Published: November 14, 2013

Former Royal Marine and firearms specialist Mo Ricketts has joined the award-winning training division of international security specialist Pilgrims Group Limited.

After 17 years in the British Police, including the position of Training Instructor, followed by diplomatic security roles, Mo has been appointed as Pilgrims Training Manager. Mo will lead a team of over 20 Pilgrims instructors, delivering a range of safety, medical and security training courses designed for those travelling overseas to challenging locations in the course of their business.

Among the company’s clients are the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence, media, corporates, civilian contractors and NGOs working alongside the military in politically sensitive or hostile territories.

Skills learnt also assist delegates outside of the working environment. The importance of such training was thrown into sharp focus by September’s terrorist attack at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which targeted civilian shoppers.

“We prepare people to go to fragile and even hostile environments all over the world.” says Mo. “Government employees and their families are key customers but we also work with private businesses, particularly those working alongside the military.”

Since his appointment, Mo has been assessing the training options offered by Pilgrims and upgrading the courses in line with technological developments and ever-changing threats. “Anyone working in or visiting a challenging or fragile environment needs specialist skills to protect themselves, their family and colleagues,” he says. “We introduce them to the core theory and reinforce that with high tempo, intense role playing scenarios which hard wires these ideas into individual behavior. I want to maintain the high standards Pilgrims already has and support the highly competent instructors who bring credibility to all our training.”

“Mo has a great mix of experience, combining a police, military and government background,” says Pilgrims COO, David Freear. “His extensive operational experience working in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan means he has all the key elements needed to teach and demonstrate to others. With his cool head and easy-going demeanor, he is the kind of person you would want by your side in a hostile or challenging environment, so who better to teach our delegates.”

Pilgrims training was voted Security Training Initiative of the Year 2012 and was a finalist in this year’s Security Excellence Awards.