From Thomas Harding, the Telegraph: One of the Royal Navy’s most senior officers has expressed serious concerns over the loss of skilled aircraft carrier crew following redundancies.
The officer, who plays a key role in maintaining the Fleet, has also told colleagues that there are substantial doubts over whether the Navy will have enough sailors to man its ships after it will lose one in seven sailors in defence cuts. . . .
Another officer has told The Telegraph that the loss of carrier deck handling skills could prove "disastrous" with fatal accidents caused by inexperienced ratings.
His warning came on the day that the Ministry of Defence announced 1,020 sailors have been sacked, including 350 compulsory redundancies, with dozens coming from warships that have fought in the Libya campaign.
With a total of 5,000 officers and ratings going over the next three years there are substantial fears that there will not be enough sailors to man the 42 surface ships left in the Fleet.
With the Navy’s 7,000 Royal Marines and 4,000 men from the Submarine Service protected from cuts there will be only 19,000 sailors left to man the surface fleet. (photo: EPA)