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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 93 of 96)

David Miller

29 November 2017 at 17:23

The capability of both the Albion and Bulwark is vital to this country. Without both ships what is the point of the Marines? We are an island and if we need the capability of landing marines from the sea onto shore. Without both these ships you can't do this. Look at the role they played in the refugees attempting crossings. No other ship other can do this. Both are required as when one is on refit the other is operational. Get real the Bulwark and the Albion are both requried.

Garry Stanton

29 November 2017 at 15:14

How important is the amphibious capability provided by the Royal Marines and Albion class ships to the UK? We are an island nation, so one can assume that the royal marines will continue to provide an amphibious capability. However they are not a single capability force, they have proven this in campaigns such as Iraq and Afghanistan, plus recent humanitarian missions to disaster areas, so why would you want to lose this multi faceted military capability? What is the likely impact on unit morale and satisfaction with Service life if the reported changes and reductions are implemented? Go and ask a bootneck or a matelot, I'm sure you'll get a reply! What is the likely impact on the communities where these capabilities are based if the reported changes and reductions are implemented? Close bases in areas where the local economy relies heavily on military spend and I'm sure you'll see a negative impact on the local economy and on the welfare budget! I joined the RN in 1981 just as the cut backs axe was being wielded, yet look at what happened in 1982. No way could the UK military even consider something like another Falklands campaign, so stop this nonsense now, enough is enough!


29 November 2017 at 14:37

We should walk away from the greedy European union with no deal, trade on WTO rules and the ridiculous sum of £40-bn currently being discussed would not only plug the defence spending gap (Amongst many other things)it would enable the armed forces to get back up to speed. As we leave the EU we need shops and troops more than ever

Bruce Finch

29 November 2017 at 14:25

As a retired RN Lieutenant Commander I know that the command platform provided by ALBION and BULWARK is vital for Amphibious operations as well as the specialist capability provided by the landing craft and docking capability, demonstrated by FEARLESS in the Falklands Conflict. The RFAs are a forced multiplier of this capability, not a substitute for it, despite comments to the contrary. The Royal Marines are elite troops, of the highest calibre, who provide a significant numbers of our Special Forces recruits as well as the SBS. Their capability has been repeatedly demonstrated in operations from the Balkans, through Sierra Leone to Iraq and Afghanistan and their versatility is such that they can operate from the mountains of Afghanistan to Norway and Africa. They are rightly held in the highest regard by the US Armed Forces. It would be an act of utter folly to cut their numbers as we look to the wider world post Brexit or impede their deployability and therefore ability to fight and win by decommissioning the Amphibious ships. Undoubtedly a decion tonreduce the Corps or decommission the ships would adversely affect unit morale, sine the raisin d’etre of the force is being hollowed our. The same applies to the wider community

Adrian Price

29 November 2017 at 13:27

The Royal Marines are one of the most effective fighting forces of elite troops that we have and are a major part of the The SFSG. To reduce the Marines is naive at best and military vandalism at worst. To wilfully deplete the UK's special forces would ruin the UK’s fighting strength and have a bearing on how we are seen around the world. For a while now we have been seen as a ‘once great military nation’ rather than a force currently to be reckoned with. But this can be reversed if the will is there and the commitment to Britain’s defences and Nato’s defences is something we really care about. W cannot know what areas of conflict will arise in future but one of the areas of concern are the Baltic states. To have amphibious Albion craft and crack Marine troops to be deployed would at least make an aggressor think again. Marine assaults are often done in estuaries, harbours and inland in rivers across all continents. We need the capability of these elite troops. The Albion class replaced The Fearless class and we saw how crucial this style of transporter ship was during the Falklands’ war. To deplete the Marines then to lose the means of transport would reduce the tactical efficiency. Our Marines train assaults from these ships as special to the Marines. Lose those ships and put the Marines on ships not focused on Marine style assaults would reduce the tactical advantage. Finally, when we see films, watch TV and read in books about US Navy Seals we remember that we have our own specialist elite troops too that were the forerunners of the US special forces. Let us not reduce our country to a once ‘once great military nation’ only to be seen in old films and in museums. Britain has skilled expert military and high quality specialist naval shipping. We must not let the cut backs reduce Britain’s presence and capability in the world.


