News story

First British Reservists leave for Sierra Leone

This morning the first UK reserves and 100 regulars departed for Sierra Leone where they will help to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Julian Brazier wishes Reservists good luck at RAF Brize Norton
Julian Brazier wishes Reservists good luck at RAF Brize Norton

The regular and reserve personnel from across the three Services departed from RAF Brize Norton alongside members of the Canadian military.

Once in country, personnel will take over from clinicians attached to 22 Field Hospital, who have been deployed since October, manning the 12 bed facility reserved to treat healthcare workers with Ebola.

Minister for Reserves, Julian Brazier, said:

I welcome the deployment of reservists to continue the crucial work already being carried out in Sierra Leone by our medics and Royal Engineers.

We are fully committed to providing our reserve forces with the best training and support, fully integrating them with their regular counterparts. Their imminent deployment is just one example of how our reserve forces can make a huge contribution to the defence of the UK.

Reservists fly to Sierra Leone
Reservists fly to Sierra Leone

The deployment of these personnel follows the completion of their nine-day, mission-specific training last week at Strensall Barracks, which saw them operate in protective equipment, in a hangar converted into a mock-up field hospital treating simulated casualties.

Captain Eric Teague - Hellon, 202 Field Hospital, said:

The training we’ve had has exceeded my expectations. It’s filled us with confidence in the equipment we’ll be using and in the routines we will be following to keep us all safe.

This is my fifth deployment, but the first one of this kind. Even though I know I’ll miss Christmas, my morale is really high. My family have been so supportive; they are my backbone.

The number of military personnel in country remains steady at around 800. This contribution is made up of logisticians, planners and engineers, who are overseeing the final stages of construction on the UK facilities across Sierra Leone, providing the infrastructure for a total of 700 beds.

Published 20 December 2014