Colonel Bob Stewart, a member of the defence select committee, said Monday that the Royal Navy was in a ‘perilous situation’.
Former military top brass tell the Daily Mail, that the Navy, Army and RAF have been hit with “massive manpower shortages” following devastating cuts to Britain’s Armed Forces.
The Royal Navy needs 4,000 extra sailors to man its ships and submarines.
Navy chiefs are hoping to recruit hundreds of foreign fighters from “at least six nations” over the next decade. They’re hoping this measure will help boost force numbers and fill a gap in manpower.
Retired Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham warned: ‘From a naval point of view, there is a serious problem. The new measure could include recruiting engineers and other specialists from other services, like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France and the US.
Over the next ten years, “hundreds of personnel” could be loaned to the Navy from abroad, officials said.
The military faced devastating cuts during an Armed Forces shake-up in 2010, when the Royal Navy and RAF each lost thousands of posts, according to the Daily Mail.
Former head of the RAF, Sir Michael Graydon, said in London earlier this week: ‘There are some key manpower issues there, they are having to really rally around and get people from all over the place to fill some of those holes, from abroad if necessary.’
Sir Michael and Sir Jeremy were speaking as part of the Lobby group, the UK National Defence Association, as they unveiled a guide to evaluating the current “Strategic Defence and Security” review. That review will determine the future size of Britain’s military next month.
Col Richard Kemp, a commander of British forces in Afghanistan, added: ‘It is quite shocking that this country, which has produced the world’s greatest Navy, should feel it should have to resort to recruiting from other countries in order to manage the very tiny Navy we’ve got today.”