Australian Navy in an engineering crisis: Report

11:18, February 20, 2011      

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Australian navy is facing a critical shortage of engineers to maintain and run its fleet, according to an internal navy report released by local media on Saturday.

The November 2009 Report on the Strategic Review of Naval Engineering obtained by The Australian said the navy engineering has reached a critical low point and is rocked by "cancerous" morale problems, a massive shortfall in numbers and a broken management system.

"The current situation has an urgency and a criticality that cannot be overstated," the report said. "Navy is potentially exposed due to the poor state of engineering policy should there be further accidents."

The navy's engineering report said the navy has failed to upgrade the skills of its engineers to prepare them "to manage the challenges of new capabilities such as air warfare destroyers, landing helicopter dock ships and new submarines".

Much of the report focuses on personnel, skills and training, noting that the navy's need for engineering knowledge and experience has never been greater but that the current status is cause for "grave concern".

The navy has initiated a "remediation plan" and this week. Defence Minister Stephen Smith also appointed businessman Paul Rizzo to head a team of experts to improve the management and repair of naval ships.

Source: Xinhua
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