THE ROYAL NAVY TODAY: REALITY, ASPIRATION OR PRETENCE?

From an original water colour© DC Graham:  HMS AMBUSH HEADS FOR HOMEIN THE GARELOCH:

Extract taken from a larger document which can be read in its entirety HERE

This paper is produced against the background of an ever increasingly uncertain world, a far cry from the utopia dreamed of after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the ending of the Cold War. Western democracies, quick to take advantage of what was termed the “peace dividend” and reduce defence spending accordingly, are now faced over twenty years later with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army [Navy] intent on acquiring a blue water fleet of 500 vessels, thereby threatening stability in the Far East, a Russian president intent on projecting his country’s interest as he sees it and thereby establishing a dominant presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, whilst openly threatening NATO member states in the Baltic. This is coupled with the ever-present threat of terrorism in Europe and the United States, the instability in the Middle East and Gulf, and the increase of cyber warfare and the hacking of Western defence systems by highly competent and sophisticated enemies. (more…)

Problem with British Defence Policy Engagement

 

DefenceSynergia One page Summary of the Problem with British Defence Policy Engagement

Despite UK Defence receiving more cash inputs since SDSR 2010, indeed, despite earlier defence spending achieving much higher input than 2% of GDP, the fact remains that HM Armed Forces have, and continue to reduce in manpower, major weapons platforms, sustainment and logistic enablers. It seems that the net result of increased Defence spending in procurement – now said to be £178bn over 10 years – is that capacity, utility and capability are on an irreducible downward spiral. The net effect is that core doctrine defining Readiness, Responsiveness, Resilience and Regeneration is being side-lined under the cover of a ‘shop window’ PR mantra that more cash input equals greater capability output. (more…)

DS Commentary on IHAT

DS welcomes and supports the House of Commons Defence Committee’s 10th February 2017 Report and recommendations on the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT). DS also welcomes the MOD’s 11th February 2017 announcement that IHAT will be closed, however, DS is disappointed that IHAT closure will not be until summer 2017. MOD’s announcement timing seems to have been more a PR exercise aimed to cynically out-manoeuvre the HoCDC’s report, rather than a genuine result of analysis, progress and learning. (more…)

Some Thoughts by DefenceSynergia on the ‘Times’ Article Covering British Procurement Deficiencies

In DS we discussed the ‘Sunday Times’ leaks and alleged defence deficiency issues and several view points emerged as to technical accuracy, relevance etc. However, the one thing we all agree upon is that the net effect of the various bans on service personnel communicating even with their own Members of Parliament without MOD sanction has been to create a dam of frustration. To an extent what many recent newspaper reports may indicate is that the flood of stories coming from within the MOD domain is a sign of the dam breaking because serving personnel know that what is being stated publicly is not an accurate reflection of the reality within Defence. (more…)

RAF Regiment 75th Anniversary

DS is grateful to Howard Wheeldon FRAeS for the following article celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force Regiment. ‘The Rocks’, as they are affectionately known in Royal Air Force (RAF) circles, unjustifiably do not always get the level of public recognition as flying squadrons do. Like the essential ground support elements of the RAF, their stalwart and professional service can sometimes be overshadowed by more media friendly ‘sexy’ fast jets.

What may be less well known is that the officers, airmen and airwomen who serve in the RAF will have had the pleasure of basic training under the tutelage of ‘Rocks’ and later, in productive service, conducted Ground Defence Training (GDT) under their paternal guidance. The latter including the infamous ‘Gas Chamber’ where raw recruits learn very early in their career that the thing you wear to prevent inhalation of noxious substances is a ‘Respirator’ not a ‘Gas Mask’! As an aside, DS is given to understand that the responsibilities of the RAF Regiment may now extend beyond ground based air defence security to include Command oversight for Armed Forces Veterinary services. Now that is flexibility.

So Happy Birthday ‘The Royal Air Force Regiment’ – long may your distinguished record of dedicated service continue. Please read on: (more…)