Edinburgh Napier University Hosts Lowland RFCA Annual Meeting

Lowland RFCA Chair Andrew Cowan speaks with a Lord-Lieutenant's Cadet from the Sea Cadet Corps as guests arrive for the AGM

On Thursday 16 May, members of Lowland RFCA joined a number of military and civilian guests at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus for the Association’s Annual General Meeting.

The university, which holds a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award for its outstanding support of the Defence community, warmly welcomed the Association members as they caught up with each other over a cuppa or two.

The meeting began with a welcome from the Association’s President and Lord-Lieutenant for West Lothian, Ms Moira Niven MBE. The President’s address covered Defence in recent news headlines, gave an overview of Reservist activity on the global stage and offered a welcome to the Association’s new Chairman, Air Commodore James Linter OBE, who will take over from Captain Andrew Cowan on 1 September.

Ms Niven also presented a quaich and paid tribute to Commander Alasdair MacTaggart, who has contributed greatly to Lowland RFCA as a Board member, Vice Chair (Navy) and Chair of the Finance Advisory Committee. In recognition of his service as an Association Member and Royal Naval Reservist with a career spanning over four decades.

Alasdair MacTaggart, left, accepts a commemorative quaich from Association President Moira Niven during the AGM.

Next came the Chairman’s report, highlighting the broad-ranging work carried out by the Association over the last year, with a particular focus on Estates, Engagement, Cadets and Youth.

Further updates followed from each of the single Services. Representing the Army Reserve was 51 Brigade’s Lieutenant Colonel Doug Mackay, who shone a spotlight on the British Army’s continuous commitment to evolving and modernising, with a view to improving technological capabilities and serving as key military leaders among their international allies. A message was also delivered as part of the Army update on behalf of General Officer Scotland Major General Robin Lindsay: 

‘I wish to extend my thanks to you all, for everything that you do to support the Reserves, the Cadets and Defence across the Lowlands of Scotland. The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations across the United Kingdom are a key component of our national Defence fabric, maintaining and sustaining those vital links between Government and citizen, connecting Defence with society.’

For the Maritime update, Brigadier Andy Muddiman, Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland, commended the Royal Navy’s ongoing work in adapting to changes and advances in technology. Brigadier Muddiman spoke at length about the numerous exercises and operations that Royal Naval Regulars and Reservists have undertaken over the last year, deploying to Norway, the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands and the Indian Ocean, to name but a few destinations.

Lieutenant Colonel Doug Mackay, Brigadier Andy Muddiman and Air Commodore Bill Gibson

While unable to attend the meeting in person, Air Officer Scotland Air Commodore Bill Gibson MBE delivered a comprehensive update on video of Royal Air Force activity and developments, covering Regular and Reserve Forces, RAF Air Cadets, University Air Squadrons and the upcoming centenary of Lowland’s RAF Reserve squadrons.

Paul Tumelty of Google’s Mandiant Consulting, our keynote speaker, delivered a fascinating presentation on cyber security. This final talk of the evening proved to be a big hit with everyone in attendance, especially the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets who, in a first for Association meetings, were invited to attend and gain a deeper insight into the work of Lowland RFCA and the wider Armed Forces Community.

Presentation slide announcing Paul Tumelty as keynote speaker

‘The Lowland RFCA AGM was an incredibly informative evening for myself and the other Cadets who attended,’ said Flight Sergeant Henry Tsang of 2166 (Hamilton) Squadron RAF Air Cadets. ‘It gave us an insight into the hard work that often goes unnoticed behind the scenes. I really enjoyed meeting some of the other Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets that were and interacting with service personnel that gave up their time to speak this evening.

‘The cyber security speaker was thoroughly interesting and really emphasised the mutual benefits that hiring and training Defence personnel in cyber security can bring to the military and civilian sectors.’

Many thanks to everyone who attended the meeting in person and online, and to the guest speakers for their illuminating updates. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Lord-Lieutenant's Cadets were asked to stand for a round of applause as they attended the AGM for the first time.


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