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  1. #1
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    Default Royal Navy Taking Up?

    From the Daily News, commentary about the latest mothball plans for the Royal Navy to cut them down to nearly half strength. Interesting subject for such a country that once dominated the seas (I wonder if they still teach this in school). Another intersting note, it appears that Britain reassigns names to ships, such as the case of the carrier Ark Royal, in the photograph. The original HMS Ark Royal had engaged in hunting the Graf Spee, Scharnhorst and Bismark. In '41 she was torpedoed in the Med.

    Thoughts from the brothers across the seas?


    THE STRANGE DEATH OF THE ROYAL NAVY
    BRITS WILL NOW RELY ON EUROPEANS FOR THEIR DEFENSE

    By ARTHUR HERMAN
    Last of the breed? The light carrier HMS Ark Royal, shown here with a Merlin helicopter, is the fifth ship to bear the name. The Royal Navy's most up-to-date aircraft carrier, it can only manage vertical-takeoff-and-landing craft (unlike the previous Ark Royal).January 14, 2007 -- A 400-YEAR epoch of world history is about to draw to a close. If Britain's current Labor government has its way, Britain's Royal Navy will mothball at least 13, and perhaps as many as 19, of its remaining 44 ships, or nearly half its effective fleet.

    With one bureaucratic stroke, the Ministry of Defense will end a naval tradition reaching back to Sir Francis Drake - reducing the Royal Navy, which 40 years ago was still the second-largest fleet in the world, to the size of navies of countries like Indonesia and Turkey.

    This decision, of course, has to be set against the background of Britain's decades-long decline as a world power. But it also reflects a struggle for the soul of Great Britain that has been going since World War II: Is Britain part of an English-speaking, Atlantic-based strategic alliance that includes the United States and Canada? Or is it part of Europe as envisioned by technocrats in Paris, Brussels and Berlin?

    NEXT month's final decision on whether to scrap the Royal Navy may supply us with the answer. Because the Blair government's drastic plans include more than taking existing ships out of commission. The service's entire future as a blue-water navy (that is, a navy capable of operations outside Britain's own waters) may be forfeit.

    According to The Daily Telegraph, plans for two new fleet carriers of the kind vital for fighting today's War on Terror and projecting power overseas - and for which $6.9 billion had already been set aside - will also be scrapped. Two new destroyers, which were supposed to replace at least some of the retired ships, are also out of the picture. The Telegraph even reports (Jan. 8) that all officer promotions in the navy are to be suspended for the next five years.
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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Wow! That's hard to believe. I guess we'll see where it goes. And I have seen european carriers before, but still cannot get over how funny they look.
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    Actually bcarey, it is very common practice to reassign the name of a ship to a newer one. Most navies do this - its TRADITION Usually when a ship is decommissioned, the name is given over to archives, however every 30 or 40 years, the name will be reactivated and reassigned. Gives the crew a sense of history etc - and it works. I've sailed aboard three ships that carried over their names from previous war time service. HMCS RESTIGOUCHE, HMCS CALGARY and HMCS VANCOUVER. All three names saw service in WW2, RESTIGOUCHE was present during the Normandy Landings, and the other two saw extensive service as Destroyer/Escorts through the North Atlantic.

    Regarding the news article, that just plain SUCKS! Britain has one of the longest standing naval histories in the world. Would be a real shame to see it fade away. At least until the next war anyhow, I guess.
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    This Country is F*****g finished... The Labour Government, most of whom incidentally are Scottish are bringing about a slow and painful for the UK by handing over more and more to the 'Europeans' based on their centuries old hate for the English.

    My fathers Generation fought in vain, I have long since chucked the towel in and when my time in this job is done. My family and I will be joining many of my fellow Countrymen in The US, Australia, NZ or Canada.
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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDude View Post
    This Country is F*****g finished... The Labour Government, most of whom incidentally are Scottish are bringing about a slow and painful for the UK by handing over more and more to the 'Europeans' based on their centuries old hate for the English.

