The Love Boat – Part 2

The previous post showed sailors of HMS Daring creating a Valentine display on the flight deck

Not to be outdone in the race to Joint Service Laughing Stock Finals 2014, sailors of HMS Somerset have created a giant love heart.

[fbvinyl id=10152220381828205]

What did 1SL say earlier this week about being credible and in the first division player?

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26115095″]

 

Do the Russian, United States, Iranian, Japanese, Chinese, French or anyone else for that matter have a PR department that is intent on making their proud services the subject of ridicule, through official communications channels?

Why don’t we have a look

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://eng.mil.ru/en/index.htm”] [browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://eng.mod.gov.cn/ArmedForces/navy.htm”] [browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.navy.mil/”] [browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.defense.gouv.fr/english/navy”] [browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/en/index.page”] [browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://indiannavy.nic.in/”]

Surely those crazy shexy dutch…

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.defensie.nl/english/navy/”]

 

Just askin like :)

Arsing about with your mates and and sending a Valentine home is one thing, its a but of fun and who are we to comment after all, but organising multiple instances across the fleet and disseminating through official media  (including a radio interview) is entirely another.

There is a difference between what individual personnel do and what is output as official media.

Am I being silly, over sensitive and a miserable old fart or is this is getting a bit out of hand now. All the services media teams do a great job but is this getting to the point where credibility of a proud fighting service is being undermined?

It is not as if the Royal Navy is short of great people, doing great things, in interesting places.

If there are any non UK people who fancy offering an opinion, would be really interested to hear it.

 

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Sir Humphrey
February 14, 2014 2:03 pm

TD – I understand the deep concerns you and others have about this, but if you look at some of the coverage, its actually a good way to put across what the RN is doing, how hard its ships are working and gives a sense of just how busy things are. A ‘RN ship goes to sea for 9 months’ story may be of interest to us in the defence community, but may not be picked up by media, or joe public may never read it.
By contrast this story got a lot of attention across UK media channels, and probably got the chance to message people who would otherwise never have known about DARING about how well she has done. If thats the price to pay to inform people of the RNs contribution, then its a good bargain in my eyes.

Sir Humphrey
February 14, 2014 2:26 pm

TD – I don’t for one second doubt the RN has amazing stories to tell. Now go and convince the media to run them.

Thats the issue – its not the RN media team, but the warped agenda and priority of the UK media which places more value on sailors making love hearts than stories of the fleet.

As for other nations, the question is whether those navies do something that the media want to carry (or are forced to carry)/.

Derek
Derek
February 14, 2014 3:06 pm

The last thing the RN should be doing is revealing what its surface ships do on a day-to-day basis, if they did the defence budget would become about as popular as the pointless and wasteful foreign aid budget within a week. Explaining how RN sailors have been merrily cruising round the South Pacific or Caribbean, even if they have helped rebuild the occasional village or stop the odd drug boat, is hardly going to produce support from a populace tired of being ignored by it’s arrogant and detached ruling elite who favour foreign grand standing over domestic flood relief.

x
x
February 14, 2014 3:17 pm

Sir H said “its actually a good way to put across what the RN is doing, how hard its ships are working and gives a sense of just how busy things are.”

Really?

jamesf
February 14, 2014 3:27 pm

Derek,

You are going to need a lot more than the DFID budget to fix our flood defenses and adapt to climate change that has caused the increase in flooding since 1998.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/mail-demands-foreign-aid-to-be-spent-on-replacing-british-carpets-2014021183451

Meanwhile hear are a few pointless uses of the international development budget…

http://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/sector/4/categories/152/projects/15210/

http://appablog.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/joint-fcomoddfid-press-release-uk-provides-airlift-support-to-un-mission-in-south-sudan/

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/counter-violent-extremism-communities-beat-terrorism

http://www.ssrnetwork.net/document_library/detail/4071/the-african-standby-force-an-update-on-progress

I declare a interest, I work in both the defense & sexurity and humanitarian sectors – and primarily in ‘stabilization’ where the two intersect.

Derek
Derek
February 14, 2014 3:34 pm

jamesf,

Nice for you to declare your self interest in my money being confiscated and then transferred directly to you. Good to know.

