Jersey TA unit wants more reserve soldiers

Jersey's Territorial Army unit wants to recruit more reserve soldiers to fulfil its role within the British Army, according to its new commander.

Maj Nick Spratley has been appointed as the commander of the Jersey TA.

The Ministry of Defence in the UK wants to use the TA more on operational tours as part of a shake-up of the Army.

That means the Jersey Field Squadron, like most other TA units, needs to recruit more soldiers and prepare them for deployment.

Full strength

Maj Spratley, who joined as a Sapper in 2000, became an officer three years later.

He has served in Iraq, where he commanded engineers rebuilding the country's infrastructure and he has also completed a tour in Afghanistan, helping to train the Afghan National Army.

He served for three years as Officer Commanding the Squadron, which he will do alongside his other role as the HM Forces Welfare Officer for the Channel Islands.

At full strength, the unit should have 89 soldiers but is currently below strength at 40.

Maj Spratley said his challenge would be to recruit more troops, keep the ones they had got and prepare them for operational tours.

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