usual, the budget will be controlled by the Regional Brigade and we
will continue to provide marketing and PR support through the CRR’s Tasking and
Coordination Committee to units as required.

18.     Strengths. The new authorised volunteer establishment is 2550 all ranks and the
current strength of volunteers is 1688, which includes 3 officers and 35 soldiers currently
serving on operational duties, and represents 66.1% of the new TA FAS regional
establishment which we must now start chasing. These low numbers are due to the new
unit establishment figures. In reality they represent a net increase of 288 soldiers from the
same period last year and the soldier target of 310 for the financial year 06/07 has easily
been passed as actual enlistments are 380. On the downside however, the officer numbers
show no sign of improvement and this nation-wide problem is being addressed by
Recruiting Group and Commander 39 Infantry Brigade as a matter of urgency.

19.     TA Recruit Marketing and Publicity. The 2006/2007 Regional Campaigns have
encompassed unit recruitment days in conjunction with Radio and Press advertising. The
total number of enquiries generated by these campaigns, captured primarily by Mail
Marketing Group, was 1066, which is an 8% increase on the previous year. The
                                            6

                                      RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED


management of recruit enquiries through the current Arcade IT system will cease in June
2007 and a new OAR lead management MIS (OARMIS) will be introduced. Our public
relations agency, working closely with the units, has performed very well this year with a
5% overall increase in press cuttings.

RAF VR (T)

20.     664 Volunteer Gliding School, Newtownards. The past year has been relatively
successful when set against annual tasking. To date the School has achieved 68 % of
tasking and are on target to achieve 23 gliding scholarships. As always performance is
determined by the weather and this year they have been particularly fortunate. For the
second time, a gliding scholarship course was run in the Christmas and New Year period,
which was very successful. The School’s range of skills has recently increased with the
appointment of a Navigation Training Officer who is teaching basic navigation to the
cadets, a first for 664 VGS. The future of the school looks good.

ACCOMMODATION

21.      Project ALEXANDER. As part of Project ALEXANDER, which involves the
management of the Defence Estate through prime contractors, a paper entitled
‘Recommendations for the Management of the Volunteer Estate in the United Kingdom’
was circulated to members of the Defence Estates Steering Group and endorsed.
Essentially, the RFCAs will become the prime contractors for the Volunteer Estate
throughout the regions with the central control of priorities and funding being exercised
through a Property Asset and Facilities Management department embedded in the RFCA
Council from 1 April 2007. The last year has been spent working closely with DE
through the ALEXANDER Volunteer Estate Implementation Team. The necessary MIS
for all this has been incorporated into Project SYMPHONY which I mentioned earlier.

22.      RNR - HMS CAROLINE. The ship remains in a good state of repair with a
steady refurbishment programme. After a recent Environmental Protection audit the
central heating and hot water systems will be converted to gas thereby removing the main
source of potential pollution – fuel oil. The long-term future of the ship is still to be
resolved, with discussions going on between all interested parties including the Royal
Navy, Belfast City Council, Harbour Commissioners and Titanic Quarter. The Second
Sea Lord has requested that a small working group be established to consider the issue;
the first meeting has recently been held onboard. Much will depend upon the new Titanic
Quarter development but, in the short to medium term, an extension of lease for the dock
is under negotiation.

23.    TA Projects and Property Management.

       a.      Projects. The long awaited rebuild of the North West ACF Weekend
       Training Centre (WETC) at Magilligan Training Centre, is proceeding
       satisfactorily with a completion date forecast of September 2007. Work has also
       started on new Band accommodation and a tri-service Cadet Centre at Kinnegar.

       b.     Property Management. A large in-year injection of property management
       funds has enabled the Association to take much needed work forward in every
       TAC, whilst taking account of the FAS increases and the NI Basing Plan.
                                            7

                                     RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED


       Additionally, we have been able to procure rapidly two new Army Career
       Information Offices within the TACs of Portadown and Enniskillen and work is
       well advanced to provide 3 new Royal Irish Regiment welfare facilities in
       Portadown, Enniskillen and Coleraine by July 2007.

