Captain Jerry Kyd of Britain's most powerful ship ever, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, has urged the Royal Navy to recruit several thousand additional sailors in order "to bring the fleet up to strength," according to The Telegraph.
"It would be lovely if we had another 10,000 people in the Navy. […] It is not numbers as such, it is the right quality of people in the right numbers in the right areas," Kyd emphasized.
He said in this context that retention rather than recruitment remains a "constant battle" for senior naval officers.
Kyd added that ensuring balance across different branches of the Royal Navy is still an issue as the navy continues to deploy new vessels to the fleet and adapt itself to new challenges.
"This again is why we are looking at innovative manning. It is a constant battle — you have to have a strategy which balances your ends, ways and means," he pointed out.
Kyd referred to the combination of sophisticated aircraft carriers, as well as naval destroyers, submarines and jets which he said probably means that it is the "most potent military task group we will have put together since 1982."
"It is a strategic and political tool, […] it is all about deterrence," he pointed out.
Earlier, the UK's National Audit Office said in a report that the navy's manpower shortage stood at 16 percent between 2016 and 2017.
The 71,650-ton Queen Elizabeth has been undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Scotland's Rosyth dockyard in June. The aircraft carrier is due to enter operational service in 2