The Royal Navy in Northern Ireland is headed up by Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland (SNONI). SNONI has a wide range of responsibilities, with the primary aim being the delivery of regional recruiting targets. He also conducts community engagement activity, including all ship visits to Northern Ireland. This involves coordinating naval representation and fostering good relations with opinion formers and the general public, as well as representing the RN at events and commemorative occasions. He provides a localised regional command for Maritime Reserve Units (both RNR and RMR) and the Sea Cadet Corps.
SNONI’s overriding responsibility is to provide coherence and synergy within the region, particularly in regard to recruiting, reserves and youth activity, ensuring the most efficient exploitation of regionally deployed resources.
Royal Navy Reserve
The Royal Naval Reserve’s (RNR) connection to Northern Ireland is a long and distinguished one, dating back to the formation of the Ulster Division of the Royal Volunteer Reserve in Belfast in 1924. Having been based for 85 years on board HMS Caroline, a light cruiser built in 1914, which later saw action at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the unit moved ashore to its new headquarters in Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn in 2009 and commissioned as HMS Hibernia, a name historically connected with the island of Ireland.
Home to nearly 100 Reservists drawn from across the community, HMS Hibernia is the focus for much of the Royal Navy’s regional activity in Northern Ireland. Although many of the Reservists serving on HMS Hibernia come from the Greater Belfast area, some regularly travel from as far afield as Newry, Dungannon and Londonderry.
Despite being one of the smallest RNR units, HMS Hibernia maintains a busy training programme throughout the year for new entry training and is an important administrative centre for the many Reservists who regularly travel to Great Britain for specialist training and exercises. In recent years, many of its maritime reservists have also served abroad on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
HMS Hibernia is located within Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn, approximately 10 miles from Belfast city centre and is easily accessible by road, train and bus networks.
Royal Marines Reserve
A Royal Marines Reserve is a commando trained General Reserve contributing to a world class Navy, ready to fight and win.
All the volunteers within the RMR have passed through the same rigorous Commando Course as their regular Royal Marines counterparts. Volunteers may be civilians with no previous military experience, or have transferred from the TA or were former Royal Marines. The volunteers who make up the RMR are from varied backgrounds and are drawn from all walks of civilian life.
The RMR consists of approximately 600 trained ranks, who are distributed between the five RMR Centres within the UK. Approximately 10% of the RMR are working with the Regular Corps on long term attachments in all of the Royal Marines regular units.
A Royal Marines Reserve Detachment is located at Palace Barracks…
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