If I want to help the people of South Sudan or anywhere else outside the UK that should be my choice, I should not have my money confiscated by the state just to provide you with a job.

dgos
dgos
February 14, 2014 3:35 pm

I understandtThe Scottish Opti squad is training at Cumbrie next weekend .

How about surfacing a RN sub with hearts on conning tower it in middle of fleet!

Away from sand banks of course.

Make a good picture with 13 year old girls in 7 ft Optis escorting sub. (my Granddaughter’s sail no is 6062)

jamesf
February 14, 2014 3:46 pm

Derek,

You have a vote, as we all do. Use it.

As it is I think we save a lot of cash being spent on pointless wars by attempting to prevent them. There are far fewer small wars now than at any time in last 40 years – Syria notwithstanding.

Actually I run UK-based small business – most of my contracts are exports – resourced by foreign governments, and the private sector – indeed the defence sector. All of that earns revenue for UK PLC.

Observer
Observer
February 14, 2014 3:55 pm

james, strong recommendation. Check spelling, especially the word “security”. :P

jamesf
February 14, 2014 3:59 pm

Obsv.. touche! Yes I’ve also reached an age where I should be wearing my specs .. and I never really learned to type.. ;)

Peter Elliott
February 14, 2014 4:12 pm

I would suggest that when 1SL talks about credibility he is thinking of our reputation with the professional analysts, spies and planners employed by the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans, Argentines etc.

These people may despise us for silly love hearts, but it won’t afftect their calculations on the number and type of missles our ships and subs carry, the number and type of airbourne cameras and radars we have, and various other more or less secret things that determine our actual fighting capability.

If we want to run soft edged stories to attract the attention of the UK media and its civil minded population then that is fine by me. But lets also make sure we top up our sensor and warloads with enough missiles, torpedos, radars, patrol planes etc. That way when a RN ship, or task group, rocks up off the coast of wherever the professional military planners will advise their pollies not to tangle, and conventional deterrance will be achieved.

Zaitsev
Zaitsev
February 14, 2014 4:14 pm

@Derek
The Goverment is not just randomly taking money off you to make some one else richer, they are persuing a policy that they beilive will further the intrests of the UK. Wether it be by reducing future conflicts or creating new markets for us to invest in (basicaly admitting that what goes on in the rest of the world effects us). If you think that that isnt the job of Goverment then fine, but if you still want us to have a miltary that projects power overseas, then you are in the same camp as jamesf you just diagree about the method for projecting that power. I havent heard you tell Phill or Rt that the goverment is confiscating your money to pay them to go around playing soliders. Too many poeple on this forum seem to think that the foreign aid budget is a wastefull diversion from miltary power, but it seems to me that an equal part carrot and stick is balanced.

Derek
Derek
February 14, 2014 4:17 pm

jamesf,

Rubbish. Foreign aid is nothing more than an ego-trip for upper-class career politicians whereby they pour money they have confiscated from people whose lives they have no understanding of into a trough crowded with the snouts of career hangers-on. There is no better totem for the undemocratic cesspit that UK politics has become (a so called democracy with an unelected “upper” chamber stuffed with 1,000 political appointees, a lower chamber filled with thieving incompetents who refuse to even sanction the right of recall but advocate regulation of a press that revealed their thieving ways- just as examples) than the foreign aid budget.

Observer
Observer
February 14, 2014 4:29 pm

Derek, sorry mate, but I keep sensing some bias in your views as well as a fair amount of, shall I say, rabid aggression against people who do not agree with you? You, as a layman, have verbally attacked experienced professionals before, and while experience and being a professional in a field does not make a person infallible, the person has a more in depth understanding of situations a casual observer like you might not have.

In short, make your stand and your point, but please leave the rhetoric and vitriol behind? At least simply setting out your position and stand only lets you be seen as a man, which is better than being seen as a raving madman.

More flies with honey than vinegar et al my good man.

Derek
Derek
February 14, 2014 4:34 pm

Observer,

I am constantly amused when you presume me to be a “layman” or an “American Republican” etc when you actually have no idea who I am. It’s that sort of wonderful lack of insight that produces reams of ill-informed wishful thinking.

Observer
Observer
February 14, 2014 4:37 pm

So Derek, if you are a subject matter expert in everything you post, then by your history, you’re a geologist UAV operator in civilian aerospace management working for the Ministry of Finance. :P

Can’t help you there, you walked into that one.

