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Naval Forces Capacity In Absolute Dire Straits - Tóibín

Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has expressed grave concerns over the operational capacity of our naval forces, as more examples of the decline and undermining of
our brave Defence Forces come to the fore.

Tóibín: “The revelations that the Naval Service has to continuously postpone seagoing missions due to compromised operational capacity are sadly unsurprising. The continued
neglect of our Defence Forces by successive FF-FG governments, has translated into our Defence Forces being unable in some instances to fulfil their constitutional duties. The Navy
has to continuously postpone seagoing missions, due to the lack of manpower to man the fleet at a given time. Ships in the Naval Service are operating with often the bare minimum of crew
to begin with. The slightest disruption or family emergency can mean that missions are called off due to manpower shortages and the lack of cover for qualified Naval Officers. Amidst a
global pandemic, it is inevitable that there will be an increase in requests under the Navy’s ‘family friendly policy’ for officers to take care of their family. Due to the cuts and the
underfunding of our Defence Forces, one officer having to take care of his family can be enough to ground an entire ship.”

“Two ships in our fleet are current tied up, with another almost tied up due to compromised operational capacity. This means our Naval Service has a meagre five ships available at any
given time, with two-three often at sea on patrol. The government has ordered the Naval Service to not reduce the number of available ships any further, but have done nothing to
address the manpower shortage and compromised operational capacity of the Naval Service. It is a sign of how out of touch this government is that they demand continued full operation
of our Naval Service, whilst gutting funding to our Defence Forces and ignoring the retention crisis crippling them. It is no wonder recruits to our Naval Services have no choice but to
leave the Defence Forces for greener pastures in the private sector.”

By Aontú Press | 29 October, 2020

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