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The Royal Marines and the UK amphibious capability web forum

Defence Committee

Recent reports suggested that the Government is considering changes to the amphibious capability of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines as part of the ongoing National Security Capability Review. The House of Commons Defence Committee invited members of the public to share their views on the potential impact of these changes.

The Defence Committee asked for public views on the following questions:

  • How important is the amphibious capability provided by the Royal Marines and Albion class ships to the UK?
  • What is the likely impact on unit morale and satisfaction with Service life if the reported changes and reductions are implemented?
  • What is the likely impact on the communities where these capabilities are based if the reported changes and reductions are implemented?

Deadline for submission to the web forum was Thursday 21 December 2017.

Return to the Royal Marines and the UK amphibious capability inquiry

954 Contributions (since 27 November 2017)
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Total results 954 (page 11 of 96)

Kevin Sowersby

06 December 2017 at 07:23

Around fifty percent of special forces are from the RM’s which should be reason enough not to cut the RM’s below critical mass. Our armed forces have been cut to the bone and the removal of the ability to land opposed at a point that we choose with the full range of military equipment is one of the key caperbilities of our military. The RM’s and the landing ships would be a very retrograde step these forces can operate across the spectrum from humanitarian aid and disaster relief to full spectrum conflict and indeed I can see justification to fund operation of the landing ships and the marines from the foreign aid budget. Flexible and responsive the amphibious forces provide a massive range of options that can be quietly pre-positioned and remain poised out of sight for prolonged periods or respond quickly and carry out overt exercises with allies to deter. A more ridiculously financially motivated cut of our forces would be difficult to imagine if you had not already carried out the horrifically stupid cutting of our carrier caperbilitiy and recently modernised Harriers just prior to the events in Lybia.

Charles Roberts

06 December 2017 at 06:05

If you are not aware the British people have had enough of the cuts to our armed forces. Once such a precious thing like the Royal Marines And Navy have gone we will never ever get it back. Also our standing in the world will decline even further than it has. Stop Foreign aid and put the money back into our Country.

Derek Ashurst

05 December 2017 at 21:25

The Royal Marines are the U.K.s premier fighting force. A large percentage of UKSF, are picked from their ranks. Removal of the amphibious capability coupled with reduction in the numbers of Royal Marines, is disastrously short sighted. How else are we supposed to get our forces ashore? The Royal Marines are trained to take and hold a beach, to allow further troops to get ashore! Without this capability, options will be severely limited. Insertion by helo or parachute against an even lightly defended position would cost more lives! Keeping one ship at extended readiness will not work! What happens when the other requires deep maintenance? The Royal Navy already bears many gaps in capability, anti ship missiles, sea launched or airborne, fast jets for QEC, not enough people to man all of our ships, unreliable T45 propulsion, one more cut will massively affect morale. It's ok to say we are investing in the future and in 5-10 years time these problems will be sorted, as long as the government don't send us to war before then! Lots of support jobs in Plymouth dockyard and supporting civilian businesses will be lost. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR COUNTRIES SECURITY, DO NOT MAKE FURTHER CUTS TO THE ROYAL NAVY OR ROYAL MARINES.

Rain Burston

05 December 2017 at 20:46

It would be folly to make cuts to the Royal Marines. Amphibious warfare, mountain warfare and arctic warfare capability in which the Marines excel, would be lost. The aid given after recent storms in the Caribbean and Philippines ould not be able to be carriied out or beach landings such as took place in the Falklands war a thing of the past. Does this Government believe we will not need these requirements in the future. As I said - folly!