    My fathers Generation fought in vain, I have long since chucked the towel in and when my time in this job is done. My family and I will be joining many of my fellow Countrymen in The US, Australia, NZ or Canada.
    My Dad said those same words better than 40 years ago, when he moved to Canada from "Jolly Ole" And he still says them. Far cry from Whitstable to a place called Nipawin, Saskatchewan - although he calls Sidney, British Columbia home now - for the past 25 or 30 years now, I guess.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    As the Chief Signalman would say when the destroyer squadron commander was embarked and that worthy was irked at a can that failed in station keeping:"Third Hoist!Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Interrogative!"
    For you Army types,that's Navy for "What the F***,Over?"
    Every day,I am more and more convinced that we are going to Hell in a handbag and this news is more confirmation.The world without a Royal Navy?
    That ain't right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    Wow! That's hard to believe. I guess we'll see where it goes. And I have seen european carriers before, but still cannot get over how funny they look.
    Don't poke fun at British carriers.They carry beer and were kind enough to share with their American cousins.
    And people wonder why the carrier is the most protected ship in the formation.

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    Well, I guess we know how serious Tony Blair was when he recently 'reaffirmed' the UK's committment to the defense of the Falkland Islands.

    Without carriers, just go ahead and take down the Union Jack and replace it with the Argentine flag. The one and only reason the UK was successful in 1982 was because the Sea Harriers from Hermes and Invincible made attacks against the fleet a very costly exercise. The Royal Marines, Paras and Commandos would have never seen the beach without air cover.

    I just don't get it. China's greatly increasing its blue water capability, India is planning carriers with true power projection capability, piracy is exploding worldwide, and crackpots like Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, and Chavez are prone to go off at any moment.

    Everything screams that a strong navy is still important, but they're talking about becoming a frigate force. I guess they assume the USN will always be there to answer the call.

    It would also be a shame to scrap the new carriers, they are very capable systems that would be the superior to any other navy in the world other than ours.

    For what it is worth, we have our own problems. For those who missed it, last year a People's Republic of China sub well within firing range of the USS Kitty Hawk. It got there without being detected. Call me crazy, but I seem to remember that the S-3 was retired as a sub hunter because subs weren't a threat anymore. I guess the PRC missed the memo....

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    As nations move more towards Socialism, they think that hte Peace, Love, everyone can get along ideas will carry things through for them - just look at France.

    To get the money to make citizens into subjects needing to suck off of the government tit they gut military and defense capabilities.

    And no nation, not the United States, not the United Kingdom, not Iraq - not ANY nation - should allow its own defenses to be controlled or provided by another nation.
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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    As the Chief Signalman would say when the destroyer squadron commander was embarked and that worthy was irked at a can that failed in station keeping:"Third Hoist!Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Interrogative!"
    For you Army types,that's Navy for "What the F***,Over?"
    Every day,I am more and more convinced that we are going to Hell in a handbag and this news is more confirmation.The world without a Royal Navy?
    That ain't right.
    THANK YOU DOUG! I needed that boost first thing! For the number of times I've been on the Bridge when the Old Man was teaching some young, new Snotter how to drive.... "Officer of the Watch. Are you really sure thats the course correction you want?"
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    A Navy can secure sea lanes to allow for transport all the sundry things that the Marines need to secure a landing for the Army.It's not so we can take all those pleasure cruises to the Med,WESPAC,the Caribbean and all points between.
    An air force can tranport troops quickly but it is inefficient to use planes to carry troops,the 3 B's(beans,bullets and batteries)and armor around when you can load a ship and not worry about takeoff weight or whether there's a paved runway when you can use LCUs and amtracs to get the fighters on the beach.
    If you take away any of the parts of the fleet needed to project your country's power,you lose the respect of people that used to worry"If we do that,we'll have planes all over us from them." or "A submarine will sink us before we can do that to them."

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    FOX News had a news scrawl about how the Canadian Navy was fgund short enough that ships weren't heading out to sea.
    Any nation that can afford to spend money on every little health care problem yet have waiting periods to see doctors but cannot deploy its miltiary has some skewed priorities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    FOX News had a news scrawl about how the Canadian Navy was fgund short enough that ships weren't heading out to sea.
    Any nation that can afford to spend money on every little health care problem yet have waiting periods to see doctors but cannot deploy its miltiary has some skewed priorities.
    Sadly you are correct there Doug. This isnt the first time in the past 10 years that we've "beached" a few ships - or essentially decommissioned them for lack of funding. HMCS HURON was "taken out" that way. She got tied up in the harbour, and was slowly gutted out to provide spare parts for her sister, HMCS ALGONQUIN. It took over three years before the Navy and the Government finally officially took HURON off the books of operational ships.

