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Private Security Firms Poaching Elite Troops

Sky News   March 17, 2012

A boom in recruitment by security firms guarding ships against Somali pirates has caused a stream of troops to leave elite units for lucrative contracts in the private sector.

The loss of veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly corporals and sergeants, “rips the skeleton” from the bodies of units like the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment, the commander of 3 Commando during the Falklands War, Julian Thompson, has warned.

According to Ministry of Defence figures, 570 Royal Marines and 170 members of 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Parachute Regiment left the forces between 2009 and 2011.

Even though the figure for the Marines includes those who were medically discharged, the rate at which elite soldiers from both units have been leaving is around double the average.

Among the Marines, the MoD admitted, the bulk of those leaving voluntarily were senior privates, corporals and sergeants. These non-commissioned officers lead sections of around eight men, or platoons of around 30. They are responsible for life-and-death tactical decisions during fighting.

No definite data is available on what soldiers do when they leave the services but senior officers have been deeply concerned about the losses of experienced troops to the private security companies for more than a year.

“Anecdotally, between 1st June 2011 and 30th November 2011, 54 soldiers from 3 Para have applied for Premature Voluntary Release. Of these, 24 have claimed they were seeking work in the private security industry,” an MoD source said.

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March 17, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Maritime Security, Pirates, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment