150 Employers from Oxfordshire and the surrounding area attended a business networking event held on the 13 April 2016, at RAF Brize Norton, the largest station in the Royal Air Force. The Station is home to the RAF’s Strategic and Tactical Air Transport (AT) and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) forces, as well as host to many lodger and reserve units. With its mixed fleet of aircraft, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations.
The event was run by South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, and 11th Infantry Brigade based in Aldershot and included a welcome from Station Commander, Group Captain Simon Edwards. This was followed by a full presentation given by Army Engagement Group explaining the role of Reservists across the Services and highlighting the key role that Employers play.
Following the presentations the Guests went airside where they had the opportunity to visit stands manned by both Regular and Reserve Forces including, 202 Field Hospital and 7 Rifles based at Abingdon, HMS Wildfire from Northwood, 501 Squadron, 4624 Squadron and 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, RAF Reserves all based at Brize Norton.
The Employers agreed that the visit had been fascinating, that they had found out a lot about how they could support employees who are or are interested in becoming Reservists and the benefits that employing Reservists could bring to the workplace.
Additionally they had the opportunity to visit and board three aircraft including the C-17 ‘Globemaster’ a long range strategic heavy-lift transport aircraft used in combat operations , peacekeeping and humanitarian missions worldwide.