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Telegraph: "The Navy strikes back"

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
I'm not aware of anything the RAF does, apart from transport, that the Fleet Air Arm would not do better, cheaper, more efficiently, and more flexibly, professionally and willingly and with global strategic reach which the RAF, constrained to basing on land on willing hosts, completely lacks. And the RN manages without Rock Apes.
 

redassnotdragass

Lantern Swinger
What the RAF does is feather it's own nest in an extremely efficient manner. Somehow they manage to take the lead in tri-service and bi service (RAF and Navy) services to maintain and justify their own existence.

All air to air combat should be led by the RN and Strike and Logs led by the British Army. Job done, no need for RAF and it's over manned attitude. We fly much more hours on much less manpower on the same aircraft types, therefore we are more efficient - a fact the RAF lovers cannot deny.
 
Not before time; in fact, far too late. This is a much needed analysis of the plight of the Royal Navy, all too often an invisible and near silent force for good. Its deterrent effect, flexibility and ability to nip escalating situations in the bud anywhere in the world is ignored far too often. 75 percent of the earth's population lives within 200 miles of the sea (link):

Council on Foreign Relations said:
...Throughout history, sea routes have mattered more than land routes, writes the historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto, because they carry more goods more economically. "Whoever is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice," went one saying during the late fifteenth century, alluding to the city's extensive commerce with Asia; if the world were an egg, Hormuz would be its yolk, went another. Even today, in the jet and information age, 90 percent of global commerce and about 65 percent of all oil travel by sea. Globalization has been made possible by the cheap and easy shipping of containers on tankers, and the Indian Ocean accounts for fully half the world's container traffic. Moreover, 70 percent of the total traffic of petroleum products passes through the Indian Ocean, on its way from the Middle East to the Pacific. As these goods travel that route, they pass through the world's principal oil shipping lanes, including the Gulfs of Aden and Oman -- as well as some of world commerce's main chokepoints: Bab el Mandeb and the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca. Forty percent of world trade passes through the Strait of Malacca; 40 percent of all traded crude oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz...

And how can Dannatt, the outgoing head of the Army, get away with saying 'the notion that the Army is having to do 90 per cent of today’s fighting with just ten per cent of the equipment budget is “not far off the markâ€' (link) when the significant contributions of the Royal Marines, Fleet Air Arm and RAF are taken into account? Hasn't anyone told him that almost 50% of military personnel in Afghanistan have routinely been provided by the Naval Service? Is the money spent on aircraft providing transport, CAS, CASEVAC, reconnaissance and surveillance wasted? Is the spending on military sealift and the force protection providing his vehicles, ammunition, stores, spares and food unnecessary? Should the money spent on ships (and sometimes submarines) gathering vital intelligence, protecting Iraqi offshore oil installations, and defending the SLOCs against mining and equally insidious threats be spent elsewhere?

As the DT article says, once the assets needed to perform these tasks disappear, we will never get them back. In an increasingly unstable world competing for even the most basic resources, we do this at our peril.
 

redassnotdragass

Lantern Swinger
Naval_Gazer,

I like your quote, one thing the Dannatt has forgotten is that in both Afghanistan and Iraq the invasion was conducted from the sea. Something people conveniently overlook.
 

mackem

Midshipman
I think that article makes an excellent point about the lack of public knowledge of the Navy's Role.

Its true that when people see Marines on the tv they immediately think 'Army', and when they see planes they think 'RAF'.

If you went out in the streets and asked people what role they thought the navy played in the Iraq and Afgan wars many wouldnt have a clue.

PR is a massive tool and can be used to put pressure on politicians whilst gaining favour in the public.

Something that imo the navy are not great at.
 
As you observed, that is an excellent article and both Boyce and Band are excellent blokes. They both talk a lot of sense but, in their own bizarre way, so do Danatt and Torpy. The significant difference being that Band hasn’t stooped to backstabbing for the survival of his Service. Staying very quiet throughout this is ACM Stirrup. What is CDS actually doing? In the post Mountbatten Utopia, isn’t he supposed to be the circus master, moulding his defence element into a balanced and effective Force? He should be banging heads in these damaging squabbles and teaching the facts of life to those self serving, short sighted idiots in Whitehall and Downing Street.

The likes of the Telegraph can expose the perilous state of our defences all they want but, unless the Voters understand it, pay heed and be genuinely concerned, it is totally bloody futile. The pink and fluffies already equate defence equipment to how many, say, hip replacements could be funded; or how many “special needs†schools. If the Government (and, for that matter, the Opposition) isn’t prepared to recognise and argue the case to the Voters, the CDS, 1SL, CGS and CAS are truly buggered.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
redassnotdragass wrote
I like your quote, one thing the Dannatt has forgotten is that in both Afghanistan and Iraq the invasion was conducted from the sea

Iraq yes, Afghanistan???????
 

