Lt Cdr Ruth Fleming: Mum’s the word!
Lt Cdr Ruth: Mum’s the word!

Lt Cdr Ruth : Mum’s the word!

“I had to tell my son that I was working on a plan to ensure that Santa Claus could visit all the children in the world without catching the virus”

Ministry of Defence
Jan 15 · 3 min read

In her day job, Lt Cdr Ruth works in population data science at Swansea University. But Ruth is also a Royal Navy reservist and volunteered at the earliest opportunity for Operation Rescript — the largest UK peacetime military operation to support the government’s response to Coronavirus.

Having discussed her desire to volunteer with her employer, Ruth was disappointed not be called up with the first cohort of reservists. However, when the email arrived, on a Friday afternoon in the middle of June, it caught her by surprise as she had been mobilised to support Wales’ efforts to provide testing to local communities. With two children under the age of 6 she was happy to learn that her mobilisation as an Operations Officer, based in the Joint Military Command Wales, in Brecon Barracks was located in a market town in the Brecon Beacons. This meant that she would be able to commute to her duties, something which allowed her to balance work and home. Fortunately, her husband, who was furloughed, was able to step up to the mark with childcare and home-schooling whilst Ruth focused on her military duties.

Lt Cdr Ruth Fleming: Mum’s the word!
Lt Cdr Ruth Fleming: Mum’s the word!
Lt Cdr Ruth Fleming: Mum’s the word!

As an HQ Operations Officer in a watch-keeping role, Fleming was required to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the operation within Wales.

Although she joined the HQ when military personnel were manning Mobile Testing Units throughout Wales, she says that the most interesting time for her involved the community testing of Merthyr Tydfil. She witnessed the MACA process to deploy RAF personnel into testing facilities within the community. The entire operation was locally led, with the military in support and the process involved a range of elements but, as a logistics officer, she found the real life support the most interesting.

Having spent six months as an operations officer in varying tempos, Fleming says that it was the most rewarding time of her career as she was supporting her local community in a direct and indirect way.

Lt Cdr Ruth Fleming is now back working in her day job.

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