Op Telic: Lessons Learned for RNR & RMR
It is expected that Reservists should be given three weeks to sort out home, employer, finances and other things on mobilisation. During OP TELIC many Reservists had less than a week due to the political nature of the run up to war. Most could see the writing on the wall and knew that the call up was coming and likely to affect them, but many did not and this caused problems. Administrative machinery has been put in place to try and give more notice in the future as has so called "intelligent" mobilisation which consults far more widely before issuing call up papers to Reservists.
Some Reservists found the demobilisation process very hard. This was mainly due to being asked to stay in De-mob centres for up to four days after landing back in the UK following release from Theatre (either by air or sea). All that any of these people wanted to do was go home! However, the very best medical advice was that going home right away, without any discussion, group reflection or de-briefing, could cause a level of trauma. A short period of readjustment to peacetime UK was needed before going home to minimise the risk of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Keeping Families Informed
Many Reserve Training Centres made special efforts to keep families of deployed personnel up to date on the progress of the war and of their particular Reservists. Others did not, feeling that they were now the Navy's problem only. Directorate of Naval Reserves (DNRes), with the assistance of Naval Personal & Family Service, has since reminded Reserve Training Centres of their duties to Reserve personnel when mobilised and a system of linking NPFS Regions with relevant RTCs has been put in place.
In addition a new Families Guide For Royal Naval And Marines Reservists has been published and is available to anyone in the RNR/RMR and their dependents from their local Reserve Training Centre.
In reality, of course, the RTC will only be as good as the people there who are aware that a Reservist has been mobilised away from the local unit (their main job after all is to train those who are still there!) but the RTC should be the first point of contact for anyone enquiring about a mobilised RNR or RMR member. RTCs of course are not manned 24/7 so it may well be that other services available to the full time RN/RM service person have to be employed. These are Naval Personal and Family Service, the Confidential Helpline, the RNcom Help Desk and the local HIVEs. All of these can be contacted through links below:
More Information: Reserve Training Centres
More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare
More Information: Confidential Support Line
Web Site: Hive Information Service