Simon Molyneux

05 December 2017 at 20:13

I am extremely concerned about the present state of our country's defences in general, and I think the proposal to consider reducing our amphibious capability is highly dangerous. Basically, capability is made up of men, equipment and training; deterrence is made up of Capability and Resolve. Reducing our present pared down capability will make it extremely difficult to increase it again in the future as it takes a great deal of time to train personnel, particulalry as any reduction will send a message to those involved in amphibious capability that they are not considered important, which will impinge on morale and reduce effectiveness. At the moment we have agreements to help many overseas territories and countries, Coming to the defence of some of them may well require a strong amphibious capability. Reducing this capability would signal that we are to so likely to help in any future crisis. I understand that more resources need to be put into combatting the cyber warfare threat, but this threat is (fairly) new. And that is the point: it is new. Therefore we have to allocate new resources to it at the expense of existing resources only if the existing threats are diminished, and I don't believe they are. To justify reducing current capabilities by referring to cyber threats is not credible. At the moment those who wish us harm must be thinking that all they have to do is wait a little longer and we'll be defenceless. We simply must spend more on defence, and to even consider reducing a capability such as the amphibious capability and the crack Royal Marines would seem to those who threaten us to be akin to preparing a white flag. There is a strong military case for increasing all aspects of our defences, but there is also the personal and industrial case as the knock-on effect on many people both directly and indirectly would be significant.

Richard Early

05 December 2017 at 19:45

Sir, I write this with shock and disfavour. The thought of the Royal Marines being further cut in their Manpower and loss of the Two dedicated ships that are vital to their duties and the security of this Country. I feel you all should remember the words of the Lord St Vincent in 1802 "I never knew an appeal made to them for honour, courage, or loyalty that they did not more than realize my highest expectations. If ever the hour of real danger should come to England they will be found the Country's Sheet Anchor.” I sincerely hope that those making any such decision to reduce the finest Corp of highly trained Men who are capable of deploying anywhere in the World at a moments notice, totally self-sufficient and able to defend themselves and others in need, in a professional manner. The Corp prides itself in being able to deploy in ships to assist foreign powers in need and the civilian populace in need. Those two ships are a necessity to complete those tasks. HMS Albion and Bulwark were made specifically for the transportation of 3 Commando Brigade RM and their heavy equipment. Without them you will loose that capability. These ships in turn will need repairs and refits, therefore two ships should be available to rotate and cover those duties. Can you fill the gap left if you remove the ships and the Manpower? NO, anyone you bring in to fill the gap, will not have the training or the experience to support the RMs on the Ground without a serious concerned for the loss of life. This will cause a lower level of Morale within Units. I am getting concerned over the stripping of this Country’s Defences, we were once a proud Island that could defend itself and others without question with the finest troops in the World. I doubt very much we could recover the Falklands again. Those in power who make decisions like these, should I feel be made responsible for them.

Rachael Hyde

05 December 2017 at 19:32

What is happening to common sense and logic?This country needs Royal Marines more than ever during such unsettled and unchartered times. Absolutely Appalling. It beggars belief!

