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Elwyn Lloyd Jones14 December 2017 at 14:29
The Navy needs to be rebalanced for asymmetric and multiple small-scale operations. The new Aircraft Carriers are, in my view, too small to mount a credible remote invasion force; but instead act mainly as fleet mother ships. These fleets should each include a number of amphibious vessels. The Albion Class is a bit of an oddity in this day and age, and certainly we could think about innovation, but the overall number should be increased - not reduced! They should be kept till proven replacements are in service. - In the interim, they also make excellent training vessels; for a skill that should never be lost.
colin stevenson14 December 2017 at 14:10
the Marines are a very important part of the Defence of the Realm and supply an amphibious capability.
Curtis Cornwell13 December 2017 at 21:02
How important is the amphibious capability provided by the Royal Marines and Albion class ships to the UK? they are one of the best assets we have for the royal marines, the royal marines have been around for over 300 years and all of this time they have needed to have amphibious capability this is so we can launch counter attacks and launch assaults to protect our nation and its interests What is the likely impact on unit morale and satisfaction with Service life if the reported changes and reductions are implemented? the French have said they are willing to lend us a ship, however, this is a national humiliation, the royal navy and royal marines pride them self on being the best in the world and yet to implement these changes would humiliate the entire force What is the likely impact on the communities where these capabilities are based if the reported changes and reductions are implemented? it would take away from the job market, the fixing and maintaining of the ships are a massive industry and to shut this down would be just plain ridiculous, let alone the 1000 marines to lose their jobs the effects on their families would be massive and unfair to just save money
Simon simon13 December 2017 at 19:09
Please be very careful when considering reductions in our military capability. There is only one reason why this is being considered and that is one of cost. Our country has relied upon the Royal Navy and Royal Marines to get ourselves out of a bind time and time again. This capability should not be eroded purely to 'balance the books' if we wish to be able to continue protecting ourselves and neighbours. Please consider this very carefully and don't make rash judgement or decisions. History tells a good story as to why we need the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
Colin Scarisbrick13 December 2017 at 16:59
It is disgusting how successive governments have dumbed down military to such an extent that even a small local conflict eg the Falklands if we're to happen, militarily Britain would struggle to re patriate the islands especially losing the adaptive roles of the two major vessels we are proposing to dispose of. Losing the two two vessels would hinder a response capable of rapid deployment of men and machine. The marines would be subject to being on more inappropriate vessels or on either STUFT or on foreign navies ships. We cannot afford to lose our independent ability to defend Britain's best interests, we certainly cannot rely on ANY foreign aid in times of crisis. Furthermore the depletion of the marines would render our armed forces without the skills honed over many years. Already we see in the army how the cuts in numbers have eroded our fighting capabilities and stretched our manpower to levels unseen. These plans are shortsighted and dangerous rather than necessary and prudent. A naivety appears to have taken over political parties who clearly don't really know what our forces used to be able to do and what we can reasonably expect them to be able to do. Our armed forces across the board need increases in manpower and equipment not reduction. As with the decimation of the police in the UK we see poor morale, overwhelmed officers,and increased levels of crime. Likewise the same will occur to the marines though with loss of life rather than increased crime, as those that are left have to deal with the threats to UK aims. Our royal navy has been depleted to a level that is nothing but dangerous to the UK interest. The reduction of the armed forces must be halted before we lose all abilities to protect against aggressors.