    Here is the Globe & Mail report:

    Afghan costs leave navy up the creek. GLORIA GALLOWAY

    From Thursday's Globe and Mail

    OTTAWA — Canada's navy is out of money for operations as the military diverts resources to the fight in Afghanistan.

    Naval commanders have cancelled discretionary spending to make up for a $25-million shortfall before April 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

    Until last night, that included a 35-day fisheries patrol for HMCS Halifax, which costs more than $25,000 a day. But when the news spread yesterday, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor said his department will come up with the money for the mission, which had been scheduled to leave Monday.

    "I was given an estimate today that the navy would need $3-million to $5-million for fuel, essentially to meet these fishery patrols and a few other issues," Mr. O'Connor told CBC Halifax. "And I've told our officials, make sure they get the $3-million to $5-million."

    Even so, it is a sign of how much pressure the Afghan mission is putting on other military operations.

    "Afghanistan is eating money like you wouldn't believe," said Peter Haydon, a retired naval officer now with the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies in Halifax. "The demand for money is being transferred through the whole military system. Afghanistan is a huge financial drain."

    The navy had planned for activities that would cost roughly $315-million this fiscal year, but were given $290-million, Lieutenant Marie-Claude Gagné, a Maritime Command spokeswoman on the East Coast, said yesterday.

    She said Maritime Forces Atlantic always "overprograms" on the assumption it will have extra money at year's end because of projects that were cancelled, delayed or less costly than anticipated. The gamble did not pay off this year.

    Other fisheries patrols, which are aimed at preventing foreign ships from fishing illegally in Canadian waters, may be cancelled if no more money is found before April 1.

    Professional-development activities and overtime have been put on hold, training exercises could be delayed until April and the navy may be asking personnel to use their vehicles less frequently.

    Lt. Gagné said Canadians should not worry that marine security will be compromised.

    "We will always have a ship ready to respond to any contingencies, whether it be domestically or internationally. So that's not something we can cut into either," she said.

    Nor will navy staff bear the brunt. The cuts are designed to have "as little impact as possible on our personnel. That's not something we can cut into and we wouldn't want to anyway," she said.

    However, Rear Admiral Dean McFadden, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, has asked all of his commanding officers to "exercise prudence within their funding allocations and make sure that funds are allocated toward essential activities to make sure that funds go wherever they are most needed," Lt. Gagné said.

    When asked why the anticipated funds did not turn up this year, she said: "I don't know. I believe it is because other priorities have taken precedence."

    Defence experts says those priorities are in Afghanistan.

    "I think the big picture here, if I have to make one, is that Afghanistan has become so all-absorbing of time, energy and resources for everyone that there's nothing left over," said Dan Middlemiss, a political science professor who teaches defence policy at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

    "They haven't been able to budget adequately for Afghanistan, as much as they are trying, because needs keep evolving and new requirements emerge on the spot and they have to deal with them quickly. So it's exhausting everybody in the process."

    The Conservative government has directed a major chunk of spending toward the military since it took office a year ago. Billions have been spent on planes, trucks, ships and helicopters, and Mr. O'Connor makes major new procurement announcements as part of his Canada First program. However, "the Canada First aspect is somewhat ironic, because here we are, we can't take care of our own backyard," Dr. Middlemiss said.

    NDP defence critic Dawn Black said the minister must assure Canadians that money that is needed here at home is not being diverted to Afghanistan.

    "If fishery patrols are being cancelled, and they are telling us that, what does that mean about environmental patrols, what does that mean about drug interception, what does that mean about border security?" Ms. Black asked.

    "I think there are a lot of questions here that the Minister of National Defence has got to make clear to Canadians. I think it raises huge concerns."

    With a report from Canadian Press
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  15. #15
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    FOX News had a news scrawl about how the Canadian Navy was fgund short enough that ships weren't heading out to sea.
    Any nation that can afford to spend money on every little health care problem yet have waiting periods to see doctors but cannot deploy its miltiary has some skewed priorities.
    Like I said, this is what you get when Socialism comes to town.