24.     Energy Management. All TA centres in the Belfast area have been converted
to gas and this will assist us in complying with MOD’s directive on Environmental
Protection. Additionally all our TACs’ heating systems are now remotely controlled
through modems from a central point and this has paid huge dividends.

25.     Summary. In summary, the Association’s property has benefited from a large
injection of much needed funds and is in reasonable order. I would like to congratulate
the Association Works Officer and his staff, in tandem with the Association Finance
Officer, for rising so commendably to the challenge of committing such a large quantity
of funds to works in such a short period of time for the benefit of all.

EMPLOYER SUPPORT NORTHERN IRELAND

26.     Employer Support Policy. The Joint Employer Support Directive (JESD) has been
recently redrafted to take into account the drawdown of 107 (U) Bde and the transfer of
key staff responsibilities to 39 Inf Bde. It is now complete, providing detailed directives
and guidelines on the delivery of employer support at all levels; National, Regional and
Unit.

27.     The Regional Employer Support Group (RESG). The Regional Employer Support
Group (RESG) has met on a quarterly basis. The RESG has been successful in providing
a forum for discussion and feedback on the issues which affect employers who employ
reservists.

28.    Employer Support Working Group (ESWG). The Employer Support Working
Group (ESWG) chaired by the Regional Employer Support Officer (RESO) and its
members including the now renamed Regimental Operational Support Officers (ROSOs)
previously the RRRWOs, the Unit Employer Support Officers (UESOs) and the Regional
SaBRE Campaign Director (RSCD) have been meeting on a six monthly basis since
October 2004.

29.    SaBRE Marketing Plan. The SaBRE Marketing Plan, the aim of which is
primarily to garner supportive employers, has been implemented locally by the Regional
SaBRE Campaign Director (RSCD), Athene Gordon. The annual regional target set for
Northern Ireland of signing up 30 new supportive employers has been met and exceeded.

30.     Mobilisation. The RESO and RSCD continue to handle a light caseload in respect
of recent mobilisations. Overall, the support that our volunteers have had from their
employers remains high.

31.    Data Bases and Employer Notification. Data from the Force Generation IT
software, FORGE, is continuing to be uplifted on a quarterly basis to Salesforce, the
National Commercial IT package used by SaBRE. However, although compulsory
employer notification is in place in Great Britain, Northern Ireland personnel still remain

                                             8

                                     RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED


exempt from this process, there has been a marked increase in the number of reservists
who are advising their employers of their reserve service commitment.

32.     Exercise EXECUTIVE STRETCH. Exercise EXECUTIVE STRETCH, the
flagship event to promote employer support in 2006, was sponsored and run by SaBRE
and 107 (U) Brigade, for all employers. A total of 67 Executives and 2 Senior
Management observers were exposed to the value of the Volunteer Reserve Forces
through this imaginative and well-run exercise.

33.     Support to the Army Presentation Team (APT). The APT visited the Province in
September. RFCA and SaBRE aided Major Falcon (HQNI) with the guest list and were
delighted that our team work produced a comprehensive guest list and ensured all three
locations were extremely well attended.

34.    Tri-Service Assistance. I am most grateful to the Commanding Officer of HMS
CAROLINE, the Commander 107 (Ulster) Brigade for their co-ordination and the Senior
Royal Air Force Officer Northern Ireland for the helicopter support for this Exercise.
This support was invaluable in promoting the tri-Service nature of our activities and
helped to add to the professionalism and fun ingredient of the exercises.

35.     Employer Support Activities. Linked to the SaBRE Marketing Plan, Employer
Support functions have been organised to cover both public and private businesses
employing Volunteer Reserve Forces. SaBRE NI sponsored one visit to IRAQ for one
employer in October 2006 and two employers visited Exercise NEPTUNE WARRIOR
also in October 2006. In July 2006 three key employers and their guests attended a
reception hosted by HRH Prince Charles at Clarence House and in September 2006 two
key employers attended a Reception at the BT Tower hosted by Sir Christopher Bland and
Major General The Duke of Westminster to re launch the SaBRE Employers Abroad
programme.

