I feel compelled to write regarding your expose on Trident submarines (Trident whistleblower warns of disaster waiting to happen, News, May 17).

As an able seaman, William McNeilly undoubtedly is not qualified to understand, far less formulate, the conclusions reached on the majority of these issues, and having only completed one deterrent patrol he would not be fully qualified as a submariner, having not completed his BSQ (basic ships qualification) and his submariner part 3 training.

I speak on this matter with a great degree of experience having spent 25 years in the Royal Navy, 20 of those in Polaris (the forerunner of Trident) submarines, at a fairly senior level in the engineering department, in charge of high-pressure air and hydraulic systems, sanitary systems and ship-wide health and safety concerns, incorporating firefighting. Having completed 23 different patrols, I have a right to comment.

The problems Mr McNeilly highlights in his report are all minor incidents, and I'm sure some of the best London hotels experience blocked toilets sometimes. Each and every one of his complaints and observations can be explained logically, and at no time during these incidents would the safety and integrity of any nuclear missiles carried on board be in any way compromised.

Brian Mackenzie

Chair, Royal Naval Association

(Scottish area)