Royal Navy sailors and staff in Portsmouth to learn their fate soon as Senior Service starts shake-up

HUNDREDS of office-based Royal Navy sailors and staff in Portsmouth will be told in the next few weeks that they need to fill frontline jobs at sea – or leave the Senior Service.

Sunday, 16th August 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th August 2020, 3:08 pm

The plans are part of a naval shake-up for the navy’s headquarters Whale Island revealed earlier this year. The First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said he wanted to make the service leaner and more efficient – which in turn would free up money to be invested at sea.

The Sun has reported that 400 land-based jobs will be axed, and that most of the staff will be told their options as they return from summer leave in the next few weeks.

Adm Radakin previously outlined plans to cut 1,000 jobs in Portsmouth, but this number has been reduced.

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The Royal Navy headquarters, Whale Island in Portsmouth Harbour Picture: Shaun Roster www.shaunroster.com

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Royal Navy to halve number of office staff in Portsmouth

It will take until 2023 to reach his target, The Sun said.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: ‘It’s not about cutting jobs but in­stead will place our talented personnel where they are needed the most — on the front line.

‘It will mean their skills and experience can be deployed around the world to better counter threats, offer aid and save lives.’

In January, it was reported that five of the 13 admirals based at Whale Island would lose their jobs and be replaced by more junior officers.

Adm Radakin previously told The News that in order to bring more sailors into front-line roles, he would change how ships are crewed. Currently, naval drafts to a ship can last a couple of years.

Instead he wants to create a new model of crewing ships, similar to those currently of minehunters of Gulf-based frigate HMS Montrose, which share crews on a rotational basis.

The 54-year-old said: ‘We’re going to try and double-crew another Type 23 [frigate] or Type 45 [destroyer]. Naval bases will come under the fleet commander as will operational sea training.

‘The aim is to strengthen the operational link of both maintenance and training. We need to get better in both areas.’