Future navy manpower fears

A soldier with the 4th Mechanised Brigade is pictured engaging the enemy during Operation Qalb in Helmand, Afghanistan. PPP-151019-121639001

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THE head of the Royal Navy has claimed defence cuts will leave its two supercarriers without sufficient manpower.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said the UK will not be able to operate both Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers in 2020 if it is reduced to 29,000 personnel in line with current planning.

‘There’s a people issue here,’ said Admiral Stanhope. ‘I don’t have enough people in a 29,000 navy to operate two aircraft carriers.’ He added: ‘We in the navy have one of the most complicated tasks because we deliver a competency across the air, sea and land interface

‘Delivering that capability with a number which will be 29,000 people in 2020 is a concern, and we’ve got to get this modelling absolutely right.’