Reserve Forces


Around 250 soldiers from across the North West have been in Latvia taking part in the NATO led Exercise Silver Arrow.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2 LANCS) have been working with troops from Latvia, Norway, Estonia and the USA as part of a 2,000-strong ‘Battlegroup’ sized military training scenario.

It was an opportunity for British Forces to work alongside NATO partner nations as part of the UK’s commitment to the collective security of the alliance. All NATO members share training opportunities but Silver Arrow was the latest in a series of Autumn exercises set in Eastern Europe.

In September the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which also recruits from the North West, travelled to Poland as part of Exercise Sabre Junction, and in November 120 soldiers of Chester-based 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment will take part in Exercise Iron Sword in Lithuania.

The sharing of skills, equipment and techniques between NATO partners ensures confidence in the security guarantees that come with Alliance membership.

Exercise Silver Arrow was a blank firing exercise which took place between September 29 and October 5 at the Adazi Training Area, near Riga, Latvia. Norwegian and Estonian Forces played the role of ‘enemy’ for the purpose of the exercise, while 2 LANCS, Latvian and US Forces were ‘friendlies’.

2 LANCS is a ‘light role’ Infantry Battalion, mainly fighting on foot, but has been working alongside US Forces’ Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Estonians’ Piranha Fighting Vehicle.

The training marks a return to the Regiment’s traditional ground fighting role and away from the peacekeeping, training and mentoring job its soldiers have performed in Afghanistan over recent years. Soldiers of 2 LANCS concluded its final tour in Afghanistan exactly 12 months ago in October 2013.

Individuals in the Reserve Forces – known as Reservists – are ordinary men and women who give up their time to train and serve alongside the Regular Forces.

As members of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), Royal Marines Reserve (RMR), Army Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF), they are an important element of the nation’s total defence capacity. They are called upon as individuals for their specialist skills or as ready-formed units whenever required. Like their Regular counterparts, Reservists receive world-class training – which means they can carry out the same roles to exacting high standards.

As a Reservist, you’ll have the training and opportunities to develop unparalleled skills and personal qualities that will also help you in your civilian life. You’ll also meet likeminded friends, keep fit and travel. Being a Reservist gives you the chance to balance the adventure of serving with the Armed Forces with work and home life.

With a minimum commitment of just under 30 days a year, you’ll also receive financial reward including pay and expenses for evening and weekend training, and pay equivalent to Regular rank when on operations. In addition you’ll also receive an annual bonus.

NW RFCA supports Reservists of all three Services based in the North West of England and the Isle of Man. Alongside the regional Chains of Command and through the Association Membership, NW RFCA engages with local communities in the region to increase understanding of Reserve service and strengthen links with local units.

Reserve Forces