A ROYAL Navy Reserve open day will be held at HMS Cambria in Sully on Wednesday, January 15.

The ‘RNR Live’ open day is part of a campaign to encourage more people to think about becoming a Reservist in their spare time and achieve skills that also benefit them in everyday life.

More than 2,300 men and women currently serve as Reservists in the Royal Navy alongside their normal day job and most have no previous military experience when joining.

Jobs within the Royal Naval Reserve are varied, whether they are on shore or at sea. They can include: logistics, intelligence, diving, mine warfare, information systems, submarine operations and maritime trade operations. Every exercise that a Reservist takes part in is designed to underpin the operational roles they may encounter both in the UK and around the world.

People attending the open day on January 15 will have the opportunity to find out more about life in RNR by meeting serving Reservists and taking part in physical and mental challenges and activities involving practical leadership, basic weapon skills and sea survival. They will also visit a naval vessel and have the opportunity to use Navatar simulation equipment.

Rhys Thomas, 29, joined the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) in March 2011 after visiting an RNR Recruitment Stand in Cardiff City centre and visiting his local unit, HMS Cambria, for an open evening.

“Although I really enjoy my day job, I was looking new challenges and wanted a role that was un-related to my regular work," he said. I would whole-heartedly recommend joining the Reserves: You get paid to train, keep yourself fit, gain huge amounts of work related experience and meet new people. You also experience what life is like in the Forces which can be very different from ‘civvy street’.

Reservists normally commit to the equivalent of 24 days a year for training, which takes place mainly during the evenings and at weekends. Reservists are paid for their time, with pay increases with seniority. However, new recruits can easily earn over a thousand pounds a year, in addition to a yearly tax-free bounty which ranges from £400 to £1,600 depending on the length of service, money that can make a real difference.

The initial training to become a Reservist takes place one night a week or at weekends for the first 20 weeks, followed by a two-week residential course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall which includes an overnight exercise on Dartmoor. New recruits will then be given training for a specific role, ranging from logistics to submarine operations.

The Royal Naval Reserve is a key part of Britain’s Naval Service, providing a flexible force of trained people to serve in times of conflict, tension, or humanitarian needs – ultimately protecting our nation’s interests. In recent years, personnel from HMS Cambria have been involved in operational deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf and numerous exercises across the Globe.

When needed, the Royal Naval Reserve supplements the full-time ranks with extra manpower, and in some cases provides additional specialist civilian skills. New recruits must be aged between 16 and 40, have a basic standard in English and Maths, and be able to complete a one-and-a-half-mile run within a specific time period.

The RNR Live open day will take place at HMS Cambria Naval Reserve base at Hayes Lane in Sully on Wednesday, January 15, between 10am and 2.30pm. For more details, or to register to attend the event, please telephone 08456 00 32 22 or visit: www.royalnavy.mod.uk/navyreserves .