An idea for a new role for the RNR...


War Hero
Anyway I would be reluctant to go back to ships solely for the RNR if we are talking about similar days to the old River Class days...!!

It was clear to see that with our own ships the RNR went one way and the RN went another and when we were finally brought back to together it caused no end of shit..!!

The MCM10 days were good in their time..but that era is long dead...move on and lets integrate with the RN not go our own seperate way and disintegrate!!


Lantern Swinger
stumpy said:
There seems to be a common thread running that the RNR lacks a clearly defined role.

I agree that this seems to be regularly stated, but it is not quite the case (not having a go at you Stumpy). I am going to be picky about this because otherwise the impression is that Fleet has set requirements for a reserve which it actually doesn't need.

It is not that the RNR lacks a defined role, but that there is a sentiment that some branches and specialisations within the RNR do - something that must either be better explained (if there is a defined role) or re-defined by Fleet to more accurately reflect the needs of the Service.

There are branches and specialisations for which the role is clearly defined and which are being used appropriately.

There may well be questions over whether the RNR has a defined sea-going role, and that is certainly a tough one, but I don't think that it can be said that the Media Relations Specialisation, for example, lack a defined role, nor Submarine Operations, Comms(SM), and some of the more 'sneaky' branches.

Anyone for a spot of port defence? :)


It’s true at the minute the RNR lacks a clear role but it is SLOWLY changing. The reason for the change is the RN want to bring in the RNR to have a more active role roll to play and not to sit around with our fingers up our backsides till some one calls a war I'm glad for the change and don't forget we are all one Royal Navy


Lantern Swinger
The RNR could have a role if the RN was truly responsible for Coastal protection & maritime constabulary functions. It would require a mix of inshore and offshore patrol vessels (URNUs, Converted Trawlers, the current Customs & Excise Cutters, the current RMAS/ Civilian Marine Services vessels/tugs, the Range Safety and Aircew Training contract boats and Oil Rig Supply Boats etc); they would have to be crewed bya cadre of regulars (but could be maintained alongside by contractors) supplemented by RNR & URNU - 5th Watch manning or multiple (small) crews would have to be the norm.

I'd base these vessels around the coast and they would patrol regularly in order to maintain marine security, provide a deterrent against drug/ people/ contraband smuggling or terrorist attack, Fishery & oil Rig protection and be responsible for the local coastal recognised maritime picture (which does not exist).

It might even give the RN a public profile from which we could all benefit. It might even convince the politicians that the RN has a role to play in the current anti-terrorist focused conflicts.

Unfortunately, it won't happen as its perceived to be too expensive (Although I suspect that it would soon be considered affordable if someone ever hits a container ship or ferry going into the Solent with a RIB full of explosives).

A recent 1SL refused to countenance the idea of the RN carrying out Constabulary functions, arguing that it would interfere with the RNs core blue water role. However, if Defence of the Homeland is not a core role then I'm not sure what is. If my Solent scenario outlined above ever comes to fruition the subsequent Parliamentary enquiry will rightly wonder what the hell the RN was doing at the time.


Lantern Swinger
I don't disagree with your initial premise, smoothbore but I don't think it is fair to criticise 1SL for declining the invitation.

I suspect it is a matter of focus and funding. The danger of the RN accepting the constabulary role as part of its' remit is that the politicos would, at the very best, phase funding in and, at the other extreme, expect the RN to take on the role with the assets currently available. A bit of a lose-lose scenario to be honest.

In most other parts of the world coastal defence is the role of the Coast Guard. The role of the RN is protection of the Sea Lanes of Communication with an element of overlap obviously inherent in those 2 interfaces.

A tricky one indeed BUT, there is a role for the RNR in there I agree in just the same way as the original intention for the TA was defence of the UK mainland releasing the Regular Army to take on the more expeditionary role - funny how things seem to turn themselves inside out given enough time eh?