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Compulsory Redundancy for RN Personnel

Published: 27 Sep 2011

From the Daily Telegraph 27th September 2011 by Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondence.

Scores of sailors from Libya campaign to be axed

Hundreds of sailors including scores who risked their lives during the Libyan campaign are to be sacked this week, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

Several dozen out of the 250 sailors from the frigate Cumberland which helped evacuate British citizens and played a key role early in the operation will be told on Friday that they no longer have jobs in the Royal Navy.

Crew from eight of the 10 other warships that took part in the campaign will also be in line to be sacked, it can be disclosed.

It is understood that the Government will issue compulsory redundancy notices for up to 400 Navy officers and ratings out of its first tranche of 1,100 Navy personnel to be axed.

Cumberland, a Type 23 frigate, was the first warship to be on station enforcing the blockade on Libya.

In a further blow to the Navy, a number of Royal Marines coming to an end of their six month tour in Helmand also face the sack when the second tranche of redundancies is announced next March as the Navy reduces by 5,000 to just 30,000 personnel.

Under the Ministry of Defence ruling only those who are within six months of deploying for an operation are safe from redundancy.

This means that sailors from warships that at times came under fire from Col Gaddafi’s shore batteries will be chopped.

Serving Navy officers have called the move a “kick in the teeth for those who put their lives on the line to support of the government’s goals”.

A serving Navy commander said the redundancies come at a time when more than two thirds of the Navy is operationally deployed.

“We are approaching an untenable situation,” he told The Telegraph, “We have too few ships, too many commitments and too little money.

“The Royal Navy still has an enviable reputation but at present that reputation is fragile.”

Friday’s announcement is part of a wave of redundancies in the Armed Forces following last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review with 22,000 military posts eliminated, most by 2015.

The Navy losses come after more than 2,000 soldiers and 1,000 airmen were sacked earlier this month.

Vice Admrial Sir Jeremy Blackham, a former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, said:

“This will go down very badly with the crews who already feel let down by the defence cuts.

“We have a Secretary of State who on the one hand says the world is getting more dangerous than it’s ever been and on the other hand is determined to run the forces down willy-nilly.

He added that morale was being further damaged by politicians’ “constant denigration” of service chiefs.

There is also bitterness towards politicians after David Cameron, who praised both the RAF and Navy for their brave efforts in Libya, pledged that the Military Covenant was “what the country offers you in return for what you offer us”.

A MoD spokesman said: “The decisions we are making are not easy but they will help to defend the UK, protect our interests overseas and enable us to work effectively with allies to deliver greater security in the wider world.”

Also from the Daily telegraph.

Our sailors should be rewarded for Libya, not sacked

By Con Coughlin.So much for loyalty. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in making sure the Government's ill-advised adventure in Libya is successful, and the only reward it gets is to be told that scores of sailors who served in the campaign are to be sacked.

If ever there was an example of the Government failing to see the wood for the trees, this is it. For some bizarre reason the Coalition seems to have got it into its head that the best way to improve our military effectiveness is to slash key capabilities – such as the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal – and sack thousands of military personnel.

For a Government that has clearly developed an appetite for overseas military adventurism, this is a bizarre way to go about building military morale. On the one hand the Prime Minister expects our brave young men and women to risk their lives on behalf of his half-baked intervention in Libya. On the other he presides over a Government which has treated them with high-handed contempt since it first came to office and embarked on the most ambitious programme of slashing our defence capabilities for more than a century.

But Dave and co cannot have it both ways. If the Government carries on like this, the next time it calls on the military to intervene in another overseas campaign, it will suddenly discover that it no longer has the equipment or personnel to do so.


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