Skip to main content

Web forum archive

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)
Closed for contributions

This web forum is displayed for archive purposes and is no longer accepting public contributions. For queries relating to the content of this web forum, please contact the Defence Committee.

Total results 954 (page 17 of 96)

Michael Chapman

04 December 2017 at 01:45

I think this would be the nail in the coffin for moral in the armed forces, and yet another dent to what's left of national pride. Japan has a pacifist constitution but still manages to field a Navy more than twice the size of the Royal Navy. The government likes to boast of the size of our military budget, but makes ill thought out cuts that cause long term damage to the nation's defences. Also the cuts and associated consequences cause real long term damage to our industry and economy. For example in aerospace the picture is a clear one of poor performance on a global scale. If one takes for example France which is the world's 2nd largest aerospace exporter. France has has managed this with a similar sized military budget to the UK. France exports 3 times the amount of aerospace product than the UK which can barely equal Canada in aerospace exports. Austerity combined with no industrial strategy is just accelerating the decline of this country. We should be investing in our economy post brexit, including the military especially in such volotile times, given our propensity to get involved in wars we are not adequately equipped to fight. It was already an insult to cut the Army to such a small size as to render it too small to technically be an Army. Then to top it off attempt to rely on a force of part time reservists to make up the numbers, but then fail to recruit enough reserves. Our military is so small there should be no need for reserves we should be able to afford to pay our soldiers sailors etc.. well enough to have no retention problems. They should be all equipment and trained to elite level we should be fielding an Army of modern day Spartans! To make up for the lack off size.

Anthony Smith

04 December 2017 at 01:22

As a Royal Marine officer who served Queen and country for 26 years I am dismayed at the possible reduction of the Corps. We are military insurance for our country, ready to respond to any threat. So we need to be at the highest state of readiness with the best possible assets. The Corps has a historic vein running through it which must be maintained to enable the expertise and experience to be retained for future generations of Royal Marine Commandos.

Cdr Richard Cossins

04 December 2017 at 00:21

The Royal Marines are a very versatile and excellent military organisation which demonstrated during the war in the Falklands their competence and the importance of their existence. I speak as a former member of the Third Flotilla (which included the RMs and all supporting aircraft).

Kevin sanders

04 December 2017 at 00:08

We should not be thinking of reducing the anfib. For e but expanding it. The same applies to the Royals. With the state of the world today. We need more not less. This applys to all the forces

Derek Yeomans

03 December 2017 at 23:34

Recent events have proved the need for a full strength level of our defence forces The malign influence of Russia is growing daily in cyber and materiel terms, Bear in mind that there are 2 completed aircraft carriers waiting delivery to that Country in French dockyards and Russian aircrews are battle hardened and trained and are up to date with carrier aviation and catapults The seaborne assault capability is one that must not be discarded This country is polarising and the time might well come when the military have to come to the aid of civil power as happened recently. Rumour has it that one of the naval assault carriers is being offered complete to a South American country and that negotiation are current and ongoing. It is not the one in reserve and the loss of this currently fully operational ship would mean that this country could not go to the aid of our dependencies as happened recently to hurricane victims in the Caribbean with all the bad press and disgust of the inhabitants that looked to UK to help in the distress The loss of a major section of the Royal Marines would inhibit the capability and flexibility of one of major active fit and fully trained corps in the British Forces and imperil the security of this country as if there was an incursion into our domains of influence or indeed into the Baltic states supporting NATO. as in the Crimea would we have the potential to react. With respect to the embarkation of Royal Marine on sea it is an intrinsic capability and their current training spectrum is being curtailed to the great detriment of corporate ethos and morale. The pilots of the Merlin helicopter which in many cases would be the mode of delivery of these troop, are apparently not currently funded to train and operate n unusual and adverse conditions and terrains. If the two new British aircraft Carriers do ever get operational, given the shortage of naval ratings and officers, especially fixed wing aircrew , flight deck personnel and aircraft maintainers, qualified to operate in these now strange and hugely structured and intensive operations and the strange criteria that the limited number of F35 aircraft will be incapable of sustaining the required flying hours necessary for the combat air patrols necessary for the protection of the carrier and that there are no fixed wing long range air early warning aircraft as there are in all US carriers leaving the capital vessels and their necessary attendant Royal Fleet Auxiliaries completely vulnerable to air or a surface attack in the absence of a multi weapon capable surface vessel defence screen. It is also worth noting that the equipment fitted in the F35 aircraft cannot be repaired or maintained by the normal maintenance methods because all unserviceable system units have, under the contract, to be returned to the US for work to be done by the aircraft makers, Therefore the long term serviceability of this aircraft has to suspect. I do not think that the viability of an unprotected carrier in the current level of cuts in a full hostile environment would be sustainable, as replenishment at regular intervals would make a huge target and once the carrier is sunk or incapacitated then the aircraft are immediately out of the picture. However all that is by the by, the main point is that the operational numbers of the Royal Marine strength have to be maintained for the safety of this Country in a population that is being increasingly polarised and divided by ethnicity , religion and disparate wealth. Every method of potential delivery has to be available to get the force where it has to be by sea, land or air and it has to be instantly available so the cuts as proposed should not take place

