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Sold-Out Weekend Event Offers Companies First-Hand Knowledge about Their Reservist Employees and Themselves

LONDON – 22 May 2007 – Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers, SaBRE, today announced that its Executive Stretch event, 1-3 June at Pirbright in Surrey, has completely sold-out with 120 attendees representing over 25 companies scheduled to attend. This represents an increase from last year and the largest number in the programme’s history. The weekend event, designed to put civilian managers through their paces, helping them to develop their leadership, teamwork and communication skills, includes a number of challenging tasks such as a complex planning exercise, aptly named ‘Master Mind’ as well as ‘Bosun’s Chair’, where teams assemble a rope swing on a pulley to get across a canal.

Since 2002 SaBRE has existed to inform Britain’s companies about the benefits of employing Reservists, and to seek their support for the Volunteer Reserve Forces as well as to provide both employers and Reservists with free and impartial information about their rights and commitments.

During Executive Stretch the participants are placed within a team, which is mentored by two Reservists. The weekend is based around a series of tasks that mentally and physically challenge all involved.

Some of the popular tasks include ‘Quantum Leap’, where teams must conquer a series of obstacles using teamwork and the equipment provided. Another, ‘Bomb Burst’ helps teams learn the basics of Explosive Ordnance Disposal as they set and detonate charges. ‘Sudden Impact’ challenges the teams to perform triage to casualties and administer first-aid treatment following a road traffic accident.

Since overseeing Executive Stretch SaBRE has hosted approximately 450 participants from London, however the programme itself runs nationally and has existed for more than 20 years. The 2007 numbers mark a 50% increase in new participating companies. Because there are never return attendees, each of the 120 people registered will be experiencing Executive Stretch for the first time.

Debbie Wilkinson, the Regional SaBRE Campaign Director for Greater London commented: “This event, like no other, brings home the reality of what Reservist employees can accomplish and highlights the skills they can bring to their day-to-day positions. Through military training Reservists learn a number of transferable skills in areas such as strategic forecasting, people management, and tactical implementation. Furthermore, these skills can be utilized across a number of growing industries such as communications, property development and hospitality.”

Reservists are unique in that they have two distinct professional identities. As such they work in every conceivable industry. This year, participants from organisations ranging from fire brigades and commercial construction to marketing and healthcare are taking part in Executive Stretch.

Nick Shepherd, Managing Partner at Commercial Property Consultant, Drivers Jonas said: “The Executive Stretch weekends can be a lot of fun for the participants over the two days, but the impact is considerably more durable. The key lessons for our business are the importance of planning, discipline and teamwork, together with respect for individuals' different strengths and weaknesses. Much of our work is very complex and often involves large teams of experts from within and outside our business: managing teams of this sort is a skill we find in abundance in our Reservist employees.”

Today’s Reservists constitute approximately 10% of all troops deployed and are therefore contributing significantly to UK Operations. Without the understanding and support of their respective employers this would not be possible.

Steve Sutch, Regional Managing Director – South at HSS Hire, the UK’s largest tool and equipment hire company explained: “Each of us spends increasing amounts of time at work but that does not necessarily translate into a greater knowledge of the people we work with side by side. Events like Executive Stretch make it possible to develop a genuine understanding of the commitment our Reservist employees have to their positions with us and as a member of the Armed Forces. Without programmes like this we would simply not have the awareness of skills that they can bring to their jobs.”

Executive Stretch Exercises:

- MASTER MIND – A complex planning task based around the exercise scenario;

- RADIO HAM - Teams must make contact with an agent, locate, assemble and successfully send a radio message;

- BOMB BURST - An introduction to Explosive Ordnance Disposal, followed by the setting and detonating of confidence charges;

- SUDDEN IMPACT - Teams come across a road traffic accident. They are required to triage casualties and administer first aid treatment;

- FULL BORE - Introduction to the SA80 rifle and weapon handling. SA80 shoot on the range;

- QUANTUM LEAP- Teams must conquer a series of obstacles using teamwork and the equipment provided;

- BRUTE FORCE – Assault course;

- BOSUN'S CHAIR - Teams must assemble a rope swing on a pulley to get from one side of a canal to the other;

- LIGHTENING STRIKE – Teams must conduct a ‘quick attack’ against an undisciplined and unprepared enemy in order to capture vital information;

- BODY HEAT – Teams must gather intelligence on an enemy Nuclear Biological and Chemical facility and successfully ‘steal’ a sample of chemical agent for analysis.

Note to Editors: Images from the 2006 Executive Stretch event are available upon request.

About SaBRE

SaBRE (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) is a Ministry of Defence campaign which aims to build support for members of the Volunteer Reserve Forces from their employers.

More information on SaBRE can be found at .

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