The AFM Volunteer Reserve Force (VRF)
The recent amendments to the Malta Armed Forces Act, specifically the Appointments and Conditions of Service of the Emergency Volunteer Reserve Force, give greater potential to the AFM’s new Reserve Force.
In th past, this establishment was tied to the limited role envisaged for the reserve force, i.e. a reserve in case of a declared national emergency. This limited scope, severely curtailed the use of this reserve and consequently reservists felt left out of AFM activities.
Following the change in legislation, the Emergency Volunteer Reserve Force became the Volunteer Reserve Force. This allows the AFM to actively tap into this force as its employment is no longer only tied to national emergencies. This factor greatly increases the VRF’s flexibility. Its members shall become more akin to part time soldiers, being involved on a regular basis in both the AFM’s routine and extraordinary commitments. By being more actively employed, VRF personnel would be able to contribute to the AFM and to the nation.
In order to meet the demands inherent to this change in role, the 3 year initial engagement of VRF personnel shall be composed of 3 subsequent phases, each of 1 year duration. The first phase shall primarily consist of basic training. The second phase shall see reservists specialising in a specific role, yet still deployable in basic roles if the need arises. The final phase shall see reservists deployed on a part time ad hoc basis within AFM units. The annual training camp shall be common to all phases.