Peter Grindal13 December 2017 at 13:39
This country is extremely fortunate to possess in the Royal Marines the world's elite corps of infantry. Its ethos, quality of officers and men, levels of fitness and military skills, and operational flexibility stand above any other comparable formation. Although the Corps' specialist role is in amphibious operations, in which no other of Britain's land forces are competent, the Royal Marines can be guaranteed to outperform any British Army formation of equivalent size in any other type of operation. To inflict further cuts on this invaluable Corps would be an act of gross irresponsibility, and militarily damaging, in the long term, well beyond the value of any resulting short term financial saving. The current size of the Corps can, although the margins are very narrow, support adequate career structures for officers and men, recruiting of the necessary quality of people, and the training structure needed to maintain excellence of military standards. Further cuts would damage all of these aspects which are vital to the operational value of the Corps. Attempts to predict the nature of future conflicts in which this country might be involved have never been successful, and the major lesson of history is that it is essential to maintain flexibility in our armed forces across a wide range of capabilities. An amphibious capability should form part of that range. Indeed, as a maritime nation, we should regard it as a primary capability, offering a wide spectrum of options from over-the-horizon bargaining tool to full-scale assault at a point of our choosing. None of this can be done without specialist amphibious ships and a specialist landing force. The argument that air assault, which offers none of the amphibious flexibility or sustainability, can provide a viable alternative has been effectively demolished in the past and should not be revisited. Specialist ships give not only assault capability but also surface and air movement assets, the logistic support essential for sustained operations, and the command, control and communications resources vital to such complex operations. We currently have these ships (as long as OCEAN is available)and to pay them off would deprive the nation of an ability to project power with a flexibility not replaceable in any other way. It is an inescapable conclusion that the Royal Marines should be maintained at their present strength, and that the Royal Navy's amphibious ships should be kept in commission. No operational argument can support cuts to either of these capabilities.
John Richardson13 December 2017 at 13:18
This government and its predecessors have stripped out capacity from all the armed forces, on the pre-text of no threats. They have no experience of the Armed Forces and are purely basing their policies on costs. The proposal to remove the two ships and reduce the RM numbers is typical of this approach. Any such proposal will limit the ability of landing troops in the future. It will also further affect the moral, not only of the RM's but also of all the forces. This moral has suffered significant blows since the 1990's, mainly from the Conservative Party, who claim to be the party of defence! The proposed alternatives of using RFA vessels is not practical as they do not have the facilities for landing large numbers of men. But the blame should not only be placed at the politicians, the Senior Officers of all services have never resigned over the cuts! The obsession of the Admirals with their focus on "Big Ships" to the detriment of all other potential threats is a major problem. The main threat to the UK is possibly the submarine/mining ones from Russia and even other smaller states. Yet these threats are not being addressed in detail, old Type 23 frigates being kept in service long past their serviceable dates. The politicians/Senior Officers, only need to look back at the period before the 1982 Falklands, to see what happens when major cuts, such as these, are proposed. No matter what the RAF and the RN say, it is "Boots on the Ground" that win wars and if these cuts to the RM continues then we cannot hope to deter any potential enemy.
Dr Tony Rea12 December 2017 at 23:36
Importance of an amphibious capability provided by the Royal Marines and Albion class ships. In my opinion, the threats - aside from terrorist attacks on the UK - that the nation faces are likely to be small scale and responsive to rapid intervention. Therefore an amphibious and airborne capability are crucial. The role of the Royal Marines, and their Army support, is equally crucial and clearly the capability of the RMs is dependent on having the right kind of vessels in service. Likely impact on the communities where these capabilities are based. The effect on Plymouth and the surrounding area (where I live and am a local councillor) would be negative in terms of economy, culture and community.
Richard Mitchell12 December 2017 at 15:28
Recent UK military campaign history shows unequivocally the need for UK to possess an amphibious capability; the vital need for such a capability becomes completely self evident on studying recent operations. It is impossible to predict what the next war will demand of the UK military or where it will be. It is straight forward to predict that yet more hollowing out of the UK’s defence capability will endanger both its success and the lives of our people. If you don’t have the specialist transport ready to go then the Government cannot expect to conduct such operations. There are no other units that can deliver or match the capability; even the new Carriers are unsuitable for the task. Once a capability is lost to the inventory it takes many years and much treasure to re-establish. A minimum of two amphibious capable vessels are required in service to ensure one is available for tasking. You can’t bodge it. Removal of this capability from the RN inventory will result in serious negative morale and dissatisfaction among remaining RM and RN personnel along with the attendant fighting efficiency, and dismay in the communities that support the capability. In the face of clearly wasteful funding lines in the foreign aid budget it will cause disbelief in those communities. It will also send seriously negative message to our allies, in particular the USA who will see UK yet again removing a foundation capability from the inventory.
Judy Tottey12 December 2017 at 10:01
I believe that the contribution to our strategic capability is greatly enhanced by retaining the Royal Marine and Naval Amphibious strength. They also do invaluable work internationally in peacetime, demonstrating the UK commitment to giving aid and support wherever needed. Not least, our Conservative values embrace our Heritage and Plymouth has long been proud of our association with the Royal Marines and Navy