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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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Total results 954 (page 33 of 96)

Jane Thomopson

01 December 2017 at 14:07

My husband, Major general Thompson is appearing before the Defence Committee next Tuesday, so you will hear all the arguments then! Jane Thompson.

Victor Balsdon

01 December 2017 at 14:03

The United Kingdom is facing it's most dangerous threat to its security since WW2. To make even further cuts to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines is nothing short of madness. By virtue of their long and demanding training and continued commitment to the highest level of fitness and operational readiness, the Royal Marines are regarded as being among the finest elite forces in the world. Over and above their more widely accepted roles, they contribute 40% of personnel to the UK Special Forces. Following WW2, they were chosen to continue to fulfill the commando role and have proved to be exceptional in carrying out their duties whenever required to do so; for example in the Falklands War. At the Commando Training Centre, they provide the environment and the instructors to enable those army personnel able to meet the demanding requirements. To also do away with two assault ships at a time when there is a completely useless aircraft carrier that has no planes (and which will probably be on the brink of being obsolete by the time any planes become available) is a further indication of the short sighted attitude of those making the decisions. Apart from the conventional role that the Royal Marines and the assault ships play, there is also the humanitarian aspect: delivering and providing aid to foreign underdeveloped countries at a time when global warming is causing an ever increasing number of catastrophes. A Royal Marine is a different breed of soldier: stringently selected, trained to a degree well above the requirements of the basic infantry soldier, able to think and act independently as well as providing a quick reaction force at very short notice. For over 350 years they have been the country's sheet anchor.

Victor Balsdon

01 December 2017 at 14:01

The United Kingdom is facing it's most dangerous threat to its security since WW2. To make even further cuts to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines is nothing short of madness. By virtue of their long and demanding training and continued commitment to the highest level of fitness and operational readiness, the Royal Marines are regarded as being among the finest elite forces in the world. Over and above their more widely accepted roles, they contribute 40% of personnel to the UK Special Forces. Following WW2, they were chosen to continue to fulfill the commando role and have proved to be exceptional in carrying out their duties whenever required to do so; for example in the Falklands War. At the Commando Training Centre, they provide the environment and the instructors to enable those army personnel able to meet the demanding requirements. To also do away with two assault ships at a time when there is a completely useless aircraft carrier that has no planes (and which will probably be on the brink of being obsolete by the time any planes become available) is a further indication of the short sighted attitude of those making the decisions. Apart from the conventional role that the Royal Marines and the assault ships play, there is also the humanitarian aspect: delivering and providing aid to foreign underdeveloped countries at a time when global warming is causing an ever increasing number of catastrophes. A Royal Marine is a different breed of soldier: stringently selected, trained to a degree well above the requirements of the basic infantry soldier, able to think and act independently as well as providing a quick reaction force at very short notice. For over 350 years they have been the country's sheet anchor.

John Nethercott

01 December 2017 at 13:48

I have no connection to the military, but I have lived in Torpoint and Plymouth all my life. If, we still wish to be a country that operates in all corners of the globe, to protect our interests and those of our allies, we need a strong military. I believe the army, navy and air force have been weakened so much that they are struggling to for-fill our obligations at present. Taking out the Albion Class ships, HMS Ocean, and depleting the number of Royal Marines available, will, in my opinion, mean that we will no longer be able to carry out, humanitarian, and support services, rescue missions, and aid to countries that ask for our help when their legitimate government is threatened by terrorist or rebel forces. The Royal Marines and those particular ships, have a fabulous range of facilities and skills that could not be carried out by other troops or vessels. As a country we seem to have a very short memory of how much the Royal Marines have contributed to the security of this nation. Go back through history and check out their contribution. If you cannot be bothered to do that, what is the lasting image of the Falkland Island war? A Royal Marine, Union Flag flying from his radio aerial, yomping across the island. The Marines mean a lot to us in Plymouth, taking them out of the Citadel was bad enough, but reducing their numbers to a very low level is bad for their morale and bad for the city of Plymouth, which is not a very rich area. We need our Marines and their ships. Numbers of Marines have already been reduced, and this must make them feel unwanted. We owe it to our lads to make them feel that they are appreciated and equipped to take on any challenge. Unfortunately, in recent history, when a situation arises, we seem only just able to cobble together enough service personnel and equipment to do the job, with much of the equipment being out of date or unsuitable for purpose. We need to urgently recruit more Royal Marines, not decrease their number. The threat to our National Security is increasing from all angles, and these boys would be the first in line to take on any problems. We must not cut training exercises, we must be ready to deploy, we need more Marines. I firmly believe that we must NOT take out of service HMS Ocean, HMS Albion, or HMS Bulwark, and another vessel of that type should be ordered immediately. That to me would be the MINIMUM requirement, that is how important these vessels are to our country. Look to the hurricane damage in our dependencies in the West Indies, only one ship available! Disgraceful! I just cannot think how we would manage all the scenarios that we could be faced with, without our Royal Marines and their ships. We have seen what a disaster the EU is like in making decisions. I don't think their Defence Force would be up to much. The NATO countries don't pull their weight with their commitment to the organisation. Once again, in any major conflict, it would be down to us and the USA, again to fight off any aggressor. We could of course, just have a National Guard made up of volunteers, and align ourselves with Russia and China. The Russian people seem to like Mr Putin and the Chinese, Mr Ping. The Government seems to have got stuck in a rut with austerity. All the companies that thrive here, depend on a secure base, in which to operate. They need to pay much more to support all of our services, including our defence spending. We are an Island Nation, we need ships, we need sailors and our Royal Marines. A country is always at its weakest when it runs down its security forces. GOD BLESS THE ROYAL MARINES!

