BFBS: "Cuts To Royal Navy 'Would Be Comical If They Weren't So Serious'"

It's like so many things that we tend to take for granted - you never really appreciate how important and valuable they are until the day you want to use them and find they aren't there any more (or are so badly maintained as to be unworkable).

If the politicos want non-military examples that they can relate to ask them what they would do if they suddently had to make do without
Dishwasher (my wife's preferred example)
Running Water
need I go on?
...40 per cent of British Armed Forces currently in Afghanistan are either Royal Navy or Royal Marines.

This is in addition to more than 2,800 Navy personnel helping in the Libya operation.
Despite being the smallest of the UK armed services numerically (link), the Naval Service (RN & RM) has a significantly higher proportion of its personnel deployed on operations at any time than either the Army or the RAF. It is therefore scandalous that its personnel are now undergoing a higher percentage cut than either of the other two services:
BFBS 17 May 2011 said:
The deep cuts unveiled last year set out the future shape and size of Britain's armed forces.

Under the proposals, the defence budget is to fall by 8% over the next four years. The MoD is to cut its civilian personnel by 25,000 by 2015; Army numbers will be reduced by 7,000 to 95,500; Navy manpower will be cut by 5,000 to 30,000; RAF forces will be reduced by 5,000 to 33,000 and tanks and heavy artillery numbers will be reduced by 40%...
For the services, these cuts represent:

  • 6.8% for the Army
  • 13.2% for the RAF
  • 14.3% for the much smaller but more active Naval Service
This situation is even more galling when one takes a look at the different Service Harmony Guidelines:
Hansard 11 Feb 2009 said:
The Royal Navy guidelines determine that personnel spend, on average, 60 per cent. of their time deployed and 40 per cent. alongside in their home port during a three-year period. The maximum individual threshold (separated service) is 660 days away from their normal place of work in the same three year period. [i.e. an average of 220 days per year away from base]

The Army guidelines determine that soldiers can be deployed for one six-month tour in every 30 months (six on, 24 off) and during that 30 month period a soldier should not expect to be away from his or her normal place of work for more than a total of 415 days. [i.e. an average of 166 days per year away from base]

The Royal Air Force guidelines determine that personnel should not spend more than 280 days in every 24 months away from their normal place of duty. [i.e. an average of 140 days per year away from base]
What have this select lot all got in common?

Medina Sidonia
Brueys d'Aigalliers

They all failed to break the morale and professonalism of the Royal Navy and ended up on the losing side.

Our current and previous Governments are destroying 'US' with consumate ease. I bet Nelson, Queen Victoria and their like are turning in their graves. Disgusting behaviour by those who are paid too much. :cry:
Portsmouth News 16 Jun 2011 said:
THE conflict in Libya has exposed how stretched the Royal Navy fleet has become, a leading defence thinker has warned. Professor Andrew Lambert said he fears Britain will be unable to fulfil its standing commitments across the world following last year’s defence review and urged the government to rethink its decision to axe 5,000 sailors and 10 warships – including aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and its Harrier jets...

His comments come after the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, pictured above, warned the fleet will not be able to continue the current scale of operations around Libya beyond the summer unless ministers take ‘challenging decisions’ about what they want to prioritise.

‘The Libya conflict has exposed a simple logic that there is nothing left in reserve to do anything more than we are now,’ said Professor Lambert, a naval expert at the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London. ‘If you’ve only got so many ships you can not be everywhere so you are going to have to cut commitments...

Twenty-five warships out of 51 in service are at sea across the globe, including three ships off Libya.The remainder are in UK waters either pre or post-deployment, waiting to be decommissioned or undergoing a refit. ‘Something has got to give,’ warned Prof Lambert.

The Ministry of Defence denied the navy is stretched and said there are enough resources to continue in Libya for ‘as long as we choose’. Defence secretary Liam Fox said last year’s review would not be reopened. He added: ‘We continue to have the resources necessary to carry out the operations we are undertaking.’
MoD in denial as usual. Goodness knows what would happen if we started taking casualties in a proper war like the Falklands. Not only does the RN lack the capability to mount such a major operation these days but there is simply no allowance for attrition. This situation inevitably encourages a risk averse approach to battle that goes against everything the RN has ever stood for and, in doing so, triumphed despite overwhelming odds.

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