Army Reserve


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.

The Army Reserve is the largest of the Reserve Forces. The Army Reserve provides support to the Regular Army at home and overseas, and throughout its history almost every major operation has seen reservists operate alongside their Regular counterparts.

Army Reserve Soldiers come from all walks of life and work part-time as soldiers for the British Army alongside full-time Regular soldiers.

The role of the Army Reserve

The Army Reserve has two clearly defined roles. Firstly, it provides highly trained soldiers who can work alongside the Regulars on missions in the UK and overseas. Secondly, it gives people who have specialist skills, like medics and engineers, a range of exciting opportunities to use them in new ways.

Over the next few years the role of the Army Reserve will be expanded and they will work even more closely with the rest of the Army. This means that there will be more opportunities for people who want to enjoy the challenges that come with being a Reservist.

How is the Army Reserve structured?

At the heart of life as a Reservist is the local Army Reserve Centre. This is where soldiers work and train, although they will travel as they gain experience. The Army Reserve Centre could be home to a detachment of over 30 soldiers, part of a company, squadron or battery of over 100 soldiers or a regiment of over 500 soldiers. Each of these elements has a military task and a variety of jobs within it.

For more information about the Army Reserve and how to get involved, click here…

Reserve Forces