Stuart hamon

03 December 2017 at 23:10

The government seems to totally misunderstand the benefit of our maritime logistic ability. The recent hurricanes in the West Indies only underline the benefit of having effective maritime support for remote and indeed not so remote communities. HMS Ocean can provide both the manpower of a marine commando afloat as well as the logistical support to provide much more. The logistic ships do all the provision of logistics and can also provide huge and very cheap docking and unloading abilities. For the discussion to then move towards the need for aircraft carriers , the arguement is similar, but the risk to the ships will be greater unless there is real carrier escort ships. The RAF is incapable of providing any realistic support overseas now that the UK is neutered and their arguement back in1971 that they could provide real support has proven to be a complete failure of government to understand the benefit of maritime forces. When will any government see sense and realise that it is only the Royal Navy supported by the Royal Marines with the full complement of logistical support Is the only effective way to have positive international aid and allow the UN supported military interventions to have a real bite. It is also a very effective sales outlet as I have seen before on overseas trips.

Kurt Eyre

03 December 2017 at 21:45

- How important are the Royal Marines and Albion class ships to the UK? Response - the UK and partners are facing increasing transnational threat and vulnerability. The need for professional and sustainable world class flexible, mobile and out of area military capability such as the Corps, is a critical component of our national security architecture (home and overseas). Not least because there is evidence today that with well over 80% of the world's population living within 100km of the sea and with increasing impact of climate change, pressure and tension will likely increase on nations. To not have an appropriate level of amphibious and over-the horizon commando assault response available, would be a strategic flaw in our national security. - How do you think that having fewer Royal Marines since 2010 and more recent changes in numbers have affected the Corps? Response - the Corps I understand (along with other arms) is struggling to maintain morale. Lads are leaving in droves. The strategic HR implications of cutting no.s as suggested, will only accelerate this situation. From a professional development perspective, the likely impact would be far reaching and take years to recover, if ever. - Do you think that further changes will affect supporting units within 3 Commando Brigade? Response - absolutely. As above, what's apparent from the difficult last few years of austerity in the public services, one big mistake made across depts., is to not recognisee that key reductions in one part of government where there is an element of interdependency, does have a significant impact on the other. Plus the knock-on effect of staff uncertainty and morale issues. - What could UK Armed Forces do to match the capabilities that might be lost? Are the alternatives good enough? Response - the Corp's most critical strength is it's speed of adaptability. Royal Marines have a unique ability to read the situation and respond and overcome accordingly. It is developed in training and provides a confidence and belief in self, but not before team. Be it an 'x' factor or whatever, there is a Corps modus operandi that cannot be replicated. That out of area and rapid reaction capability is unique. - What do you think will happen to unit morale and satisfaction with Service life if the reported changes and reductions happen? Response - as noted above. The lens to be applied should be a professional development one. - What do you think will happen to the communities where these capabilities are based if the reported changes and reductions happen? Response - would go the same way as morale. Not enough work available in home bases so lads will have to leave families to seek employment - with all the pressure that that would entail for the community. One final comment on Defence Policy - the strengthening of it's alignment with national security is imperative today in the face of these increasing transnational threats. If policy, operational practice and training (learning) were better linked then not only would it be easier to justify elite military capabilities to more national security related work (rather than just defence), but it would also help enhance operational performance and efficiencies through improved interoperability. Being intimately involved in international security and development sector reform work (and a former Royal Marine), applying this thinking on a domestic basis would I feel be strategically relevant and timely. Yours aye Kurt


03 December 2017 at 21:04

The Armed Forces should be properly funded. If we need to ditch trident to achieve this, then we should. What good is trident, we do not have the codes to fire it!!!!!

T. B. D'Agostino

03 December 2017 at 20:33

We have salami sliced our maritime defence to the point that the Royal Navy & Royal Marines are now not at but below critical levels. It is no longer a case of trying to defend our national pride, or ensuring that we can ensure that our national fuel, food and import/export materials get through in times of trouble, we abandoned that commitment years ago. No we are now forced as a nation to insist that unless the Government reverse the situation, they can no longer ask our Royal Navy to deploy globally, to give assurance to our allies that we will campaign alongside them, that we will defend our outlying interests and that we as a nation still stand up to oppression; for we no longer can. Now, right now, is the time to reverse the situation or withdraw from the top table of maritime defence, for as a nation we can not now do both.

Christopher How

03 December 2017 at 20:23

As an ex-forces member of the Royal Navy I am totally against cutting the Royal Marines. I have served alongside Royal Marines while serving in the RN and consider them to be among the best fighting forces in the world. I think it will leave our fighting capability weak in defence of our great nation,that I have served while in the RN.

Total results 954 (page 17 of 96)