Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

New Maritime Reserves centre opens in Portsmouth

22 April 2021
Topic:
New facilities for HMS King Alfred have been completed for the 270-strong formation of Maritime Reserves based in Portsmouth.

Commodore Mel Robinson ADC, Commander of the Maritime Reserves, visited the new King Alfred buildings when they were formally handed over this week by Naval Base Commander, Cdre JJ Bailey ADC.

King Alfred is moving from a centre on Whale Island to the naval base, now occupying parts of historic Semaphore Tower and utilising adjacent buildings. It is the largest element of a £11 million refurbishment of the Watering Island area at the southern end of the dockyard. The project was managed by BAE Systems.

Cdre Robinson said: “We are very grateful to BAE Systems for their sterling work in adapting the facilities at Watering Island to create a new home for our Portsmouth-based Reservists.

“The buildings represent far more to us than the sum of its component parts. Situated right at the heart of the Royal Navy’s waterfront activity in Portsmouth, it will enable our Reservists to work and train in even closer alignment with their regular colleagues and strengthen our working relationships with the ships of the Royal Navy.”

As one of the largest Reserve units in the UK, we contribute to global operational capability with a range of specialist skills in support of the Royal Navy. Our ability to attract and retain exceptional individuals in the Royal Naval Reserve will be greatly enhanced by the new, modern and fit for purpose facilities.

Commander Andrew Robinson, Commanding Officer of King Alfred

Cdre Bailey said: “It is exciting to see this area of the Naval Base becoming a future-facing centre of modern RN activity at the heart of Portsmouth waterfront.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the men and women of HMS King Alfred to their impressive new home and congratulate everyone involved in its completion.”
Also joining the Royal Naval Reserve of King Alfred are the Portsmouth detachment of the Royal Marines Reserve, who are similarly moving across from Whale Island.

They have been given a new drill shed, gym, messes and a wardroom overlooking the harbour, classrooms and offices – including a virtual reality training suite featuring programmes to operate sea boats and acquaint themselves with the various classes of Royal Navy vessels. An adjacent camber has also been revitalised, and from here the reservists will take sea boats out for training rather than relying on VR.

Cdre Robinson added: “As an organisation, we are transforming for 21st century operations and a key element of this is ensuring that Reservists get more time at sea in the early stages of their careers. The new HMS King Alfred will not only offer a thoroughly modern training facility for our Reservists but will play a vital role in delivering a new Maritime Reserves for a new Royal Navy.”

Commander Andrew Robinson, Commanding Officer of King Alfred, said: “As one of the largest Reserve units in the UK, we contribute to global operational capability with a range of specialist skills in support of the Royal Navy.

“Our ability to attract and retain exceptional individuals in the Royal Naval Reserve will be greatly enhanced by the new, modern and fit for purpose facilities.”


Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.