A Bristol Naval Reservist has recently worked on one of largest NATO maritime exercise, known as Joint Warrior, is now set to deploy for an operational tour in Bahrain.
Leading Hand Sam Kimberley (34) from HMS Flying Fox in Bristol has also just deployed to Bahrain to work in the Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters. Recently she worked at the Faslane Naval Base during Exercise Joint Warrior the first half of April as part of her annual training commitment to the Royal Navy Reserves which was part of her preparation for the deployment.
Sam is part of the Communications and Information Specialisation (CIS) which uses highly sensitive radio and satellite systems to communicate vital messages to and from both ship and shore. Sam will join a number of other RNR personnel from HMS Flying Fox who have also deployed for six month tours in Bahrain. Joint Warrior was a UK tri–service, multinational exercise has involved over 35 warships, 25 different types of aircraft, with a combined personnel count of nearly 13,000 including Royal Navy and Royal Marine Reservists.
The organiser of the exercise, Captain John Watt Royal Navy said: “Without the augmentation of the Naval Reservists this exercise was impossible to deliver.”
Sam is based in Brislington and has been in the RNR since June 2009; she has been progressing up the ranks in the last 5 years being promoted to Leading Hand in 2013. She has already completed previous deployments to the USA, Bahrain and worked in the 2012 London Olympics.
When asked about her reasons for joining the RNR she said: “It was the challenge; I wanted to feel like I was doing my bit, be part of something and above all I absolutely enjoy it.” She added: “I love the rewards of mobilising and travel and the satisfaction it gives me.”
At the end of Joint Warrior Sam was awarded Commander Amphibious Forces ‘Coin’ for “outstanding contribution to Joint Warrior.”
The award of Commanding Officers Coins is a tradition used to recognise those who have consistently achieved high levels of success and ability.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Flying Fox, Commander Dave Bucknell said of Sam: “She is one of our leading lights and we wish her well for the next six months.”
Sam also has a very busy civilian life, working as a plumber and running a mobile disco whilst also studying to become a midwife: “I like to stay busy and have quite a bit of other work to do as well as the Navy,” said Sam in her usual understated way.
Press Release, June 02, 2014; Image: UK Navy