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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 9 of 96)

T Satchell

07 December 2017 at 00:31

A.Privatisation of recruitment (Capita)has been unsucsessful. Why reduce 1,000 Royal Marines while Army numbers are falling ? Losing 2 assault ships is ridiculous. We have a navy that's very few ships. We should never had decommisioned HMS Ark Royal before we had a replacement. We will have no experienced sailors and aircraft when the replacements come online.

Olaf Sargint

06 December 2017 at 22:04

The Marines are among the best we have in the armed forces and the amphibious ships give us greater flexibility if we need to put troops on the ground. If cuts have to come it seems quite illogical that the cuts take away the best we have as a nation. Cuts should be to trim excess away (if there is any left?).


06 December 2017 at 22:03

The Marines are recognised as a specialist elite force, highly skilled and trained, with a tradition that bonds and motivates them. Break that, they start losing it. We start losing that. Once lost, that elite highly trained and skilled force is gone. Would they (we, the country) ever regain it? Not likely if the glue of tradition has been melted away. Their specialism happens to be amphibious. Water and land. Not one or other but both. Our country/ies is an island; we are surrounded by water. Being invaded from the coast is part of our history; ergo defending against coastal invasion is also part of our history. It really shouldn't need the obvious to be pointed out but here goes: Our global elite force for amphibious assault is also our best defence against amphibious assault. Don't make us vulnerable, or reliant on another nation for amphibious protection in part or in whole. Don't make our armed forces vulnerable by destroying a whole sector's capabilities to act, respond, train, and be motivated. Declaration. Two members of family in Marines, one currently leaving. Know other ex-Marines. My response is not in relation to any of them, it is my personal view. I do not know their views on the above.

Roger Bennett

06 December 2017 at 20:52

Can we never learn from history? An amphibious capability gives a commander terrific flexibility. Together the RN, RM and Army combat support are among the world's real experts at amphibious warfare and indeed humanitarian relief operations.To discard such hard earned skills for short term financial expediency is nothing less than criminal negligence, particularly as the world we live in seems to be getting more unstable by the day and many other nations are expanding their amphibious capability. We are already well on the way to eliminating ours. We recently had 1xLPH, 2xLSD,4xLSD(Aux) together with 3CdoBde including 4xInf Bns (3xCdo + 1Rifles). We have lost 1xLSD(Aux), are about to loose 1x cheap and cheerful LPH, 1 Rifles have returned to the Army and 42Cdo have ceased to be a war fighting infantry unit. Enough is enough! And to talk of placing an extremely expensive new aircraft carrier close offshore as our only 'amphibious' ship is, to say the least, not sensible; nor will it be able to land armoured fighting vehicles. The Defence Budget should be nearer 3% than 2% of GDP!

Ian Davies

06 December 2017 at 19:46

Defence is the first duty of Government and it has to be able to react to numerous different types of threats and hostility. The UK is an island that has always dependied on keeping its sealanes open, as well the ability to resist threats to its remaining overseas territories. Strong air and sea forces are the best way in which the UK can project its presence as they are very visible. To this end it's essential that the Royal Navy retains the ability to land substantial forces on an oversea location, and there is no better way of doing this than having an amphibious capability.

Major I C Martin RM (Ret'd)

06 December 2017 at 19:42

Consideration of the future of the amphibious fleet and the Royal Marines without considering the UK's defence commitments as a whole is, I believe, a fundamental error. We are an island nation and any militsry involvement overseas, either for operations or humanitarian support, requires the land force to be supported. This cannot be done without a specialist amphibious capability (eg Falkland Islands or Caribbean hurricane relief). No such overseas military deployment would be feasible without air cover. We have spent billions of pounds to build aircraft carriers, soon to become operational, and it must be wrong to do so without retaining an amphibious, troop delivery/support capability for them to support. If we are to continue to man aircraft carriers then they must have a role. Without an amphibious capability the carriers have no role. I have seen vague quotes about their ability to 'project power' but a proper examination of this will show that, on their own and without backing, this is a total nonsense. Any future amphibious task force must have a mix of troops to land and, if necessary, fight, air cover and logistic support. I do not see that this is possible without ships such as HMS Albion and Bulwark, specialist troops as provided by the Royal Marines and air cover from HMS Queen Elizabeth. Finally, I see that HMS Queen Elizabeth's captain is suggesting that his ship can carry Royal Marines to theatre as well as providing air cover. All our eggs in one basket? This would be a dreadful mistake - one missile would destroy the whole force. We must not go down this route.

