According to The Irish Times, the Naval Service is operating with about a third of the required number of personnel needed to safely maintain its weapons.
There are currently only three armourers, also known as armament artificers, in the Naval Service. Between nine and 12 are needed to service and maintain the heavy weapons aboard the fleet’s nine vessels, military sources say.
Some or all of the armourers currently in service recently expressed a desire to leave the Naval Service but were persuaded to stay with an offer of increased pay last week.
Instead of being paid on the so-called “tech five” rate, they will now be paid on the “tech six” rate, which is reserved for highly skilled technicians.
Losing the technicians would have left the Naval Service unable to use its large weapons, even for training purposes.
The newspaper has more including concerns over safety implications.