The Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Jerry Kyd, has said that recruitment is a “constant battle” and that it would be “lovely” if the Royal Navy had an extra 10,000 personnel.
Speaking from Manhattan, where the aircraft carrier is currently moored, Captain Kyd said:
"It is a constant battle - you have to have a strategy which balances your ends, ways and means.”
He added that he would like to grow the number of personnel in the senior service:
"It would be lovely if we had another 10,000 people in the Navy... we are OK, we are balanced, we are getting back into balance.
"What is probably the most challenging is making sure there is balance across the different branches of the Navy.
"It is not numbers as such, it is the right quality of people in the right numbers in the right areas."
Captain Kyd added that the combination of HMS Queen Elizabeth, new jets, Type 45 destroyers and Astute-class submarines means the Royal Navy will likely have the "most potent a military task group we will have put together since 1982".
He added that the addition of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, mean a "truly profound change for the Royal Navy": "And I think very much signposts the future for the Royal Navy for the next 50 years.
"It is transformational for us in so many ways."
His remarks were echoed by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, who on a visit to the ship on Saturday, said: "It is quite obvious to me that she [Queen Elizabeth] is going to be an enormous asset to the Royal Navy, and really is an outward sign of rebirth of the Royal Navy, and actually a much more global Navy”.