First Sea Lord warns of more rounds of job losses

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope

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SAILORS were warned they face at least another three rounds of redundancies as the Royal Navy seeks to slash 5,000 jobs by 2015.

In a leaked memo to naval staff, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: ‘There will be up to three further tranches of redundancy delivered by April 2015, to enable the manpower reductions required.

‘The next step will be a single Tranche 2 announcement for all three services, expected in early 2012.

‘I fully understand what an unsettling time this is for many of you and your families and I have directed that you are to be kept fully informed of any further developments as the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme progresses.’

Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a former commanding officer who is now a defence and security expert, is concerned the navy could lose the experts it needs.

He said: ‘At the end of the day, you can’t complain about manpower going if the capability has gone. But what we have to look at carefully is that we do not lose our expertise in the areas we are world experts, such as anti-submarine warfare, aviation, submarine warfare and mine warfare.

‘I think if everything gets shaved off we will hollow out in terms of our expertise which is a big worry.’

Commodore Michael Mansergh, Director Naval Personnel, said there were ‘plans already in place’ to fill any expertise gaps despite job cuts.