Observer
Observer
February 14, 2014 4:42 pm

On a more thinking note, you think the softer advertising stance in the Armed Forces could be due to the fact that they are not hurting for manpower but rather letting go of it? Over here, we are really hurting for manpower and the propaganda reflects that by being rather hard core (SIGN UP FOR YOUR COUNTRY!!! et al), but with a relaxed manpower demand and people being let off, might the softer PR stance be due to the lack of need to recruit?

jamesf
February 14, 2014 4:56 pm

Obsv, That makes sense, but in reality they are still on a recruiting drive as much (but not all) of the drawdown is through natural wastage and employment levels are pretty good in the UK. I think these kind of stunts are more about keeping the military in the news – every paper, TV and radio station was on the lookout for good news Valentine’s Day stories today – and the PR types are clever and probably get paid for finding creative means of putting them on the front pages. They also do a lot of focus groups on how the public perceive the armed forces, and they probably are telling them that they should be viewed both as professional and as friendly and human – part of the wider community – to keep up their record high levels of public support in the UK. This was definitely not targeted for international consumption, more about maintaining domestic support.

Derek
Derek
February 14, 2014 5:02 pm

Observer,

That post of yours would be the reams of ill-informed wishful thinking I was talking about.

Observer
Observer
February 14, 2014 5:04 pm

I’m not Obsvr, that’s someone else.

http://www.youtube.com/user/defenceheadquarters/videos

Doesn’t seem too bad from their official site, though there are to be too many talking heads/politicians :)

jamesf
February 14, 2014 5:11 pm

Many apologies Observer! Nothing worse than getting misnamed. I think I should stick to sexurity (gotta be fun).

Phil
February 14, 2014 5:13 pm

Royal Navy basic training depot:

QM:

“boots, 1x pair ea
socks, 5x pair ea
iPod, surrendering, for the purposes of, 1x ea
Goretex liner, 1x ea
Loveheart, Navy, for the ridiculing of, 1x ea”

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 14, 2014 5:17 pm

Gordon Bennett. It gets worse.

I used to have a deep respect for the fighting abilities of the Andrew, and I still do. I merely think that this sort of PR does a very good job of hiding it, and it is getting worse. The Army and RAF are not immune, but the Andrew seem to be going off at the deep end.

I can fully see the nuanced points made by Sir H and others. The nonsense pushed out by the RN PR department is not aimed at me. But I think they also overlook a large and important demographic, people like me who don’t want our Navy to appeal to a load of useless nonces.

There’s also the reality is that the serving officers posted full time to PR Departments are normally the sort of third rate officer that you don’t want doing more important jobs, in my experience mostly stupid, and by about 6 months into post, captured by the modern media narrative. The best service that 1SL could do is to send round a two star Rottweiler to Navy PR and ream the lazy thinkers out of there, and put in some officers who won’t damage the reputation of the service.

Observer
Observer
February 14, 2014 5:28 pm

Can’t help but think that the people who advised the Navy to be softer and more humane might be a bit off. People want their armed forces with teeth and boots to drop kick the barbarian at the gate into the sea, not do art and craft, and the same “love and hearts” demographic are also the ones most likely to question the need for armed forces in the first place, so you end up pandering to your most hated “enemy” which might not even support you in the end and alienate the segment that is your allies as comments here have shown.

On the other hand, we may cuss them as sissies but still support them because we understand the need for them so maybe they thought that there was no point preaching to the choir? So maybe there is a bit of logic in it? Going to hurt them when it comes to recruiting though. Not many people I know want to join an arts and craft club that meets on ships.

Sir Humphrey
February 14, 2014 6:13 pm

RT – I’d observe that most of the DMC crowd I meet these days tend to be very good, very up and coming officers who go onto bigger and better things. The days of PRO being the job you gave someone to get them out of trouble have gone – today explaining what we do, and why we warrant so much money is a serious role, and one which warrants good people in it.

Post 2015, the knives will be out for defence funding – a good campaign now which explains in laymans terms what we do helps set the case in the publics eye for defence to remain a priority.

Chris
Chris
February 14, 2014 6:35 pm

RT – ref Gordon Bennett – apparently this is Jr not Sr; a bit of a competitive sort, who was the organizer of the world’s first car race. Wiki says he never learned to drive himself but enjoyed the spectacle of the competition.

