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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.

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954 Contributions (since 27 November 2017)
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Total results 954 (page 13 of 96)

Miles Freeman

05 December 2017 at 12:05

The defence of the Realm is the first priority of Government


05 December 2017 at 11:57

I'm most concerned to learn that the Royal Navy's amphibious capability will virtually disappear if HM Ships Albion and Bulwalk are withdrawn. Coupled with the removal of HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy will be unable to support either amphibious landings or humanitarian disaster relief. I consider that the Royal Marines are one of this Country's most effective fighting units and therefore any reduction in their numbers combined with the end of the means of deploying them in a maritime environment would seriously damage the Corps morale and effectiveness. The withdrawal of the ships and the reduction in Royal Marines manpower would have a major effect on the workload of HM Dockyard Devonport. This proposal makes a nonsense of the previous MOD policy of consentrating the Royal Marines and Base porting these ships at Plymouth.

hugh macdonald

05 December 2017 at 11:25

why don't we keep the number of forces that we have ,and deploy them in places they would serve us better and still have them if anything untowards happened. a few suggestions have been heard along the grapevine by other members of the forces.I have a son who is in the R.A.F. 14 YEARS and the word is why don't we take over the complete Border Control and use our forces to do a complete and better sevice, we all know that it is no where as good as some other countries, i.e U.S.A. AND Canada. Just a thought!!! and it would work, believe me.

Michael Hill

05 December 2017 at 10:31

Good Morning, How important is the amphibious capability provided by the Royal Marines and Albion class ships to the UK? Simple answer to this they are the go to guys in any humanitarian role as seen this year with the hurricanes in Caribbean Islands the loss of the ships alone would force the UK to switch to hiring out to the private sector to get life saving equipment into regions which may not have available airports and having the marines available to assist in this once they need the boots on the ground. As a military force they can be used anywhere that there is a water/land interface and and damn impressive at their job as man for man they are probably one of the best trained and best motivated combat units anywhere. What is the likely impact on unit morale and satisfaction with Service life if the reported changes and reductions are implemented? If these changes and reductions are made then every single unit within the entire UK Armed forces will be constantly looking over their shoulders wondering if they are next or being told that aside from their current job they have to learn how to do a job which 3rd Commando have been doing for decades. What is the likely impact on the communities where these capabilities are based if the reported changes and reductions are implemented? Simple these communities will unfortunately cease to exsist due to no jobs available to them they will then migrate elsewhere in the hope of jobs. Also the companies that provide them with their equipment will also face hardships causing them to release staff or cease to be. This is a very very worrying trend with the UK as the military is always the first to get cut at present the UK military is overstretched and that includes the marines. You would be destroying the legacy that the RM have helped build for this country since 1755. Maybe it is time to stop funding countries that do not require money from the UK especially those countries that have nuclear weapons and use the funds to increase the military of Great Britain.

Lynne Fleming

05 December 2017 at 09:45

Britain needs an amphibious assault capability for covert exercises, disaster recovery access and peacekeeping. Once this elite force is depleted or destroyed, it cannot simply be reinvented once it is realised too late in the day that yet again Britain's shortsightedness has left us unprepared and incapable of providing the help and expertise that we are so good at.

robin Turner

05 December 2017 at 08:14

The Royal Marines are an essential part of our Special Forces and are very relevant in the present uncertain world of terrorism. Sacrificing these highly trained men and reducing their effectiveness is extremely short sighted.


05 December 2017 at 07:53

As a former Naval Officer, I thought it utter madness that the MOD is considering reducing the only UK force and associated Amphibious assets able to deliver power projection overseas in support of UK National Interests; without the need for reliance on other nations’ support. The last time that this sort of review was announced (Nott Review) Argentina invaded the Falklands, their main mistake was that they didn’t wait for the reductions to occur, otherwise the UK would have had no means of retaking the islands. It seems a paradox that both as an Island nation and as we are leaving the security of free trade and movement between EU member states, that we seem to be adopting a more isolationist approach and cutting back on assets which would allow for a more global presence to influence and protect our trade. The Royal Navy needs to be a balanced force, made up of both Air Power (Carriers) and the Amphibious Force, supported by the escorts (Frigates, Destroyers and Attack Submarines) and replenished by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Reducing one aspect of the Royal Navy, effectively undermines the entire Naval Force and makes it totally ineffective, it is stronger than the sum of it’s parts. If we wish to only be concerned with our territorial waters, then it could make some sense, but these moves would also undermine many of the other Security Tasks allocated to the Royal Navy especially its commitment to our overseas and former overseas territories. The Royal Marines make up only 3 to 4% of Defence numbers, but provide some 45% of UK Badged Special Forces, it makes no sense to cut this vital supply source for UK Special Forces, especially given the Government/Politicians’ desires to still have an effect overseas, but with limited numbers of troops on the ground. It seems that the desire to have large aircraft carriers, now means that the Navy cannot ‘man’ their ships - surely this warrants an increase in Royal Navy personnel, rather than cutting the Royal Marines to achieve this where the effects will not only be felt within the Royal Navy, but also wider Defence. A small reduction in an already small force, will have huge negative impacts on recruitment, retention and morale. If the UK wants an effective, credible and world leading Defence, then it must pay for it. Scrapping or moth-balling slices of an already tight Defence budget, does not make long term sense and risks the UK falling even further into demise with no ability to influence overseas, it would also undermine our position on the United Nations Security Council.

