His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent paid a visit to HMS Flying Fox in Bristol yesterday for an evening event showcasing the role the Royal Naval Reserve unit plays within both the Armed Forces and the local community.
Visiting in the role of Commodore-In-Chief, Maritime Reserves, His Royal Highness paid tribute to the Naval Reserves, many of whom have recently served in operations across the globe. He also thanked their families and employers for providing priceless support to the Bristol-based reservists.
The Royal dignitary was welcomed with a formal salute by the city’s reservists and introduced to the Commander of HMS Flying Fox – Commander Sue Jameson, who helped lead the evening’s proceedings.
She commented: “We were very proud to have Prince Michael of Kent visit HMS Flying Fox and be able to demonstrate the integral role our reservists play within the Armed Forces. His Royal Highness is as determined as we are that reservists continue to make a vital contribution to the UK’s national security.
“At a time when the RNR is expanding, this high-profile visit is invaluable as it helps to put our reservists on the map and highlights the key role that they play with the local community. Having support from our city is so important to those serving on behalf of our unit.”
Prince Michael’s visit was timely and crucial to the Bristol Unit in light of the Government’s Future Reserves 2020 review, which sets out plans to grow the contribution of the Maritime Reserves (Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve) increasing the opportunities across all Naval Service Branches.
During the visit, he listened to sailors as they talked about and demonstrated the work of HMS Flying Fox, whilst also presenting a series of service medals to those who have demonstrated exemplary service to the Armed Forces.
Commenting on the evening’s event, Prince Michael of Kent said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to HMS Flying Fox and was I was particularly impressed with the skills and dedication of the Royal Naval reservists that I met during the evening.
“I have the greatest respect for the Maritime Reserves who do an extraordinary job of bridging the gap between the general public and the Armed Forces. HMS Flying Fox is a first rate establishment that I hope only continues to increase its sterling contribution to the Royal Navy. I’m particularly delighted to be back at this unit with reserves who readily go the extra mile for their country.”
HMS Flying Fox is currently home to over 85 reservists who volunteer their spare time to support UK operations both at home and overseas, in roles as diverse as supporting anti-piracy operations or working as part of the Fleet Protection Squadron.