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Mark and Ian go on parade with the Navy

By Luton On Sunday  |  Posted: June 19, 2011

BRINGING BACK MEMORIES: Lieutenant Mark Versallion and chief petty officer Ian Bartram from the HMS Wildfire

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Two sailors with council connections who serve as Royal Navy Reserves on the HMS Wildfire marched into its new base last week.

Lieutenant Mark Versallion, a councillor at Central Bedfordshire Council, and chief petty officer Ian Bartram, who works at Luton Borough Council, were on parade recently at Northwood headquarters in Middlesex.

Lt Versallion, who is a Conservative member at Central Bedfordshire Council, represents the Heath and Reach ward and is also an executive member in charge of children’s services.

Volunteer reservists support the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, both at home and abroad, in times of tension, conflict or humanitarian crisis.

CPO Bartram said: “It’s like coming back home.

“This is where we belong. Being here at the headquarters brings back memories of when I joined in 1986.”

Lt Versallion, recently deployed on Operation Pearl, a counterpiracy operation off the Horn of Africa, said: “For a Reserve Unit being asked to do more and more to support the Navy we now have a credible, fit for purpose training establishment to prepare our people to fight and win.”

Commander-in-Chief Fleet Admiral Sir Trevor Soar unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion, and paid tribute to the work naval reservists do around the world, from the desert of Afghanistan to the South Atlantic.

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