HMS FLYING FOX in Bristol is recruiting men and women to the Royal Naval Reserve in greater numbers than for many years.
Now with some 120 people of all ranks – from the commanding officer, Commander Dave Bucknell to the newest probationary recruit – the shore-based unit at Ashton Gate is well on the way to achieving its planned complement of 160-plus.
“Not only will we attain that target – we will surpass it,” said Commander Bucknell, confidently.
“HMS Flying Fox is expanding and we are much bigger than we were over 18 months ago – to the tune of nearly 40 extra personnel. We were around the 85 mark and we now have about 125, with more joining all the time. “
“Our success has been in letting people out there know that the Royal Naval Reserve is here. It is a life without limits – whatever you want to do.”
As well as having access to wide range of training courses which develop managerial ability, in a recent change to regulations any Reservist, male or female, can now represent the Royal Navy at sport.
Nearly every Reservist is trained in First Aid Level 2, which is paid for by the RNR but qualifies them to be a first-aider in the civilian workplace.
“That actually saves their company around £5,000 – so it’s very positive for both the employee and the employer,” Commander Bucknell pointed out. “We are getting the message across: that apart from serving your country, being a Reservist comes with a much bigger package.”
“The training we give people varies from trade to trade. The logistics trade, for example, offers driver and forklift truck operator training – all very useful skills in the workplace.”
He added: “The other branches and specialisations will again give extended training and help to develop a much more rounded individual at the least and specialist skills at the best.”
HMS FLYING FOX is one of 13 RNR units in the UK, recruiting and training personnel who can then deploy on operations around the globe alongside the regular Royal Navy.
Information and recruiting evenings are usually held on the first Thursday of each month at Winterstoke Road, Bristol BS3 2NS (tel 0117 966 8667)
The Royal Navy Reserve is growing from 2,000 to 3,000 personnel by 2020. Anyone interested in finding out more about the Royal Naval Reserve should call 08456 003222, or visit the website www.royalnavy.mod.uk/navyjobs.
For information about employing Reservists, go to www.sabre.mod.uk/