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Naval Reservist leaders share ideas as Danes visit Portsmouth

30 October 2023
The Maritime Reserves welcomed Captain Steen Gravers, Commanding Officer of the Royal Danish Navy Reserve, and representatives from his Command Team, to Navy Command HQ in Portsmouth.

Leaders of the reserves in the Danish Navy visited Portsmouth to see how the UK Reserve Forces operate – and how the two allies can learn from one another.

Captain Steen Gravers and his team spent time both at Naval Headquarters on Whale Island and at the area’s Royal Naval Reserve HQ, HMS King Alfred, based in the naval base.

Like the RN, the full time Royal Danish Navy – Søværnet – is supported by a force of reserves who are vital to the Service’s successful functioning.

Unlike the Royal Navy however, the Danes only established their naval reserve in the past decade, whereas the reserve arm of the Senior Service goes back in various forms more than a century.

The visit provided an opportunity to share the best practices of both maritime reserve forces from the viewpoints of strategy, structure, training and motivation of personnel.

Captain Gravers met his British counterpart, Commodore Jo Adey, Commander Maritime Reserves, and the Royal Navy’s People and Training Director, Rear Admiral Jude Terry.

As NATO allies, the Royal Navies of Denmark and the United Kingdom work closely together around the globe every day, particularly in areas such as Maritime Trade Operations.

Commodore Adey

“Having worked intensely for a number of years building the Royal Danish Navy Reserve, it was time for us to be inspired by and to create better relations with a close ally and benchmark Navy Reserve,” said Captain Gravers.

“Expectations were high and were more than fulfilled. We returned to Denmark with a catalogue of ideas and areas where we could collaborate further.”

This was the first time the staffs of the two naval reserves had conferred on such a scale – but it won’t be the last.

“As NATO allies, the Royal Navies of Denmark and the United Kingdom work closely together around the globe every day, particularly in areas such as Maritime Trade Operations,” said Commodore Adey.

“Each of our respective Reserve Forces are different in many ways, but there are many ideas and experiences we can share in order to find way to do our business better.”

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