Reservists attending 39 Signal Regiment’s annual camp in West Wales have been introduced to Falcon, the Army’s new secure, deployable broadband voice, data and video communications system.
They will be among the first Reservists to be trained on Falcon once courses get under way early next year. Commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Nik Bruce explained: “The communications equipment we’ve had for a number of years has served its purpose but it’s no longer supported.
“Using the same kit as our Regular counterparts means that our soldiers will be able to deploy on contingent operations with our paired Regular unit, 21 Signal Regiment – and also allow us to operate a Falcon communications detachment in the future.
“We’ve managed to get a sample of Falcon kit to give a basic demonstration while we’re on camp.”
39 Signal Regiment provides vital communications support and information management to the Armed Forces, emergency services and local government agencies in times of crisis, including terrorist incidents and natural disasters such as flooding.
Headquarters is at Horfield in Bristol and there are squadrons in Cardiff, Bath and Windsor.
39 Signal Regiment sits within 2 Signal Group, commanded by Colonel Joe Cooper who visited on the second day of the camp and saw Reservists testing their military skills in mock attacks at RAF Brawdy, near St Davids.
He stressed the importance of Falcon to the Reserves, saying: “It should make us more useful to the Army and give us a better offer in terms of the capability of the kit.
“We should also be recruiting some very capable people from the information services industry. By offering them this, it enhances our credibility quite significantly.
“Falcon actually allows you to deploy a networked structure, to plan it and engineer it – and to expose the Reserves to some quite demanding engineering. It will allow 39 Signal Regiment to contribute more to the Regular Army.
“The exposure to a proper network and the opportunity to manage that network is not something Reserves can do at the moment.”
The annual camp, actually based at Penally, near Tenby, involved 59 Reservists, plus another 20 or so permanent and Regular staff providing support.
“Camp is a rather different affair these days,” said Lt-Col Bruce. “We still give our soldiers some low-level military training before moving into the second week with courses for individual Squadrons.
“And, of course, there’s adventurous training, including cliff walking and other pursuits.”
For more information about 39th Signal Regiment, call 01985 223735 or to find out about wider opportunities in the Army Reserve visit http://www.army.mod.uk/signals/25282.aspx