Karma said:I'd disagree that MCMs around home waters should be RNR manned, in part the legislative issues around watchkeepers but also because it needs to be a 24/7 capability and because it allows flexibility around the deployable force.
I've been thinking about this one. I did suggest that there also be an RN-manned deployable MCM force.....
I have never been in the RNR although I've spent some time in EAGLET in the days they used to own Tons and in those days RN rules were sufficient to allow RNR officers to command and keep watches in their own warships.
Legislation can be changed and in crisis/TTW the RNR would be called up for 24/7 in any case.
I do not mean to denigrate the RNR role in the present system but can see many advantages of having local assets at designated key ports controlled by locally based RNR personnel. Among those advantages are: force and unit identity and increased morale; increased opportunites for flexible sea time; local community support and identification with the RNR/RN including recruitment; local employment opportunities - especially if helicopter assets are involved; local specialist knowledge for NCS / swept routes, etc.
Also, if the mothballed fleet I referred to was allocated to RNR units around the UK the expertise of maintaining larger vessels and developing system knowledge plus opportunities for local employment would occur. In both repects the RNR would have an essential role, training and preparing in peace to defend the UK in war.