By Tara Rippin • 06 February 2021 • 20:14
Tri-service reserve force take on Manchester testing in Covid-first.
RESERVES from the Army, Navy and RAF have been helping strengthen UK virus defences throughout the pandemic, but the latest deployment marks the first time a force of this size, containing only Reservists, has been assigned a special mission.
82 reserves have integrated with a Regular Army unit HQ already supporting Greater Manchester’s Targeted Testing at Scale project.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I’m proud that Reservists from all three services, many from Manchester itself, have answered the call to step up and support their local community.
“These soldiers, sailors and air personnel have joined the largest UK Armed Forces homeland deployment in peacetime and will be working alongside Greater Manchester Combined Authority to test at-risk members of the community.”
Soldiers drawn from 4th Battalion, The Lancashire Regiment, The Queen’s Own Yeomanry and 8th Battalion, The Rifles will be integrated with C Coy, 1st Battalion The Rifles, supporting Oldham Council.
RAF Reserves from 611 Squadron are integrated with C Squadron, The Royal Lancers in Salford, and Royal Naval Reserves and Royal Marines Reserves are integrated with Waterloo Company, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland in Trafford, according to Forces.net.
Colonel Russ Miller, OBE, Commander Army Headquarters North West, said the reserve force will “play an increasingly important part of the project, both carrying on with the delivery of Asymptomatic Testing, and training each Borough’s follow-on workforce to develop testing capability for the longer-term”.
The mission is expected to be carried out until the end of the month.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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