Plymouth Royal Navy Reserve unit to recruit up to 70 volunteers in the next three to four years
A ROYAL NAVY unit based in Plymouth is to recruit 70 new reservists.
HMS Vivid Royal Navy Reserve in the South Yard of Devonport dockyard is one of a small number of units across the country approved for expansion.
The unit will be seeking 70 new reservists in the coming years and a recruitment drive is under way.
In the review of the UK reserve forces last July, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced that the Government would be dramatically increasing the numbers of volunteer soldiers and sailors.
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A government report, Future Reserves 2020, also established a principle of "greater integration" between the regular and reserve components.
HMS Vivid is offering information to those interested in volunteering with the Naval reserves.
Commanding Officer of HMS Vivid, Commander Ian Pethick, said: "The unit is one of the minority actually earmarked for enhancement under the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.
"We will be seeking up to 70 new recruits over the next three or four years.
"This is an ideal opportunity for anyone with the spare time and desire to join a professional organisation that delivers key support to the Royal Navy in many different areas.
"We have had personnel deployed recently in Ghana, Afghanistan, Dubai and Djibouti in roles such as anti-piracy, convoy protection and logistics or with our diving team working in activities that include underwater mine clearance.
"Our recruits train in a variety of trades. And, importantly, they now study exactly the same maritime skills and train to the same level as our regular counterparts."
One of those joining HMS Vivid is Chief Petty Officer, Rob Lowe. The 43-year-old left the Royal Navy after 27 years' service last October but the next day he joined the reserves.
He said: "I didn't quit the regular service because I'd had enough – I still felt I had a lot to offer, which is why I approached the RNR.
"It was just that I wasn't likely to progress any further and, at my age, needed to move into another profession."
Having previously gained a sports rehabilitation degree, Rob is now in his first year of studying for a degree in podiatry at the Plymouth University.
The father-of-two works primarily as a New Entry Lead Instructor, a key role at HMS Vivid as the unit is expanding.
Chief Petty Officer Ann Jones, aged 44, of Noss Mayo, served for 24 years in the Wrens and Royal Navy, a career spent mainly in the training branch but which took her as far afield as West Africa and the Falklands.
Having left the service in 2011, she said: "I find it inspiring that the people who come to us, many very young but some in their thirties, are so keen and eager to learn.
"And in many cases they do it while holding down full-time jobs."