Bradley Matthews

05 December 2017 at 19:19

Any major conflict from Napoleon to Iraq, all needed an Amphibious Assault Capability and as we are an island the only way we get around the world is by crossing the Sea/Ocean. 3 Points to Note: 1: Scrapping HMS Ocean makes perfect sense because the crew, both Air and Sea crews are needed for the new carriers. (Note Major Issue here is Staff Shortage). The new carriers can perform the Air Aspect of an amphibious assault just as well as HMS Ocean could, whilst still keeping our Expensive Carrier far enough off shore to still be defended, don't park the £3.5bn ship + Aircraft Cost just off the beach please. 2. Scrapping the Albion Class makes no sense. a) The crews are not needed elsewhere more than where they are currently. b) The Albion’s do something the new carriers cannot do: Perform Amphibious Assault by Sea and not just people, Tanks and Heavy Equipment in full Assault Fashion and form a solid beachhead, why because they have a well deck. When you assault a beach you need 3 things, the ability to perform the initial assault (with tanks/heavy equipment), reinforcements, the three bay class ships on the RFA provide the reinforcements, supplies, which come from others vessels. But without the Albion Class we will only be able to perform minor light incursions with troops and light vehicles airlifted in from the new carriers. c) They are relatively cheap compared to an Aircraft Carrier. Therefore you can send them within launching distance of the breach and assault (just off shore), unlike a Carrier (£3.5bn+£1.2bn (12Jets*£100m) + Helicopters etc.) Carrier £5,000m vs Albion £225m. From a military standpoint it’s cheap. d) The only time the Albion class should be retired is when a new better Assault ship with a well deck is built, similar to the French Minstrel Class or Canberra class. 3. Side Note: The Navy needs more Frigates. The Type 45’s outclass their predecessor in air defence the Type 42. However submarines pose a threat to all ships, including our assault ships therefore if we are to have a set number of capital ships we need a sufficient number of submarine hunting frigates to protect them. Even if we have 8 Dedicated ASW Frigates Type 26 and 5 more GP Frigates Type 31 it is probably insufficient. This is one area where the number of hulls as well as the number of ASW helicopters matter. It might be prudent to have smaller cheaper ASW frigates in greater numbers even if they only carry 32 Sea Ceptor Missiles quad packed into 8 Vertical Launch Tubes for anti-air as this may allow for more Frigate hulls in the future, they would still carry the same amount of missiles the Type 23 did when it entered service. Conclusion Don't cut the Royal Marines they work hard and train hard and you do them a disservice by firing any of them. So keep out must valued assets the Royal Marines and how to deploy them our Albion Class.

Brian Williams

05 December 2017 at 19:06

If this was being facilitated properly why would you let the Navy manage the budget of the Royal Marines? That’s like letting the Army decide the manpower of the RAF. That’s not strategic at all; it’s non-sensical. Of course there should be periodic reviews of the Armed Forces, especially in times of austerity. However, a review of the Marines should be undertaken by those without a vested interested in putting themselves first: not the matelots. I think it’s a big mistake for an Island such as ours to lose its maritime capability. We need to have balance. Why have aircraft carriers with no planes? To fund them we get rid of assault ships. To find the personnel we recruit more sailors to replace the marines. It’s a really small minded approach that in future could cost us deeply with the inability to get ashore with a descent size force if the event arises (such as the Falklands). The Marines are an experienced, highly trained, versatile (amphibious and arctic warfare trained), motivated force with a formidable reputation. This aids recruitment and retention in comparison to the rest of the infantry. This does not come easily! Look at the deployments and experience of the Royal Marines compared to the rest of the Army. Only the Paras with a have similar level of operational experience and esprit de corps. Indeed it is reported that a large proportion of special-forces originate from the Marines. Cutting them back will therefore reduce the pool available to the SBS. Therefore you need to take stock, review what you’re proposing and come up with a better funding formula for the Navy/Royal Marines. A strategy would be good!

Jonathan Parker

05 December 2017 at 18:12

Given that the UK's borders are predominantly coastal, having an amphibious unit available to defend those shores should be something that is strengthened not weakened. We are experiencing unparalleled levels of terrorism that can only be challenged by a fully functioning, well-funded and modern deterrent, something that the Royal Marines has in great store. From a foreign policy perspective, who other than the Royal Marines would be expected to make any beach landings in the defence of our realm or that of our allies? Crack units such as the Royal Marines exist because their training, technology and hardware is specialised for just such a need and is drilled into each of them through extensive and thorough training and education. If you weaken this skill set you weaken our overall defence and should the need for amphibious support arise you can’t simply take an infantry unit and expect to give them a weekend’s training in such matters and have them meet a bar that was set so high previously. This is a penny pinching approach that weakens our nation’s ability to defend itself and its interests. It is more than the ‘Esprit De Corps’ that will suffer when the rewards for courage, bravery and character in the defence of our nation are cutbacks, reductions and short shrift. Beware that the messaging you're sending out doesn’t motivate those that would do us harm to reach out further.

Total results 954 (page 11 of 96)