29 November 2017 at 13:19

You can't look at the shipping unless you've looked at 3CdoX and it's future role and specifically how we wish to employ the RM. CGRM has spoken of a new direction for the Corps more closely aligned to Commando centric capabilities (and USMC MAGTAF-CR) with less focus on the 'marine. This closely followed restructuring of the Corps such that realistically a Lead Commando Group+ would be the largest element envisaged for an amphibious landing. This suggests that CGRM has a clear vision and hence from this the shipping, aviation and logistic elements can be reduced. Apart from hosting SPTGs on 'shipping of opportunity' which may well need specialised C2 capability there would seem to be a plain requirement for amphibious ship(s) for an LCG+ with the associated C2, support craft and aviation. It's worth noting that the Command capability of such platforms is vastly different to that in other ships (even CVF) as it needs to bridge the dark blue/littoral interface and reach air/army/navy and allied units/platforms which is manifestly complex. Ships alone don't not make an amphibious capability.


29 November 2017 at 12:43

The most credible analysis of possible and probable future conflicts concludes that the setting for those conflicts will be in the littoral (i.e. where the sea meets the land). The vast majority of the world's population live in coastal mega-cities and the vast majority of these are in developing countries where the security and operating environment are complex to say the least and where some form of military capability is most likely to be required. Whether the UK is acting as peace-keepers, providers of humanitarian aid, conventional combatants or a hybrid of all three, it is almost inevitable that that we will be conducting those operations in a Mogadishu or a San Juan or a Kinshasa than in a Baghdad or a Lashkar-Gar. With that in mind, making any kind of cuts to the Royal Navy and especially to the Royal Marines would be utter folly. Being able to project troops and resources from a seaborne base is critical and would be the cheapest and most efficient method of limiting infrastructure-risk during extended operations (think of the cost/risk of a Camp Bastion on the Congo River). Similarly, the Royal Marines are among the hardiest, most versatile and effective troops in the world and to limit their capacity in favour of short-term savings would leave us hugely exposed both in terms of base capability but also as a feeder for the ever-increasingly vital Special Forces. The British military is very, very good at perfecting the art of fighting the last war, just in time for the next one. In this case, the next war is not going to be in the desert or in the mountains, it's going to be in cities by the sea and a fully manned and functioning Royal Marine Corps and Royal Navy are crucial to success in urban, littoral theatres. Let's think ahead for once, instead of looking backwards. (ex-army officer, brother of an ex-RM officer and nephew of ex-RN officer)

Ben Meech

29 November 2017 at 12:33

Partisanship between services is seemingly now a threat to our national security. I am an ex-military officer (Army) and recognise the outstanding capability that the RM bought to land conflict. In essence they are the most adaptable forces we have in a highly dynamic threat scenario. I could venture that some of our line infantry regiments are a step change short in this regard. Holding a RM capability hostage ransom by the Navy in order to man their own shortfalls is a pathetic strategy to gain funding. They've had enough money, rank inflation and incompetent project controls on procurement are their own doing. My recommendation it controversial and radical, in order to stop partisanship and disintegration of aggregate capbility, sack the heads of the TLBs and services and bring all the TLBs into one efficient, capability and merit based organisation. The time has come for the significant structural reform that the TLBs cannot do themselves, be done. Good luck. For once, I stand foursquare behind our Commando forces, they did the heavy lifting when asked, they deserve our loyalty in return. It's just good business.

Rob Forsyth

29 November 2017 at 11:28

I am an ex submariner who has worked a lot with the Booties. Anything that impairs their amphibious capability is seriously to be deplored. I would put retention of amphibious forces and RM numbers streets ahead of keeping Trident which has no military value but is in severe danger of becoming a first military resort rather than the last political one it is meant to be. The one word answers to your 3 Qs are Very, bad & bad.

James Murphy

29 November 2017 at 10:57

To cut our best fighting troops at any time is a signal to both our enemies and our allies that we are weakening ourselves. A govts first job is to defend the state, we should be increasing the defence budget not cutting it. Morale in the armed services is bound to drop if these cuts are to go ahead. Cutting the albion class ships makes no sense. They have recently had expensive refits to extend their service life so cutting them will mean the money was wasted. We need to increase our fleet size not reduce it. I have seen talk of removing the cost of trident from the defence budget and I think this is both fair and makes economic sense. We are supposed to be the 5th or 6th biggest economy in the world and yet our armed forces are in real danger of becoming inadequate should the need arise to defend our country from state aggression. Where is the country's supposed wealth and why isn't it being spent on defence? If it means raising taxes to make our armed forces great again I am for it.

Total results 954 (page 93 of 96)