Armed forces personnel numbers don’t stack up – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Lester May, Reachview Close, Camden Town, London.

Does Britain's military have sufficient personnel?

THE Chancellor has launched Spending Review 21, which will conclude alongside the Autumn Budget.

Last week, quarterly service personnel statistics were published. The Treasury, which is seeking savings across Whitehall, should review these statistics.

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The RAF’s aircraft numbers are down but its personnel have increased to some 33,370, such that there are now fully 50 uniformed RAF regulars for each and every one of the 586 powered aircraft of all types, and the 81 gliders, in the Royal Air Force fleet.

Does Britain's military have sufficient personnel?

The Royal Navy has 34,040 regulars, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary 1,922 all told. The Navy has, for the first time in decades, more personnel than the RAF. The budgets for both services are broadly similar and the RAF maintains a structure of air officers similar to its Royal Navy equivalent.

It would require Sir Humphrey on top form to explain why the RAF maintains a 100 per cent structure to operate 75 per cent of the Ministry of Defence’s aircraft.

The Chancellor would likely be interested in the answer. It’s the anniversary of the Battle of Britain this week but, in Whitehall, the Battle of Budgets is about to begin.

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