The Australian Defence Force is exploiting forced cutbacks in military spending in Britain and other Western countries, embarking on an unprecedented drive to recruit laid-off soldiers, sailors and air crew.
Defence, which has struggled to fill recruitment quotas in the face of increasing competition from the lucrative private sector, is seeking highly skilled specialists such as fighter pilots, special forces officers and submarine crews. And as an incentive, it is prepared to offer a fast track to Australian citizenship for so-called "lateral recruits" after just three months' service.
The Australian has learned that the Royal Australian Navy recently sent a delegation to Britain to investigate the availability of recently retrenched sailors, particularly those with engineering experience.
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