Of course as schoolboys we all knew better – when our art teacher (a fine fellow; ex-Wimpy bomber aircrew) tried to educate the class about said Bennett after someone used the exclamation, one of my friends put up his hand. ‘Yes?’ quizzed teacher. “I think Sir he was also the winner of the famous Prague to Neasden Motor Rally?” From that day onward, anyone famous for something people couldn’t quite remember became the winner/runner-up/participant/hero/villain of the famous Prague to Neasden Motor Rally…

Jed
Jed
February 14, 2014 6:38 pm

Isn’t this conversation a bit silly really ?

Does make a heart shape on the flight deck actually, in fact, make the entire crew of HMS Daring completely useless fuckwits who cannot do there jobs ? I doubt it very much.

Does any kind of soppy valentines day PR invalidate the war fighting skills of any given ships company ?

Perhaps it is deliberate maskirovska to make the Argentine President think she can get away with sending a big box of chocolates to Portsmifff.

I understand “perception management” – perhaps better than many of you being ex-Psyops, but really, we did this shit in the 80’s and 90’s but the photos went into a “deployment magazine” which was posted home to all next of kin via “snail mail”.

Nothing to see here, move along…….

H_K
H_K
February 14, 2014 7:20 pm

The Marine Nationale’s doing something similar… their Facebook page is showing red hearts floating above their ships & aircraft!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Nationale/157499087606631

mike
mike
February 14, 2014 7:54 pm

@TD

Must-restist-classic-navay-joke!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOwn2Tq_0Mw

Your reaction to all this luvvy duvvy Navy stuff much like Randys’?

I can see the angle though, I mean, as Sir H points out.
Lets hope its just a phase… but you can’t really blame them for trying to look less distant.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 14, 2014 8:12 pm

@ Sir H,

Re the DMC officers now being reported by you to be extremely good. How is it that they come up with this sort of crap? It looks like the sort of nonsense the third rate PR nonsense of the 80s-Noughties that I recall.

“The days of PRO being the job you gave someone to get them out of trouble have gone – today explaining what we do, and why we warrant so much money is a serious role, and one which warrants good people in it.”

They seem to be signally failing. That case is simply not being made at all.

Like most of us on TD, I suspect that I am much more alert to the Defence presence in the UK media than any potential recruit, my professional life at least partially revolves around monitoring public, political and social reactions to MoD activities and procurement plans, as well as the close encounters of normal business development with MoD people. So while not of the target demographic, I am not unsighted.

As with TD’s son, my 14 year old girl is unexcited. She is not allowed to use “gay”, although she probably does when out of earshot. She said “So? Looks weird”. And got back to playing Battlefield 4.

x
x
February 14, 2014 8:35 pm

Hello I am Royal Navy. And this is my friend Marine Nationale……..

El Sid
El Sid
February 14, 2014 9:04 pm

@Observer
The RN is feeling rather unloved at the moment – our main war is in central Asia, so there’s plenty of media coverage of pongos on patrol and the crabs flying shiny pointy things – and as SirH said, they’re aware that they need to shape the budget battlefield now ahead of SDSR2015. I think the accusation of sea-blindness rings true – even on TD we tend to hark back to 1982 rather than talk about real problems like what’s going on in the Gulf of Guinea. As another anecdote, there seems to be a widespread impression that anyone in battledress helping with the floods is a “soldier”, when for a long time the only unit deployed was 40 Cdo RM in Somerset. So I have some sympathy if their media operation sometimes appears a bit try-hard eg the bloody great RN banner on the landing craft that was moving cars around in the floods.

Don’t underestimate the recruitment angle – even if there’s been some downsizing in the short-term, all the forces have a constant need for fresh blood. Let alone if you’ve got a new carrier and air wing (or two) to crew. The RAF have been doing a lot of sponsoring of TV shows in the last 2 years or so, particularly those with some kind of engineering angle. I don’t recall them doing that before, at least not to the same extent. The RN has had the same problem since the days of the press gang – their deployments mean going away from home for longer than other services, in conditions that are never going to be as nice as a ***** hotel on land. It’s probably more of a factor now that relations between the sexes are more equal, which along with things like less marriage and easier divorce gives spouses/partners more say in a serviceman’s career choices. Say you’re ground crew on the F-35B, around 30 years old with a new wife and baby on the way. Are you going to choose the job where you can come home to the family every night, or the one where you come home after 7-9 months away? Or if you’re single, the opportunity to go trawling the bars. Even if that means living in Norfolk and the “talent” to be found in the bars of King’s Lynn, you’ll choose light blue. And of course for many of these kinds of jobs there’s competition from the private sector, from Stansted or wherever. So this kind of stunt is aimed at the families of experienced guys you want to retain, and new recruits. There’s a tension here between telling the politicians how hard the ships are being worked with xx days at sea and reassuring the crews that they will see their families occasionally.

