The former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West was prominent on the media yesterday when he criticised the decision by the MoD to sack about 350 sailors from the Royal Navy. These personnel had not applied for redundancy.
A total of about 1020 Navy staff have been told they are being made redundant in the first round of military job losses, a third of them compulsory. Approximately 810 sailors applied for redundancy but only 670 are being allowed to leave. The Royal Marines are exempt from the current round of redundancies.
Specified naval personnel were instructed to notify those who have been selected for redundancy either face-to-face in their Ship or establishment or where this is not possible, by telephone. Callously the military are still sacking staff by telephone. The order also stated '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 [those who did not apply for redundancy] will serve up to 12 months notice and the aim is for them to be employed in the UK by 30 June 2012'.
While Liam Fox refuses to take any responsibility for his decision and prefers to blame the redundancies on the ineptitude of the military brass, some sailors deployed in war zones must be feeling distraught knowing that, within a year they will no longer be part of the Navy.
Earlier this month about 920 soldiers and 930 RAF personnel were told they too were being made redundant - 750 of them against their will.
Is it any wonder morale is at an all-time low?
This is only the first round of redundancies within the military. Tranche 2 is due early in 2012 and there will be two further tranches to be delivered by April 2015.