Two Month’s Paid Vacation for Australian Navy

Australia temporarily shuts down navy

This sound like something out of The Onion:

CANBERRA, Australia – Australia’s navy gets a big Christmas gift this year: two months paid vacation for most sailors that will ease the effects of a recruiting slump but make the service Down Under look something like a part-time operation.

The navy hopes that by making life on the sea more family-friendly, it will attract the extra 2,000 sailors it needs achieve its target strength of 15,000.

All ships and subs not on operational deployments will be recalled to port and the personnel, apart from a “skeleton crew” for security will be given extra time off. Apparently there is usually some sort of a break at this time of the year.

Neil James, executive director of the independent security think-tank Australian Defense Association, agreed the shutdown was not radically different from previous years, although it was a few weeks longer and would involve more ships remaining in dock.

More ships for longer. Sounds pretty different to me.

If the only way to recruit more people is to turn off the navy for two months out of every year, what’s the point of recruiting more people?


  1. Jeez.

    It’s not like the world couldn’t use a few extra naval patrols somewhere.

    Like, say, SOMALIA!!!

  2. Oh. My. God. 15,000 sailors to protect a continent. For 10 months per year at least. An island continent. With a tiny chunk of it on another island over in Tasmania. 15,000 people defending it.

    This is as stunning as when Murdoc made clear last Friday that 5.56mm is really just a .22 bullet with more gunpowder. Australia defends its massive borders with 15k people, and the west sends its troops to battle with modified .22s.

    I don’t think I can handle any more news from you, Murdoc. What’s next, our ships are made out of particle board to lower the metal costs?

  3. Kevin,

    I take it, you didn’t get the particle board memo from the Office of the SecNav? 🙂 I’ll have you placed on the CC: list.


    Australia’s population is listed as slightly more than 21 million. How’s 15,000 Naval personnel/21 million compare to us? Though Kevin’s point about 15,000 guarding them is even more valid for that. They’ve got more coast line than us, and a bunch of pirating to their north in the Indonesia/Malaysia/SE Asiaian seas area too. Damn! I could be a privateer security contractor. Where’s me parrot, Mr. Jibs? 🙂

    I was talking with a friend recently (veteran of the UK Military–contracting for several years now, like me), about vacation (holiday to him) times for the US and UK. He asked me how much leave our Military gets? I told him, 30 days per year. He said something like, My God, I’d forgotten how dreadful your leave standards are over there.

    Which got me to thinking, I’ve seen or read several stories recently, about the level of undiagnosed, untreated stress or worse, PTSD amongst the troops returning from deployment (or multiple deployments) to the Sandbox or the Stan. While 30 days leave per year is probably fine for State side basing (or Europe/Japan, etc) it’s pretty piss poor for being in a war zone.
    I find it odd that most reputable security companies deploying personnel in high risk/high stress jobs frequently mandate 90 days on and 30 days off. Yea…….that’s 90 days off per year. Why our troops aren’t getting at least 60 off per year when on deployment is beyond me…….I’ve got to think it would help, in reducing the problems noted above by giving these folks more time off to decompress and normalise themselves.

    Just a thought.

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