Julian Weston

05 December 2017 at 01:02

I served as a junior officer in the Royal Marines throughout the 1960's. It was a relatively quiet decade encompassing: Indonesian confrontation, the withdrawal from Aden and the commencement of the recently concluded troubles in Northern Ireland. The Royal Marines played a conspicuous role in each theatre of operations and were supported by the Royal Navy's amphibious shipping. Too often the lessons of history are either forgotten or never learnt. the unexpected. It is trite to say the unexpected can occur at any time. the Falklands war is a classic example. It was a remarkable military, naval and logistic victory, which would have been unachievable without the 3rd Commando Brigade and the amphibious shipping then available to the government. Peace is bought by having sufficient forces immediately available to fulfil government policy. A lack of preparedness has always resulted in an enormous cost to the country, both financially and in lives lost. To pare Britain's forces further reduces the ability to operate effectively. Those on the frontline need reserves of manpower and equipment. the country needs the versatility by the Royal Marines and the Royal Navy's amphibious shipping.

Richard Wheatley

04 December 2017 at 23:49

The last time a government considered cutting this capability was in the early 80s with the planned scrapping of HMS Fearless and Intrepid. They were then made to look pretty foolish when the Falklands war showed just what a vital capability this is and both ships went on to serve to 10-15 years after. They were so important that they were then replaced by two new bigger versions and augmented by helicopter carrier HMS Ocean and the 4 Bay class RFA. Speaking as a former Royal Marine landing craft coxswain and having spent 4 years on HMS Albion, I feel qualified to say that this capability is absolutely indispensable. The argument that it can somehow be replaced by the use of the Q.E class carriers is nonsensical. They cannot operate a single landing craft and solely rely on helicopters which completely removes the capability to hit a beach. With the intention to only have one QE class running at a time this is yet another egg in the basket. So with one carrier all of the nation's maritime air and amphibious assault is hinged on one vessel. So we loose this one vessel and our entire ability to project force from the sea is lost completely. Hardly a "Tier 1" military nation! The shortfall in manpower for carriers means that the RN is now having to rob Peter to pay Paul and consider cutting 1000 Royal Marines. I realise I'm biased as an ex-RM but how can it possibly make sense to cut some of the worlds most elite fighting troops and one of nation's most flexible assets?! Another egg in the carrier basket!

Mike Maguire

04 December 2017 at 22:24

removal of these 2 AA ships pretty well ends any sort of relatively substantial amphibious landing capacity. Combined with the de-commissioning of Ocean, a substantial helicopter platform, that leaves only the 2 new carriers to carry substantial & alternative helicopter landing deployments. But the new carriers are understood to be required to remain much further off shore due to potential attack by onshore missies and even LR artillery, therefore helicopter operational range & capability for land operations would be seriously compromised. With regard to the overall size of the RM, 3 critical issues are: 1. The highly capable & flexible deployment in the field is because the Corps provides dual role integrated units so that every RM has to have superb fighting capabilities as well as any specialist support role. Shrinking by up to 1000 immediately weakens these unique characteristics 2. The Corps supplies by far the greatest proportion of those who become SAS/SBS troops as well as specialist deployment to guard nuclear facilities. In the light of overseas operations in so many unstable situations where SAS presence is essential, proposals weakening the Corps strength almost beggar belief with their shortsightedness! 3. The reduction in the Corps’ overall size will both downgrade its capacity, flexibility and capabilities, and, overall morale will be compromised both amongst those serving and those potentially attracted to join. In my opinion, this is a most short-sighted & foolhardy proposal!

Total results 954 (page 13 of 96)