Canadian Navy must recruit 1,000 sailors to equip new warships, Vice-Admiral says



The Navy isn’t the only part of the Canadian Armed Forces facing a personnel shortage, as overall recruitment has dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic

Content of the article

OTTAWA – The Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy is sounding the alarm over a shortage of sailors, saying he needs about 1,000 additional sailors to outfit Canada’s warships.


Content of the article

Vice-Admiral Craig Baines told The Canadian Press in an interview that the Navy was able to cope with its current strength, but only because it has withdrawn three destroyers and two support ships that have yet to be replaced. .

“We have decommissioned five ships in the last seven or eight years, which is barely 1,000 people,” he said. “So we managed to alleviate somewhat the stress associated with the lack of 1,000 people. “

Yet the navy has already commissioned a new arctic offshore patrol vessel as part of the federal government’s multibillion-dollar effort to replace virtually all of the coast guard and aging naval fleets in the world. Canada.

And with more ships expected to arrive in the coming years, Baines said time is running out to bolster the ranks of the Navy and train these new sailors and prepare them for service before the ships arrive.


Content of the article

“As we start to introduce the new (ships) we know we have to fix this problem,” he said.

  1. The first vessel in the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships program, HMCS Harry DeWolf, was delivered to Canada on July 31, 2020.

    No more delays expected on new navy ships, warns DND report

  2. Artist's impression of the Type 26 world combat ship.

    PBO fails to explain why cost of new Canadian warship continues to rise

The Navy is not the only part of the Canadian Armed Forces facing a personnel shortage, with overall recruitment dropping dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and many training schools closed or working at reduced rates.

Canadian Forces officials said earlier this year that they are short of about 10,000 regular and reserve force members, which is about 10 percent of the total strength of the military.

This shortfall came despite increased pressures as the military was called upon to assist with numerous natural disasters as well as COVID-19 in Canada, while continuing to conduct operations around the world.


Content of the article

The Navy has deployed ships over the past year to the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Caribbean, while the new Arctic Patrol Ship has circled North America, crossing both the Northwest Passage and the Panama Canal.

Yet the Navy has struggled to attract new sailors, as has the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian shipping industry, as older sailors leave faster than they can be replaced and new technology causes shortages of certain skills.

Baines is in fact the latest in a growing line of Royal Canadian Navy commanders to worry about a shortage of sailors. Two years ago, before the pandemic, then Navy Commander Art McDonald told The Canadian Press the force needed an additional 850 bodies.


Content of the article

Even though almost all warships under construction are late, which means the Navy has time, this trend does not inspire confidence.

And while the replacements for the now retired Navy destroyers and support ships won’t arrive for years, the government predicts that more Arctic Patrol Ships will roll off the assembly line this year and the next year, all of which will need to be equipped.

Baines hopes efforts to reduce the time that potential recruits have to wait to get through the gate will be helpful, along with other initiatives designed by the Army’s human resources section and efforts to change the culture of the forces. armies.

“We have to be seen as an inclusive place,” he said. “We need to reflect the diversity of Canada. And there is a lot of untapped potential that we could only better attract as we make these changes. “



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a vibrant but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Check out our community guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Comments are closed.