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Mail: "Head Of Navy In Astonishing Attack On Libya Campaign"


War Hero
We are punching well above our weight in this world,to go into Libya was fraught with uncertainty and like Iraq was never thought through in it's entirety about what would happen if Ghaddafi remained entrenched.
You can't win a war with pure air power even if a rebel force is assisting more by fervour than efficient use of tactics and with weapons in short supply.
Once again civilians suffer grief.
I fear Cameron was bounced into it by the French getting all Gung Ho and looking to pin battle honours on to their bare victory board.
We may regret this.
I hope I'm wrong but I think the Admiral may be right.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
For a 1SL to go public like this and effectively give his Govt masters a bollocking, things must be pretty desperate. Bang goes his shot at CDS too.


War Hero
When he came out here at the end of last month, he insisted he would never be bullied into a corner by the other two or the govt. Even though we lost our carrier capability which he was not happy with.
He then informed us then that he could not see us lasting more than 6 months without having to divert other units to support the effort in Libya.
With only one MCM available on task (Brock).[SIZE=+0] H[/SIZE]e said he wouldn’t be happy in having divert the two MCM’s on route back to UK.


War Hero
He probably is right, but I get a little p'ed-off with this kind of thing. You don't start a war and then half-way through advertise to the enemy that you might not have the legs to finish it. What sort of message does this send to Gaddafi? Too late to lament about it now - if 1SL was serious he should have forcefully put the case for Ark Royal/Harrier to Cameron right at the start of the conflict then resigned when he didn't get his way.


War Hero
Response from the Ministry of Defence:

First Sea Lord on Libya

Running across all print and broadcast media is coverage of the interview with First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope.

Admiral Stanhope clearly stated that the UK would be able to comfortably extend its military involvement in Libya for another 90 days. He was not drawn on how the UK may resource its contribution after that, saying there would be a 'rebalance of commitments', but was not drawn on where these may come from.

The Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

"Operations in Libya are showing how capable we are post-SDSR as a leading military power with the fourth largest defence budget in the world. We continue to have the resources necessary to carry out the operations we are undertaking and have spare capacity with the Royal Navy Cougar Task Force which is currently on exercise in the Gulf.

"The SDSR is not being reopened. The Harrier has served with great distinction over a long period and in a number of theatres, but we are not bringing them back into service. Our planning assumptions remain valid and we have been able to effectively conduct missions over Libya. We are now progressing with the disposal of the Harrier force."


War Hero
Mindbogglingly ignorant set of comments from a number of Telegraph "readers" (or are those the ones that just crayon in the pictures?)


Lantern Swinger
Amazing how much the picture of the Ark Royal in that last Mail article looks like an artist's impression of the Queen Elizabeth...


Anyone else find it ironic that the Conservative supporting press gets outraged at the 'cuts to the Navy' or 'The Navy is a shambles'... we currently have a Conservative government (the last lost where just as bad, and the lot before them... etc) who really do not care one jot for the armed forces, and most especially the Navy, and while i respect the defence secretary, i dont believe that he is the master in these cuts, the Chancellor, and EVERY Chancellor since the second world war can take the blame for the run down of our armed forces.

Mail Online 14 Jun 2011 said:
The Navy has just four ships in operations off Libya, the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, a Trafalgar class submarine, a destroyer and a minesweeper...
Actually, the Royal Navy has eight ships off Libya comprising our only LPH (HMS Ocean), our only currently operational LPD (HMS Albion), one of our only three surviving Type 42 destroyers (HMS Liverp00l - due for disposal next year), one of our surviving Type 23 frigates (HMS Sutherland), a Hunt class minehunter (HMS Brocklesby whose ship's company has been deployed for 12 out of the past 16 months), a Trafalgar class SSN, a Fast Fleet Tanker (RFA Wave Knight) and a Fleet Replenishment Ship (RFA Fort Rosalie). A few more RFAs are stood by in the COUGAR 11 Response Force Task Group.


Book Reviewer
I find this all quite amusing. CDS has done as he's no doubt been told to, and frapped down the Navy, but his words will come back to haunt him only too soon when the Army is exposed for struggling to meet its requirements for replacement Apache aircrew, airframes and support. They are stretched to the maximum just providing 5 cabs for a short period as it is.

Anyone wondered about the amount of ordnance dropped by the RAF, or expended by the Navy - how/when will that be replaced and what about the ordnance that is unused by the RAF but is trashed and unavailable because of the hours spent in-flight.

In short, we cannot prolong this political diversion, unless the Government instruct HMT to start writing some big cheques and there will be a bloodbath over this. I think 1SL was totally right to expose what is happening, with a reduced Navy already at stretch he has some big decisions to make over what he can and cannot do and the politicians playing their games aren't helping. Gaddafi is just having a ball by hiding out for the long game - bet he reads the Mail.
...Anyone wondered about the amount of ordnance dropped by the RAF, or expended by the Navy - how/when will that be replaced and what about the ordnance that is unused by the RAF but is trashed and unavailable because of the hours spent in-flight...
Some countries seem to be dropping more ordnance than others:
Washington Wire 10 Jun 2011 said:
In the Libya operation, Norway and Denmark, have provided 12 percent of allied strike aircraft yet have struck about one third of the targets. Belgium and Canada are also making major contributions to the strike mission...
Daily Telegraph 6 Jun 2011 said:
Britain and France are set to share an aircraft carrier as part of plans for far closer integration between the two navies, the head of France’s fleet has said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph...

He also highlighted the shortcomings of the weakened British fleet, suggesting that the Libya campaign could have been “more efficient” if there had been a second aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. At present there is only the Charles de Gaulle. Its aircraft are responsible for more than a quarter of all attacks but soon it will need to dock for maintenance.


Lantern Swinger
The head of the Navy should now suggest that HMS Ocean (our only chopper assault ship) be handed over to the Army, and let General Richards and his pongoes get on with the job. After all, the British owned apache choppers being used in Libya are AAC (army) and not RAF or FAA.


Top brass clash after Navy chief lets slip on Libya cost.

HEAD of the Armed Forces General Sir David Richards yesterday slapped down his Royal Navy chief for claiming the war effort in Libya could cause problems if it lasts beyond six months.

Read more: Top brass clash after Navy chief lets slip on Libya cost -

Hardly a "slap down". I'd offend it discomforting that 1SL chides to point out our limitations publically though.

Edit: offend? Damn you autocorrect. *find.

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