The Reserve Forces 2030 (RF30) review offers independent insights and recommendations to the Chief of the Defence Staff.
The aim of the independent review was to explore ways to maximise the skills of the Reserves Forces to support wider society, and establish better collaboration with businesses, government and the private sector in order to help with cost, skills and expertise sharing.
The Ministry of Defence said the specialist contribution military reservists have made across society during Britain’s battle against Coronavirus was exactly the sort of contribution the Reserve Forces 2030 review would consider, in examining how Defence can maximise the skills of its Reserve Forces.
The 112-page RF30 report offers 18 recommendations for consideration. The Ministry of Defence will, over the next few months, engage with key stakeholders (employers of reservists, academia and industry) to fully understand the implications of the RF30 review recommendations.
A formal, detailed response is expected at the end of the year, at which time we will know which of the recommendations will be adopted.
For context, in 2018 the Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme, a spin-off of the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2015 (SDSR15) in response to evolved international threats. The Cabinet Office released the second SDSR 15 Review with the National Security Capability Review in the same year. The latter included clear targets for the number of Reservists, Cadets and modifications to the Defence Estate, while the former included considerations for attracting Reservists who hold specialist skills developed in the private sector and the corresponding importance of building relationships with business.
Subsequently, in 2020, the Ministry of Defence launched ‘The Reserve Forces 2030: A Review of the Reserve Service’, with a view to maximising the skills of the Reserves Forces to support wider society, and establish better collaboration with businesses, government and the private sector in order to help with costs, skills and expertise sharing.
This year, the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: Global Britain in a Competitive Age was published, shortly followed by the Defence Command Paper. The Integrated Review provides a strategic threat assessment and identifies the UK’s foreign policy priorities, whereas the Defence Command Paper focuses on the Defence aspect and outlines plans to modernise the Armed Forces.
Several recommendations in the Reserve Forces 2030 review could have implications for the business of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association if implemented. The RFCAs maintain the Reserve Forces training estate on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and provide advice and guidance to reservists and their employers.