Navy cuts dozens of jobs

AXED Royal Navy personnel
AXED Royal Navy personnel

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SAILORS serving on ships all around the world found out they were out of a job as the navy axed 170 jobs.

For 120 personnel, the news did not come as a shock because they had applied for voluntary redundancy.

But it is a devastating blow for the other 50 men and women. The latest job losses follow 1,020 naval redundancies last year.

The wife of one Portsmouth-based sailor, who wished to remain anonymous, told The News: ‘I can’t believe it. He’s been in the navy for more than 10 years and it’s all he’s ever known. We don’t know what to do next.

‘He called me up earlier and he was upset. It’s such a shock – he feels so angry and let down and so do I.’

The job cuts are the second and final full tranche of redundancies imposed on the navy to meet the MoD’s target of reducing the service by 5,000 sailors by 2015.

One hundred ratings and 70 officers were informed they will leave the service within the next 12 months.

This includes five Commodores and 10 Captains.

Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery, issued a statement to all naval staff yesterday.

He said: ‘To those of you who have been selected for redundancy, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have contributed to the service and to the nation’s security.

‘However long you have served, I am indebted to you for the commitment, professionalism and dedication to duty you have shown.’

A navy spokesman confirmed some of those who’ll be out of a job are currently serving overseas, but was unable to comment on specific ships or units.

The number of redundancies announced was lower than anticipated.

When consultation began in January, the navy said it intended to cut 400 jobs.

The spokesman said the figure ended up being lower through not replacing sailors who leave after completing 22 years of service, not extending contracts, limiting promotion prospects and slowing down recruitment levels.

The army also announced it was making 2,900 soldiers redundant yesterday. The Royal Air Force cut 730 posts.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond said the job cuts were required to plug the MoD’s £38bn budget deficit.

He said: ‘Of course I regret that it has been necessary to make redundancies to deliver our plans for reducing the size of the armed forces.’