AfterSSE

War Hero
Seadog said:
redassnotdragass wrote
I like your quote, one thing the Dannatt has forgotten is that in both Afghanistan and Iraq the invasion was conducted from the sea

Iraq yes, Afghanistan???????

The UK was involved in Afghanistan alongside Coalition forces, led by the US under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), from the first attacks in October 2001. Royal Navy submarines fired Tomahawk missiles against the Taliban and Al Qaida networks, and RAF aircraft provided reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling capabilities in support of US strike aircraft. The US flew missions from Diego Garcia, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Seems rather nautical to me.... :p

Source
 

redassnotdragass

Lantern Swinger
Well I was on a war canoe along with a few assault ships and I'm pretty sure a load of marines helo'd in from them. At least that was what we were told and I have no reason to doubt the claim.
 
I

In_my_day

Guest
redassnotdragass said:
Well I was on a war canoe along with a few assault ships and I'm pretty sure a load of marines helo'd in from them. At least that was what we were told and I have no reason to doubt the claim.
40 Cdo deployed directly (via DG) from Ex Saif Seria on amphib shipping. With the exception of UKSF they were the first UK mil pers in Afghanistan, I believe. They were able to do this because of the support from the ATG which had actually deployed from UK via Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and the Oman, approx nearly 2 1/2 months earlier.

IMD
 

redassnotdragass

Lantern Swinger
Thanks IMD, I was pretty sure that was the case but didn't want to embarass myself on here (again!).

I thought their primary objective was the airfield that enabled the rest of the force to fly in (poss Kandahar), if memory serves.

Very good of Royal to prove to Dannatt how wrong he is.
 

Pete_N

Badgeman
Thats a pretty decent article which could probably do with going to one of the UK newspapers so that the general public might get some idea of what a blue water navy can offer. All they hear is Dannett moaning about "cold war relics" etc, never enough of the counter argument.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Pete_N said:
Thats a pretty decent article which could probably do with going to one of the UK newspapers so that the general public might get some idea of what a blue water navy can offer. All they hear is Dannett moaning about "cold war relics" etc, never enough of the counter argument.

All the more relevant when land-based airfields are closed because of regional political pressure.
 
Ninja_Stoker said:
Hmmn, interesting that the RAF & Army think there's no requirement for the new aircraft carriers...

Here's a recent news article, regarding the provision of air-cover in Afghanistan from the sea.

So the aircraft from a single carrier were performing 30% of combat missions over Afghanistan earlier this year? Even more compelling when you consider it's a a land-locked country. One could easily imagine cases where no friendly air bases were available, at least until troops had captured them. Then a carrier would be the only show in town. Incidentally, it takes the RAF an average of 40 days to get an airfield fully up and running for operations according to this post on ARRSE, and that's assuming you have full control of it. An aircraft carrier could be pre-positioned and ready to go immediately. If not, it could reach most places in the world from the UK within 21 days.

Add to this the ability of ships (or submarines if you need to be covert) to launch TLAMS offshore, plus the capability to land amphibious forces, and the RN brings a considerable amount to the party, despite its small size.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Yep, as stated (posted simultaneously when NG posted, so possibly missed):

All the more relevant when land-based airfields are closed because of regional political pressure.

Not only that but over 1,000 RN personnel, besides Royal Marines Commandos & the Royal Marines Band service, have served in Afghanistan in the last 12 months.
 

jockgolly

Lantern Swinger
Good article, too much of what we do goes unnoticed by Joe Public. It's terrible, in the past when I've mentioned to people that I was matelot I've had these safeguard replies - "We have a Navy?", "I thought that was part of the army" and worst of all "What's the point in a Navy?". Suffice to say I stopped talking to those people. Even when travelling to and from work (RAing it to Fazz from Glasgow is just not cool btw) or coming home on leave in rig I normally get looks of confusion/horror. I'm proud of what I'm part of and it disgusts me that we get seen as a necessary evil or a waste of money by the government/media. The trend seems to be reversing slightly with Armed Forces Day etc but it's not enough. Rant over.
 
Armed Forces Day is a cheap stunt by a Government and Parliament that doesn’t give a flying f**k for the Forces. I’m still amazed that so many people see this as a positive event. It’s not dissimilar to earning a medal and being grateful for a badge.
 
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