CADETS

36.     General. The tri-Service focus for Cadet policy issues set up under the direction
of ACDS (R&C) continues to be most effective in harmonising all generic cadet issues. I
am pleased to report that all shades of the Cadet movement have continued to shine in the
Province and their success across the full range of their activities has earned them great
respect both here and in Great Britain. A record of their many achievements is published
in the Associations Board Minutes and reflects great credit on the volunteer cadet
leadership, Adult Instructors and cadets alike.

37.     Strategic Review of the Army Cadet Force. As a result of the Directorate of
Operational Capability Report, changes in the Regional Forces and RFCA chains of
command, budgetary pressures and the need for efficiency and value for money, CRF has
directed a Strategic Review of the ACF. The objective is to define the requirements
(structure, resource, command and manning) for an effective, modern Army cadet
movement and then determine whether improvements and efficiencies can be made. The
recent Army Management Consultancy Study will be used as a basis for the review with
other recent reviews of the ACF being used as reference documents. The report is due in
May 2007.

                                            9

                                     RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED


38.    Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme Golden Jubilee. I am delighted to report that
the 2006 Golden Jubilee celebrations for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme held at
Ballykinler over the period 9 – 15 April 2006 was a huge success. Lieutenant Colonel
Roberta Turkington, 2nd (NI) Battalion ACF headed up the Northern Ireland team and
key cadet personalities from across the UK witnessed a truly outstanding series of events
performed by cadets representing 61 counties.

39.     CCF. A new CCF Matrix of Responsibilities has been issued by DRFC. The NI
CCF Contingent Annual Reports show that they are all continuing to thrive. The recently
established Foyle and Londonderry College CCF is doing well with 45 cadets attending
with a new Air section now in place and starting to build.

40.    SCC. The Northern Ireland Sea Cadet Corps recorded some notable successes in
the National Combined Regatta held in London in September 2006 and returned with 26
boating medals. Well done also for their organisation of a Nautical Training Camp on
board HMS BRISTOL at Portsmouth over the period 16 – 30 July 2006 and for the
provision of a guard of honour at HMS ALBION on 6 July for the visit of HM The
Queen.

41.    ACF.

       a.      National Update. The Army Cadet Executive Group (ACEG), comprising
       lead members from the Regional Forces (RF), RFCAs and ACFA, remains the
       primary focus of the ACF decision-making process. This group is now into its
       fourth year and I congratulate the Chief of Staff HQ RF and his cadet staff for all
       the excellent initiatives, which flow from this work. The important areas
       addressed by the group include:

              (1)     Cadet Reporter. The Cadet Reporter is an IT package, which
              assists effective management of ACF data for HQ RF. The final iteration
              of the Cadet Reporter was completed in September 2006 and highlighted
              the decrease in officers which was offset by an increase in AIs. It also
              highlighted concerns on health and safety regulations, insufficient
              allocation of paid training days and emphasised Cadet Commandants’
              concerns about the overstretch at battalion headquarters. This is the last
              time the Cadet Reporter system will be used and all relevant data has been
              transferred to a new web enabled UK wide ACF/CCF/SCC MIS
              codenamed WESTMINSTER.

              (2)     Health and Safety. The Chief Executive has implemented a health
              and safety training regime for all Association Cadet permanent staff with
              the Defence Management Training cell at HQNI and a local agency to
              qualify them in all health and safety disciplines required by MOD policy.
              Further training will now be given to selected cadet officers and AIs.

              (3)    Harmonisation of Officer Selection. ECAB has directed that the
              Regular Army Commissions Board undergo a name change to the Army
              Officer Selection Board. The structure of the AOSBs 8 boards would be
              manned by trained assessors appropriate to the type of commission for
              which they were selecting.
                                            10

                                     RESTRICTED
                                   RESTRICTED



             (4)    ACF - Matrix of Responsibilities. The latest edition of the ACF
             Command and Control Matrix of Responsibilities, modified by the Army
             Cadet Executive Group, has been received.

      b.      National Vocational Qualifications – Level 2. The open college network
      programme allows the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme results to be converted
      to an NVQ at Level 2. This was formally introduced last year under the leadership
      of Lieutenant Colonel Roberta Turkington and it has been a huge success. A total
      of 82 NVQ Level 2 certificates have been presented so far. This initiative is in
      addition to the Vocational Qualifications for Public Service being offered to our
      cadets and provides further opportunities to enhance their achievement portfolios.

      c.     ACF Achievements.

