04/08/2005

MoD announces training agreement with Canadian forces

UK and Canadian reserve forces will be able to train together for the first time in a new agreement announced by the Ministry of Defence on Thursday.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the MoD and the Department of National Defence of Canada will allow selected reservists to join a reserve unit similar to their own in either the UK or Canada.

The MOU will be open to all members of the reserve forces relocating temporarily to either Canada or the UK for reasons such as attending school or working for a civilian employer.

The scheme is voluntary and it is hoped that it will encourage participants to continue their military development while overseas and encourage retention in the service.

Commenting on the agreement, which was signed in Ghent, the UK Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) Major General the Duke of Westminster said: “Reservists are an integral part of our Armed Forces, but they are also increasingly mobile in their civilian lives. Those who temporarily relocate overseas find they are often unable to train with their home unit and therefore lose valuable military experience.

“This [MOU] will allow them to broaden their military horizons and maintain their skills base, while remaining an important asset to the nation.”

His Canadian counterpart, Major General Herb Petras said: “As in the UK reservists in Canada are a vital part of the defence team. We view this agreement as a key retention tool for officers and NCOs in whom we have invested significant time and resources. We look forward to using this agreement between Canada and the UK as a template for similar arrangements with other allies – wherever reservists study and work.”

(KMcA/SP)

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