Media operations in Bahrain
Find out what it’s like for these two Royal Navy Reservists to be part of the media team working in the Middle East
The small island of Bahrain in the Middle East is home to the UK Maritime Component Commander HQ (UKMCC) and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which is where the ships on operations, in the region, get their commands.
Two Royal Navy Reservists, Lt Cdr Jon Wheale from HMS President, and Lt Charlotte Kertrestel from HMS Forward make up the media team who are currently deployed to this small island on a six-month tour.
“The thing that I love about being out here is the variety of the role. One day I could be filming on a ship, the next I could be briefing a three star Admiral; no two days are ever the same!” — Lt Charlotte Kertrestel
In his civilian career, Lt Cdr Wheale works for Barclays bank, in the Brand and Reputation team based in Canary Wharf, having transferred his regular commission in the British Army to the Royal Naval Reserve to continue serving as a Media Operations officer.
“Serving with the Royal Navy is an enormously rewarding activity and one I enjoy very much. Being able to mobilise and deploy to Bahrain for the second time not only allows me to make a small contribution to the vitally important work of the Royal Navy in the region but also underlines the palpable commitment that my employer makes every day to support the Armed Forces.” — Lt Cdr Wheale
On completion of his deployment, Jon will return to Barclays and will continue serving in his spare time at the Royal Naval Reserve Unit, HMS President in London.
For Lt Charlotte Kertrestel, back in the UK, she works for Halfords in its website digital team. This is her very first deployment with the Royal Navy, and definitely an exciting one.
“The heat and military environment is something I’ve had to get used to, but working as part of a UK headquarters and also alongside members of a 33-nation coalition is an amazing opportunity you don’t get in civvy street!” — Lt Charlotte Kertrestel
“A lot of people probably think a military career isn’t compatible with a full time civilian job, but for me the Reserves provides an additional opportunity to develop my skills and experience which I can apply in my role at Barclays, and especially as both involve managing Public Relations and Stakeholder Engagement. It’s the great team of regulars and reservists here in Bahrain that makes the experience so enjoyable.” — Lt Cdr Wheale
The role of the Royal Navy in Bahrain is key to the operational activity in the area. With ships from the UK and other nations from across the world operating and transiting in and around the region, information and commands are vital to allow the smooth sailing on operations.
The commands coming from the United Kingdom Component Command (UKMCC) is what allows the Royal Navy’s presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean to be so effective and ultimately ensures the safe flow of oil and trade across the globe.