Leaked: First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope statement on Royal Navy redundancies

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

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THE head of the Royal Navy issued a statement to all sailors this morning after the government axed 1,020 serving men and women.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope expressed his sympathy with the 350 sailors who were forced out of the navy and said the service faces up to three more rounds of job cuts as it attempts to cut 5,000 jobs by 2015.

The internal memo, which has been leaked, said: ‘Today, the Royal Navy will notify those of our people who have been selected for redundancy in Tranche 1 of the Armed Forces’ Redundancy Programme. Notifications will be made by Commanding Officers or a delegated Notifying Officer, either face-to-face in their Ship or establishment, or, where this is not possible, by telephone. ‘Approximately 1,020 people will be notified that they are to be made redundant of whom around 670 are Applicants and 350 Non-applicants.

‘For the majority of those who have been selected, this is the result of a decision on their part to apply to be considered for redundancy, and they may feel that this opens the door to a different career and exciting new opportunities. For many others, who have not fully contemplated the prospect of redundancy, this news is likely to be unexpected and unwelcome. There will also be some who, as Applicants, have not been selected for redundancy and may be disappointed by that outcome. To ensure confidentiality, these individuals will be informed by personal letter, which will be dispatched by post today; the fact that they were Applicants will only be known to the Fleet Redundancy Cell and members of the relevant Selection Board. Provided that they are eligible in a future tranche, they will have the opportunity to apply to be considered again.

‘Each of those selected, either as an Applicant or Non-applicant, will be given a personally addressed letter explaining the decision that has been made together with a forecast of the financial implications of their selection. This will be accompanied by a written guide, detailing the sources of advice and support available to them during the career transition process. I recognise that for all those who will be made redundant, the news that will be delivered today will mark a significant change in their lives affecting them as individuals and their families. As they prepare to return to civilian life, they will all receive the full support of the Divisional System and their Chain of Command and will receive a comprehensive resettlement package to assist with this transition.

‘There are a number of people who have today been notified of redundancy who are deployed or serving overseas. Arrangements will be made to return them to the UK in sufficient time to start the resettlement process. Applicants selected for redundancy will serve up to 6-months’ notice and the aim is for them to be employed in the UK by 16 December 2011. Non-applicants will serve up to 12-months notice and the aim is for them to be employed in the UK by 30 June 2012. This will inevitably result in a degree of ‘churn’ as people are moved between units. Those personnel who, through their contribution to operations at sea or on land, qualify for an Operational Exemption from Tranche 1 of the Redundancy Programme, have not been selected unless they are Applicants.

‘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 3 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.

‘Finally, 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. Do not underestimate what you have achieved in the Service, or the value that others will place on your experience gained in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. However long you have served, your professionalism and dedication to duty are greatly appreciated by me and my colleagues on the Navy Board, and we are indebted to you for the commitment you have shown.’