A Chester soldier has just got back from a week’s skiing competition in Val D’Isere, France.
Ryan McAnerney is a soldier serving with C (Cheshire Yeomanry) Squadron, The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry (RMLY) based at Fox Barracks in Chester.
Aged 21, Ryan lives in Northwood, Shropshire and serves as an Army Reserve soldier with the Chester-based Light Reconnaissance Unit.
Ryan joined the Army Reserve 12 months ago after meeting the recruiting team.
Ryan went to Navigation Primary School in Altrincham, Parrswood High School in Didsbury and then studied at Deeside College in North Wales so had plenty of friends in the Chester area.
After completing his Army recruit training at Pirbright near Aldershot last July, Ryan has been concentrating on his Phase 2 specialist training, including Bowman Radio Signals, Machine Gun course and is currently studying for his theory and practical test to gain his Light Goods Vehicle licence.
He said: “Joining the Army Reserve has opened up so many different opportunities. I have done things that I would never have had the opportunity to do as a civilian.”
Ryan joined 150 other Army Reserve Officers and Soldiers for a week’s skiing instruction and competition in Val D’Isere, all from the Yeomanry, the UK’s Army Reserve Cavalry and part of the Royal Armoured Corps.
“This was my first skiing exercise with the Army Reserve” said Ryan. “Four days of skiing tuition under instruction, improving our skiing techniques.
“We were also able to explore the Val D’Isere and Tignes mountain ranges travelling in excess of 30 miles each day on skis.
As a member of the Army Reserve, Ryan is paid for the time he trains; Army Reserve soldiers also receive annual tax free training incentives, paid leave and a contribution towards their travel cost from home to place of duty.
“On the final two days we were all expected to take part in the Regimental Skiing competition, aimed at all levels of expertise, a Grand Slalom, each competitor had two goes with a combined time to win.”
Although Ryan did not win any medals in the Slalom, his team did win the final day Regimental cross country skiing and orienteering competition around Valdisere and Tignes mountains.
When not training with the Army Reserve , Ryan enjoys going to the gym and playing golf.
Ryan is employed by Airbus as an apprentice in Aircraft manufacture.
He has been with the Hawarden-based company for two-and-a-half years.
“Airbus have been very supportive of my Army Reserve career” said Ryan. “I learn many transferable skills with the Army Reserve which has also given me more confidence and helps maintain my fitness.” All Army Reserve soldiers based in Chester receive free sports facility membership to Chester West and Cheshire Council facilities, swimming and use of the gym help maintain soldiers fitness, something they are tested on regularly.
Ryan is now looking forward to gaining his light goods vehicle licence so he can drive the Regiment’s armoured land rovers the Weapon Mounted Installation Kit or “WMIK” for short.
In September, he will be off to Denmark for two weeks overseas training exercise with the Chester-based unit.