The US Department of Defense (DoD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) that allows for more closer cooperation between their reserve forces.
Signed during a ceremony at the British ambassador’s residence in Washington, US, the Military Reserve Exchange Programme (MREP) memorandum will allow reservists residing overseas to train with a host-nation unit.
This kind of training is expected to allow reservists to stay engaged and meet their service commitments, while opening up opportunities previously unavailable to them.
Deputy assistant secretary of defence for reserve readiness, training, and mobilisation Paul Patrick said: "This memorandum of understanding between the US and UK provides ongoing proof of our continued dedication to our long-standing international relationships.
"The Foreign Resident Programme strengthens the partnership between our two nations and plays a key role in maintaining individual readiness of reservists and their contribution to national defence."
Approximately 3,000 reservists from the UK and the US have participated in the programme, since the MoU was signed in 1985.
Claiming that the accord is the first arrangement of its kind, Patrick said: "It demonstrates commitment to our people and their employers by providing more flexibility to meet their requirements and offers unique training opportunities."
The MERP aims to provide National Guard and Reserve officers training associated with mobilisation duties while boosting their ability to work and communicate with the military individuals of the host country.
Image: UK assistant chief of the defence staff for reserves and cadets UK Army major general John Crackett and the US reserve readiness, training and mobilisation deputy assistant secretary Paul Patrick sign MREP memorandum in Washington, US. Photo: courtesy of DoD photo by Steve Turner.