Roger arnold

01 December 2017 at 13:08

We are a sea fairing nation surrounded by water and the navy have hundreds of years of proud history. How can you expect the new carriers to land fighting vehicles on a beach head? The marines are the envy of the military world and an elite force reducing there numbers and equipment to do there job is ridiculous. I was sad to see the last carriers go and think the new carriers are amazing but along with the F35 there sucking the life out of all our armed forces. Should have stuck to Typhoon with in fight refuelling instead of trying to project power we can’t afford. If Corbyn gets in they’ll be sailing with no weapons or fuel to fly.

Simon Willey

01 December 2017 at 13:06

The Royal Marines have provided the UK and it's Government with an invaluable, highly skilled and high readiness capability for many a year. The amphibious landings onto the Falkland Islands and the amphibious helicopter assault onto the Al Faw Peninsular go down in history as highly successful text book operations, this is without doubt down to the professionalism and standards of the individual Marines. The Royal Marines can fulfil all conventional close combat requirements (as seen in Afghanistan) as well as meet the high readiness amphibious requirement alongside being the UK's leading mountain and cold weather specialists. They are an ever evolving highly skilled organisation, market leaders in marksmanship, close quarter battle, close combat, assault engineering, maritime interdiction operations, operations in mountains and cold weather environments etc. the list goes on. The Royal Marines are an unbelievably efficient asset proving a huge 'bang for your buck'. Other nations look at the Royal Marines for assistance/guidance to specialist skills. The Army look at us for examples of 'how to get it right' and are in sheer envy of our specialist skills. The Special Forces community feed off us because we make such good 'operators' and the simple fact that there is such a high percentage of the UK Special Forces made up from ex Royal Marines speaks for itself. For the Government to make cuts to undoubtedly one of its finest ever military assets will be such a bad, short term, money saving mistake. The financial state of the military certainly does not bear any reflection on what the Royal Marines provide. The Government should not allow the cuts to the Royal Marines be added to the long list of calamitous decisions they continualy make. In the words of Napoleon “imagine what you could achieve with 100,000 Royal Marines”.

John stentaford

01 December 2017 at 12:58

I WAS GOING TO COMMENT BECAUSE I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THE CUTS.But reading the comments by other subscribers below which I whole heartedley agree I would just be reapeating what they have already mentioned.

mat shields

01 December 2017 at 12:53

Don't cut the arrow head off the arrow in order to save money. Flexible, adaptable forces, well trained, experienced and on hand. Extended readiness for the Albion Class is fine. Is there am alternative that would be of the same competence? Cutting the Royal Marines would have many impacts, on SF recruiting, on high state readiness, on the income of local communities and towns. To save money - reduce the Reserve Forces and put that saving in to full time professionals. Freeze retired Officers Pensions for a while. Sell Lympstone to SAGA Holidays, and build a purpose built training establishment on Dartmoor or combined with a Unit eg: Bickleigh. Cut away all the dead wood and use the Navy for administative purposes.

Neil Hennessey

01 December 2017 at 12:18

You need the Royal Marines and attached Army Commandos To think not would be a big mistake which will cost lives in the future

Nicholas Drummond

01 December 2017 at 12:17

The UK’s Royal Marine’s are first and foremost an elite fighting force. They, together with the Parachute Regiment, are among our very best troops. No Government cuts its most capable forces unless it has lost the plot or been infiltrated by its enemies. Irrespective of the quality of the Royal Marines as fighting soldiers, they perform two essential roles: a, They provide a rapid reaction force capable of delivering immediate effect wherever deployed. This is a capability we have needed before, as the Falklands, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and other recent conflicts have shown. It is likely to be a capability that we will need again based on UK analysis of the Future Operating Environment (See MoD publication FOE35). The ability to deliver effect via amphibious capability has been well established. If, as expected, future conflicts are focused on littoral environments delivering effect by sea or riverine operations will be important. b. Secondly, the Royal Marines provide shipboard security for the Royal Navy. This too is a vital defence requirement, especially since piracy remains a problem in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere. At a basic level, providing marines to defend our warships from boarding parties is as important providing crews to sail them. Marines themselves are able to act as boarding parties. This is an essential role that may be relevant to enforcing international law in international waters but also it may be vital to protecting British interests abroad. Having fewer Marines means those that are left will have shorter breaks between operational rotations. This puts more strain on the individual and their families. Long periods of separation affect morale. Fewer marines also reduces the pool of soldiers from which to select Special Forces candidates. Disillusioned Marines will leave the service. Accumulated knowledge and experience will be lost. The overall quality of UK Armed Forces will be diminished. With the retirement of HMS Ocean and one LHD already held in extended readiness, we have effectively reduced the fleet from three ships to just one. That isn’t a capability, it is token force. It is likely to mean that a large proportion of the Brigade will not be able to deploy regularly for training or operations. instead, they’ll sit in barracks getting bored and disillusioned. Each LHD is only designed to accommodate 400 marines, but are presently overloaded to around 700 when deployed. We expect our Marines to endure harsh living conditions when in action, but not when based in barracks or on ships. The only advantage of having one operational LHD is that it reduces costs. A strategy driven by Treasury financial requirements instead of military needs is not a strategy at all. It amounts to a failure of policy. Ultimately, the UK presently has a Defence Strategy defined by Treasury budget requirements not military needs and priorities. This is a completely inefficient and ineffective ways of doing things. There is compelling evidence to suggest that the Royal Marines remain an relevant and highly effective capability and an essential component within Britain’s Armed Forces. If we agree that the capability is needed, then we must allocate the resources it needs to fulfil whatever mission set it is tasked with.

Total results 954 (page 33 of 96)