Graham Walker

06 December 2017 at 18:40

Lessons are not learned through actions of the past Thatcher nearly sold the fleet, Cameron got rid of carriers. How on earth can we react to Falkland's, humanitarian disaster and say we want to be a global trade player, this needs to be protected. Ex RN Falkland Gulf Yugoslavia vet

Kevin West

06 December 2017 at 18:40

I do not understand why an important military capability such as amphibious landings from specialist amphibious vessels with specialist amphibious troops (Royal Marines) is being considered for review, when these are strategic assets and capability which if discarded can never be recovered to the same level. Where is the strategic decision made by the government that this capability is no longer required? This decision if made impacts our allies, potential enemies and current specialist forces. The Royal Marines provide a truly unique premium that has been proven as valuable time and time again and given all uncertainty in the world should be invested in rather than diluted. The amphibious capability is a flexible asset that assists in not only military activities but also in humanitarian ones as well and helps to provide the flexibility in HM Government to project support/assets/influence accordingly. A decision to reduce this capability is a political and strategic decision and is not one that should be made by the head of a Service, or a non elected official. This decision has to be made by the Prime Minister and signed off by parliament as duly elected representatives of the people who have a responsibility to protect the nations interests and assets. If this reduction is approved by the elected members of parliament chosen to represent the people it removes a capability that is truly unique in the world and one that our allies look to for support and one that our enemies envy, who will be happier, knowing that is either reduced in size/ability or removed completely. If the issue is cost, then perhaps reductions have now gone too far and it is time to stop. We need strong leadership from our elected officials to agree strategically on the future of this important capability. Regarding the impact on the Royal Marines morale this will have, I am sure it will reduce morale amongst this body, probably to a level similar to other elements of the armed services who have faced long and painful reductions in their abilities. Any reduction in capability will impact morale and future recruitment of fine people to replace them.

John Roberts

06 December 2017 at 18:31

Cutting the royal navy any further is ludicrous. This government should be investing more not less and if the money isn't there then the foreign aid budget should be diverted, it's as simple as that. Enough has been said regarding reasons for reviews etc its obvious its penny pinching by pen pushers who have no clue in relation to how the military work and hide in their cosy offices. I for one, fully support the men and women of the armed forces who defend our country and what we stand for.

Adrian David Raven

06 December 2017 at 17:28

I am a retired Navy Man who spent a lot of time working with the Royal Marines on the old HMS Bulwark, in Malta (41 Cdo) and on the last HMS Fearless. The Royal Marines and the are the best at what they do in the World, they are top class maritime troops who go about their business in a silent, professional way and are an asset to both the UK defence and within NATO. I was in the Navy when we had the LPH Bulwark and two LPD's, Fearless & Intrepid + the LSL's of the RFA Sir' class. The projection of power that a mobile force of Marines who can be landed in any part of the Globe is an extremely important part of our defence capabilities. I have seen the Army attempt a landing ashore from landing craft and it was not good, they simply do not have the expertise that the Royal Marines have. With Countries like China, Iran and the Russian's increasing and improving their own amphibious capabilities, it beggars belief that the UK should even be talking about this at this critical time. Far from discussing what may happen to both Bulwark & Albion, we should be discussing increasing the military budget from the pitiful 2% of GDP to what it was in the mid 1980's, more like 5%. The Government's treatment of the Royal Navy over recent decades is a total disgrace and puts our Country in peril and is an embarrassment to us all. We never had to rely on other NATO Countries to help patrol our own coastal waters against submarines, surface ships or anything else which approached us as we had the kit to deal with such threats, it now appears we have to beg, steal and borrow from the French or Scandi Countries. If we wish to remain at the top table, we'd better think long and hard about our military capability, our Armed Forces and almost not fit for purpose, the fault of successive Governments, its a disgrace.

Total results 954 (page 9 of 96)