§ Baroness Golding
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What arrangements exist betwen SERCo Aerospace and the RAF for the provision of sponsored reserves. [HL4042]
§ Lord Bach
On 14 April 2003 a contract was signed between SERCo Aerospace and the RAF for the provision of sponsored reserves (contract support personnel who may be called out for service). SERCo Aerospace is a commercial company contracted to provide engineering support to the BAe 125 aircraft of the Comms Fleet, 32 (The Royal) Squadron, based at RAF Northolt. The new arrangement enables personnel to be deployed to an operational theatre with the protection of reserve status. Individual voluntary contracts have been signed and four personnel have been issued with call-out notices to deploy overseas.
The use of sponsored reserves is designed to cover specialist support roles where the call-out is riot dependent on a level of crisis. Delegation of call-out powers has been authorised to the Air Secretary and authorised officers on his staff, in the same way as for other sponsored reserves. Call-out notices are served routinely every few weeks under existing delegated powers, and there are currently other sponsored reservists under contract with the Royal Navy as well as with the RAF. Naval sponsored reserves exist as part of the Strategic Sealift project, as well as 127WA providing hydrographic support to survey vessels, and RAF sponsored reserves have signed agreements with the Mobile Meteorological Unit.