The other comment I’d make is that the nature of RN employment is changing, there’s far fewer of the old “muscle” jobs and a lot more “brain” jobs as technology proliferates and manpower is replaced by machines. I’ve seen some impressive stats somewhere on how the RN has become more white collar – SirH? Plus of course there’s 50% of the population who were previously banned from going to sea. If the RN comes across as a bit less “butch” at the human level, then that’s probably a genuine reflection of those changes, and desirable from a recruitment perspective.

Topman
Topman
February 14, 2014 9:22 pm

‘ Or if you’re single, the opportunity to go trawling the bars. Even if that means living in Norfolk and the “talent” to be found in the bars of King’s Lynn,’

By that comment I’ll assume you haven’t experienced the delights of King’s Lynn’s nightlife or ahem it’s ‘talent’. ;)
On a more serious note I’d agree with your first point re new parents but totally disagree with your second, nearly all would want any exercise that came along, as many as you could dole out.

Phil
February 14, 2014 10:22 pm

It’s gay. It needs to stop. The Navy needs to fire some Harpoons or Sea Viper at someone soon. End of. Anyone hinting otherwise is an apologist and is undermining the power of Her Majesty on the Seas and must be an agitator.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 14, 2014 11:22 pm

Phil, interesting (historical) point.

When did the RN last launch a weapon at a surface or sub-surface combatant?

From a non-airborne platform, I can think of Conqueror vs Belgrano in 1982, ditto the enterprising Lt Keith Mills RM firing a Milan at an Argentine sub and disabling it@@@, either a few weeks before or since. From an airborne platform, err……

@@@ and that in itself is worthy of some serious blokery. I mean, you do an 8 week cadre all about popping turrets on T-62s, go back to your normal job, and next thing, you’ve sunk a chuffing submarine with a Franglo anti-tank wire guided missile? Respect.

@@@ and even more to the point, did Milan actually ever kill an OPFOR tank in UK operational service? Bit of a weird procurement if we bought it to kill GSFG on the Hanover plain and it turns out that it only has one kill, an Argie submarine in Grytviken harbour on South Georgia.

x
x
February 14, 2014 11:38 pm

Gloucester downed a Silkworm with a Sea Dart in GW1.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 12:32 am

TD, your blog and rules et al, but I chose my words carefully: “combatant”. Not a converted fishing boat or go-fast.

I think the answer is the Belgrano, and before then… My history is not good enough.

As a taxpayer, I’m looking for some good value from the Andrew. All Services held the line in the Cold War, but there have been dozens of shooting engagements and Operations during and since. I’m not seeing any justification for the entire surface or sub-surface fleet in recent years. Andrew contributions to Iraq and Afghanistan have been professional and welcome, but essentially land-based and focused, and to my mind make the case that land-based forces are under-manned, not that we need an Andrew. At least, less the strategic deterrent, we could outsource most of their activity to DFID and the best bid from Serco or G4S.

I’m prepared to concede the valuable MCM work, but that’s hardly the ethos of a whole Navy. It is almost designed to draw out APATS with a furious denunciation of the entire basis, along with a riposte and counter that indeed everything must in the future be maritime based.

Naughty RT. Making such a comment late on a Friday night.

Dunservin
Dunservin
February 15, 2014 12:40 am

@TD

My vote is for “silly, over sensitive and a miserable old fart”.

Whatever next? Will the public be calling our ‘Jolly Jack Tars’ loveable rogues , singing about all the nice girls (or at least one in every port) loving them and saying, “You can’t sleep there Jack.”? Will naval officers be toasting wives and sweethearts (may they never meet) in the wardroom on Saturday nights? Mark my words, this sort of sentimental mush will be the death of the Royal Navy!

