The Ballymena and Mid-Antrim area is set to play a key role in a major recruitment drive by the Royal Irish Regiment reserves.
The MOD has announced plans for up to 100 additional posts to be created by 2 Royal Irish in Northern Ireland with three centres playing a key role – Ballymena, Newtownabbey and Sunnyside Street in Belfast.
A marketing and outreach campaign is being launched to attract up to a 100 more part-time troops across the three locations. And its being backed by a series of open days at the centres, including one at Ballymena Army Reserves Centre on June 21, to give the public and potential recruits a chance to see the opportunities on offer.
Army Reserves from 2 Royal Irish have recently been on exercise, training and operations not only in Europe but also in Africa.
During the last 12 months the Battalion has deployed soldiers overseas on 13 occasions on four continents; from St Lucia to South Korea, and from Germany to Burundi.
As well as deployments to operations in Afghanistan and Cyprus, reservists have also deployed overseas to conduct training team tasks in East Africa, and a range of exercises across Europe and in Kenya.
2 R Irish are currently deployed in the Ukraine, building partnering capability and training the UKR Armed forces in Defensive operations alongside Medical and Logistic training teams.
The expansion follows recent plans announced to move a platoon of 30 personnel into Sunnyside Army Reserves Centre in Belfast, as well as an additional platoon each into Ballymena and Newtownabbey. We have immediate openings for 100 soldiers offering them training and fulfilling roles as infantrymen, chefs, signallers, drivers, mechanics, musicians and medics,” Captain Rocky Mallon, Project Officer said.
He added: “We are looking for people from right across the community who are generally fit and keen to succeed. We will do the rest including training, mentoring and development.
“From the moment they join the Battalion you are paid for every days training as well as substantial bonus packages ranging from £300 after passing Army selection to £1000 on passing Phase One training and then another £1000 on passing Phase Two training.”
For more information search “Army Reserve” at www.army.mod.uk