    It is only a matter of time before this too comes to our own nation.

    As one works in healthcare - it will be a sad, sad day to watch my beloved Marine Corps whittled away for healthcare that will be poorly provided and funded by the Federal government.

    And this problem is not restricted to Canada, it is also ongoing in France and the United Kingdom. Socialized medicine is not good for a nation's economy, nor its ability to defend itself.
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    Default adding insult to injury

    You Brits are having a time of it, so it seems. First the Navy starts downsizing, then they take your stepladders away, and now, if your on the ambulance in Scotland, you need to put in for hazard pay.

    Seriously, since there was little followup to the article, do they keep such detailed statistics (assaults on EMS providers) regularly, and is it also recorded in England and Wales? I can't imagine what the numbers would be here in the U.S. If I had a dollar for each time I got swung at, spit at, pushed, ......
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    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDude View Post
    This Country is F*****g finished... The Labour Government, most of whom incidentally are Scottish are bringing about a slow and painful for the UK by handing over more and more to the 'Europeans' based on their centuries old hate for the English.

    My fathers Generation fought in vain, I have long since chucked the towel in and when my time in this job is done. My family and I will be joining many of my fellow Countrymen in The US, Australia, NZ or Canada.
    Steve...whatever happened to the thought of doing away with the Black Watch and blending all of the Scottish regiments into one Highland unit? I know the BW were in Iraq for awhile, but I've lost touch with the issue since the deployment.

    It would be a damned shame to lose all that history as individual regiments.
    Last edited by Steamer; 01-19-2007 at 11:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    Steve...whatever happened to the thought of doing away with the Black Watch and blending all of the Scottish regiments into one Highland unit? I know the BW were in Iraq for awhile, but I've lost touch with the issue since the deployment.

    It would be a damned shame to lose all that history as individual regiments.
    Clutches at chest as there is really nothing to say about this one.If any history is lost,it cannot be regained no matter how people wail ,gnash their teeth and pull their hair.

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    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    Steve...whatever happened to the thought of doing away with the Black Watch and blending all of the Scottish regiments into one Highland unit? I know the BW were in Iraq for awhile, but I've lost touch with the issue since the deployment.

    It would be a damned shame to lose all that history as individual regiments.

    Not to steal Steve's thunder, but this article mentions not only that the merger occurred, but they are sharing kilts!

    Kilt shortage for Scottish soldiers
    Shortage means 1 for every 15 soldiers due to contract snafu with supplier
    The Associated Press
    Updated: 5:54 p.m. ET Dec 18, 2006
    LONDON - Great Scot! A shortage of ceremonial kilts could leave thousands of soldiers without a stitch of plaid to wear as they parade to the skirl of the bagpipes.

    Military officials said Monday that more than 5,000 Scottish soldiers are having to share their kilts because defense chiefs have not finalized a contract to buy enough of the garments to go around.

    The men, who face regular tours of duty in south Iraq and Afghanistan, have just 320 kilts, or one for every 15 soldiers.

    Combat troops wore the traditional Highland garb in battle as late as World War I, but now the plaid kilts are used in ceremonial uniform.

    New kilts are needed for all Scottish soldiers following the August 2006 merger of centuries-old regiments into a single Royal Regiment of Scotland.

    “A planned deployment of kilts will be agreed with the Royal Regiment of Scotland on a roll-out basis with ... the full program being completed by January 2008,” a Ministry of Defense spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

    The Ministry of Defense has refused to say who has won the contract to supply the kilts; in the meantime, soldiers will have to share.

    The 320 kilts provided so far have been supplied by Argyll Bagpipes and Kilts on a trial basis. The full contract is worth up to $1.95 million, taking two years to complete and will involve 15,000 yards of fabric.

    “The kilt is psychologically important for the identity of Scottish soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Willy Macnair, who served in the defunct Queen’s Own Highlander regiment. “It may mean that some soldiers in this (new) regiment, by the time they leave, may never have worn it.”

    Scottish lawmakers and veterans had opposed the merger of the traditional regiments, which saw action in both world wars and the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa.

    © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16271160/

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    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Sharing kilts?!

    That's just wrong...so very, very wrong. I wonder what tartan they're using.
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