Saluting service personnel

DEFENCE cuts, and the possible consequences to our country by their induction into practice by thoughtless Defence Ministry officials, who comprehend more about expense claims rather than the perils of war.

As an old salt I refer to the cuts, and possible future cuts, the Royal Navy is undergoing.

We live in a country surrounded by the sea, with our imports into Britain running at 90 per cent from abroad, entering our ports from dockyards of the world.

Merchant ships on the high seas are subject to piracy even in modern times and that is one job undertaken by our navy.

That is what the Royal Navy is all about, with support for our land forces where action prevails.

Our navy deploys 30 ships and submarines worldwide, as well as supporting our land services in operations in numerous horrendous conflicts.

All seas, along with far-flung global outposts, are a Pandora’s box of complex intrigue, suspicion and terror, with despotic overlords subduing and abusing their citizens.

If our Government intends to free people from tyranny, cutting our armed forces is not the answer to tackling problems wherever they may be found.

A ship building programme is in place in Britain to construct two aircraft carriers and three new type 45 Astute subs.

Also on the drawing board are six type 26 global combat ships and three support vessels.

Unfortunately they will take time to construct and build.

Our navy is not the Armada it was in the 1930s, 40s and 50s but it performs above its strength in the seas of the world.

Its presence is felt, even though the landlubbers in the Ministry of Defence, sitting in their cosy offices, decimated the defence budget of all our armed forces, possibly to the humiliation of our great country.

I salute the service personnel of this great nation and say God bless you all, every “man Jack and Jill” of you who serve and die in the name of democracy.

Fred Gibbon,

Masefield Road,

Hartlepool.