Royal Navy Begs Redundant Sailors To Return
Defence cuts and previous strategic reviews have left the Royal Navy so short of engineers that commanders are laying out millions of pounds in the hope of persuading sailors to come back to the service.
The U-turn comes after the Navy spent £10 million on redundancy payments for 500 engineers in 2011. With increased demand from the private sector and the changing face of naval warfare the Senior Service is now "seeking to re-recruit" Marine Engineers, Weapon Engineers and Submariners to fill a 250 person strong shortfall in staff.
A £2.5 million recruitment drive titled "(Re)Live A Life Without Limits" is part of an attempt to persuade former staff into "re-starting their careers tomorrow".
Royal Navy Begs Redundant Sailors To Return
Last year, HMS Richmond withdrew from a major Nato exercise in the Med after just 3 of its engineers fell ill.
"If you miss the camaraderie, variety and challenge of engineering in the Navy then we can offer a tailored re-entry that could allow you to continue your rating career where you left off."
Senior commanders have had to turn their attention to the US Coastguard by borrowing 36 engineers to plug the gap. In the midst of all this is a separate recruitment drive in Commonwealth countries to find new engineers. 
Ahead of an imminent Strategic Defence Review, Admiral Lord West, a former head of the Royal Navy, said the situation was "ludicrous".
Adding: "Time and again we have been too fast to discard the services of highly trained people only to be caught short later on. We should be very wary in the future of discarding highly skilled people because inevitably circumstances change and you need them back."