Times: Letters To The Editor: "Navy Shows Way"

The Times, Saturday March 9 2013, page 27

Letters To The Editor

Navy Shows Way

Sir, The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), formed in 1905, provides fuel, ammunition and supplies for ships of the Royal Navy and friendly foreign navies, around the globe. It is fully integrated into the RN's command and control system yet its civilian-manned ships are never far from the front line, as the RFA's outstanding record in the Falklands conflict showed.

The Government would do well to bear this model in mind when considering "civilianisation" of other parts of the uniformed services, whether armed or not. For example, eight squadrons of the RAF's support aircraft of No. 2 Group are flown by RAF personnel, yet provide a similar function to the RFA's support of the fleet.

The senior service has surely proved, for more than a century, that its civilian-run frontline support is operationally effective and cost-efficient.

The RAF should no longer man its tanker and transport fleet with uniformed airmen, thus helping to reduce the cost of its operations.

Lester May
Lt-Cdr, RN (ret'd)
London NW1


Lantern Swinger
Thats not fair, taking a cushy number away from the crabs, after all what will they do when too old and slow for fast jets (if we have any).