The Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) yesterday gave students and other members of the public from in and around the city the chance to visit the Bristol home of the RNR, HMS Flying Fox, and talk to serving reservists about their training and seafaring experience.

The evening provided an opportunity for those interested in the Armed Forces to explore the wide range of roles the Royal Navy has in the 21st Century and of find out more about the wide range career opportunities on offer in the RNR. The Maritime Reserves (which includes the Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve) is set to grow in size following the Government’s Future Reserves 2020 review, greatly increasing the opportunities across all Naval Service Branches.

The evening began with the national Royal Naval Presentation Team from Portsmouth who gave an insightful talk about the various divisions within the Royal Navy and their vital contribution to the UK’s national and global defence.

Bristol reservist Able Seaman (AB) Sam Kimberley also shared her own recent experiences of being part of the London 2012 Olympic Operations and being deployed on operational military tours to both Florida and Bahrain where she worked extensively in UK-US maritime task forces. 33-year-old AB Kimberley, who in civilian life works as a plumber and health care assistant at Health Care At Home, regards her position at HMS Flying Fox as an invaluable part of her life.

“Joining the RNR has given me a huge sense of achievement and pride, I’ve never looked back. I feel very privileged to have a career which involves traveling to incredible places in the world and learning about diverse cultures whilst representing your country. It is vitally important to have these types of events as it helps raise awareness of the role HMS Flying Fox plays in the local community. We have a fantastic unit here in Bristol and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in broadening their career horizons.”

HMS Flying Fox is currently home to over 85 reservists who volunteer their spare time to support UK operations both at home and overseas, in roles as diverse as supporting anti-piracy operations or working as part of the Fleet Protection Squadron.

Commander Sue Jameson, the Commanding Officer of HMS Flying Fox, comments: “Bristol’s RNR Unit plays an integral role within the Armed Forces and over the last three years over 25 people have been mobilised in active service around the world. We want to ensure a continuation of this vital contribution but also inform the local community how essential the Royal Navy and in particular local reservists are to UK operations. The leadership skills gained in the RNR are highly valued by civilian employers and the prospects open to reservists are increasingly wide-reaching. The experience and enthusiasm Reservists such as AB Kimberley bring back into the work place is quite simply immeasurable.”

Reserve Forces