             (1)     Shooting. In the Combined Inter Services Skill at Arms meeting
             held at Bisley in October 2006, a team from F Company, 2nd (Northern
             Ireland) Battalion ACF won 4 major competitions.

             (2)    Sport. At the ACF National Hockey Competition held at
             Newcastle in July 2006, the Northern Ireland female team won the
             National Hockey Cup for a third successive time. The organisers and
             umpires were again full of praise for the sportsmanship and assistance by
             the Northern Ireland girls to other teams and their behaviour throughout
             the competition, which was outstanding. Great credit must go to Major
             Karen Sleator for giving her time and expertise to help to achieve this
             remarkable result.

             (3)    Duke of Edinburgh Awards. In the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
             Scheme 3 cadets achieved gold, 4 gained silver and 7 achieved bronze star
             awards.

42.    ATC. The Air Training Corps Wing Northern Ireland has recorded another busy
and successful year:

      a.      Establishment and Recruiting. The Wing is established with 16 Squadrons
      and 2 Detached Flights and the recently established second Detached Flight in
      Coleraine is flourishing with over 25 cadets attending regularly. Recruiting and
      retention remains problematic in some areas but overall the Wing is in good
      health. The Northern Ireland strength has suffered a drop from last years high of
      490 down to 440. In addition 3 adult instructors were commissioned during this
      reporting period and a further 5 are awaiting a final selection board.

      b.      Flying. Flying is an essential aid to recruitment and cadets continue to
      visit RAF Woodvale for Air Experience flying. Twenty-three cadets obtained
      their Gliding Wings through the Gliding Scholarship Scheme held in the 664
      Volunteer Gliding School at Newtownards and 2 prestigious flying scholarships
      were also awarded to senior cadet members from the Wing.


                                          11

                                   RESTRICTED
                                     RESTRICTED


       c.     ATC Achievements. In the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, 10
       cadets were awarded gold with 9 receiving silver and 23 receiving bronze awards.

       d.     Visits. Visits have been arranged for cadets to Ghana and USA under
       arrangement of the International Cadet Exchange Scheme.

       e.    Camp. Camps were held at Machrihanish, Cranwell, Waddington, Cyprus,
       and Germany. Additionally, the very successful Annual Adventure Training
       Camp continues to be held at the Rothiemurchus Centre in the Cairngorms.

43.    Tri-Service Support. I am most grateful for all the support received by the cadets
from the Royal Navy, the Commander 39 Infantry Brigade, the Commander 107 (Ulster)
Brigade, the Senior Royal Air Force Officer Northern Ireland and 34 Cadet Training
Team.

CONCLUSION

44.      In summary, many of our Northern Ireland volunteers have served or are on active
service now with the Armed Forces in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and all our volunteer
Reservists well understand their deployment liability. They are certainly more integrated
and usable than they have ever been during my long association with Reserve Forces.
Many lessons have been learnt at all levels and all are working hard to ensure that
compulsory mobilisation continues to be sustainable. A proper emphasis is being placed
on Employer Support and we are moving forward in that area with the Regional Employer
Support Group Northern Ireland and the Chain of Command. The welcome initiatives for
improving manning, recruitment and retention are already paying dividends regionally. I
anticipate that this will continue to be the case in the short term but with mobilisation
running at the current levels it will require this work to be sustained to ensure continued
success. We welcome and applaud the work that has rebalanced the TA order of battle in
Northern Ireland; it was overdue. In the Estates area large injections of in-year funding
have benefited all our customers for which we are most grateful to HQNI. Our cadets
continue to make us proud and the initiatives, interest and emphasis placed on them and
their training safety by the Chain of Command is most welcome. In summary, at a time
when every moving part of all of our structures is moving, the Reserves and Cadets of
Northern Ireland continue to adapt to change and bring great credit to the Province and to
the nation.




CHAIRMAN                                                           29 March 2007




                                            12

                                     RESTRICTED

								
To top