Training / Courses in the Naval Service Reserve

Training is carried out throughout the various NSR unit locations around Ireland and in the Naval Base located in Haulbowline, Co. Cork. Certified courses are run in the state of the art facilities at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) near the Naval Base in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. A selection of the courses available are detailed below.

Sea Survival and Damage Control & Firefighting
The two main courses undertaken as a recruit are Sea Survival and Damage Control & Fire Fighting.

Sea Survival
This involves 2 days of intensive training on personal survival techniques (PST). The theory will be held in a classroom and the practical will be held at the training pool at the NMCI, where you will experience what you might expect in a real survival situation. In full wet weather gear and lifejackets, you will have to inflate and get into a life raft, learn to right a capsized life raft in simulated sea conditions.

Damage Control & Fire Fighting
This involves 3 days of intensive training on Damage Control and Fire Fighting. With the Fire Fighting training you will learn how to extinguish fires and escape smoke-filled compartments onboard a ship that could save you and your shipmates’ lives. You’ll be taught how to find, identify and extinguish fires of all types. You’ll also learn the proper way to open watertight doors, how to advance into smoke-filled areas carrying a fire hose while wearing an Oxygen Breathing Apparatus, as well as how to escape smoke-filled compartments.

During the Damage Control element of training you will be trained in leak stopping techniques. This is done in a specially built unit that simulates flooding damage to a ship and provides essential Damage Control training for new entry recruits.

Boat Training
The NSR operate various craft such as:

  • MTL Motor Training Launch
  • RIB Rigid Inflatable Boat

Courses are run at both unit location and in the NMCI. Courses will qualify personnel to be "coxswains" of these craft. They will be trained in the operation, mechanics, safety, navigation, and seamanship aspects for these vessels.

Weapons Training
As a member of the Naval Service Reserve, you will be trained on the Steyr Rifle, a semi automatic 5.56mm. You will receive training on Foot and Arms Drill, and also handling the Steyr Rifle for firing exercises on military ranges. There are annual shooting competitions for Reservists for both individual and team shots.

Communications is an integral part of the naval life.  At sea during training the NSR operate VHF radios.  You will receive full training on voice procedure at sea and the handling of VHF radios.  Also in the Maritime College courses are run for NSR personnel on the GMDSS radio - (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System).


Find out more about the Reserve Defence Forces