The fact that Jack & Jill are not only professionals but also living, breathing human beings who publicly express their feelings for their long-suffering families and partners is hardly a revelation. It’s one of the reasons the general public continues to hold them in such affection. Why shouldn’t they be seen in this light on appropriate occasions to break the monotony of long periods cooped up in a floating tin box? It’s only the modern internet-enabled equivalent of the officially-sanctioned British Forces Broadcasting Service’s ‘Two Way Family Favourites’ and similar ‘hearts & flowers’ programmes on BBC radio:

http://www.radiorewind.co.uk/radio2/family_favourites_page.htm

I’m old enough to remember when law-abiding kids and their parents trusted the police implicitly. Even criminals had grudging respect for them. These days the police aren’t so approachable and are forced to wear stab-proof jackets and carry tasers. They are no longer looked on as the helpful avuncular ‘bobbies’ of old and are either feared or hated by huge sections of society. Guess which I admired more?

@RT

“When did the RN last launch a weapon at a surface or sub-surface combatant?

High seas surface actions are so old hat but, apart from ARA BELGRANO (torpedoes from HMS CONQUEROR) and ARA SANTA FE (disabling depth charges from HMS ANTRIM’s Wessex HAS 3 ‘Humphrey’ closely followed by Mk 46 torpedo and 7.62mm from HMS BRILLIANT’s two Lynx plus 2 x AS 12s from HMS PLYMOUTH’s Wasp and HMS ENDURANCE’s Wasp for good measure), Argentinean losses during the Falklands conflict of 1982 also included ARA ISLAS DE LOS ESTADOS (15 x 4.5″ rounds from HMS ALACRITY), ARA RIO CARCARANA and ARA BAHIA PARAISO (30mm cannon fire from two Sea Harriers), ARA RIO IGUAZU (30mm cannon fire from Sea Harrier) and ARA ALFEREZ SORBAL (2 x Sea Skua from HMS COVENTRY’s Lynx plus 2 x Sea Skua from HMS GLASGOW’s Lynx) .

Then there were the 15 Iraqi ship kills made by Lynx/Sea Skua combos belonging to HMS CARDIFF, HMS GLOUCESTER and HMS MANCHESTER in the NAG (Northern Arabian Gulf) in 1991. These included five ex-Kuwaiti TNC-45 corvettes plus patrol craft, minesweepers, minelayers and landing craft.

Strangely enough, enemy submarines and surface vessels have refused to come out to play in conflicts since then so RN ships and submarines have had to settle for firing TLAMS and providing CAS and naval gunfire support against targets in such places as the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, shooting down a Silkworm anti-ship missile and hunting and disposing of several hundred sea mines.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 12:50 am

@ Dunservin’

So, 1991 at the latest, if you include poxy little harbour boats. Hmmm.

Point of fact. No TLAMs or NGS were provided in support in the Balkans, and the CAS were sent home (Harriers from Illustrious – I wrote the staff appraisal from Sarajevo concluding they were not adequate for task, as they had not adequate real time one-link comms to ground commanders, but most other nations did, flying from Italy). Apart from that, it’s all land-based support, which is no clenching argument to retain a separate service.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
February 15, 2014 12:51 am

Some of this stuff makes me a touch uneasy as well…but I feel obliged to point out that Warships are and always have been communities at sea as well as instruments of death and destruction; the difference now is that the daft stuff they have always done can be transmitted round the world in an instant, and has much greater traction with an increasingly safe society that mostly values cosy domesticity much more than it values ruthless slaughter….and if one looks back one can find jolly photos of crossing the line ceremonies, am-dram with the fresh faced youngsters in drag, and bearded seafarers dancing horn-pipes and doing their darning going back to the Victorian Navy…balanced then by pirates being cutlassed and dodgy potentates having their palaces pulversised because we did much more of that stuff and the Government that ordered it wasn’t in a blue funk about “Yooman Rights” and well-shod Guardianista Lawyers determined to present our own people as psychopaths and war crminals…

…doesn’t alter the fact that as far as I know we are the only Navy that has sunk a capital ship and consigned more than 300 Argentine conscripts to a cold and fearful death since WW2…and doesn’t prove we couldn’t do the same again if required…

GNB

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 1:07 am

Dunservin, please count the nature of the weapon delivery platform in most of those distant engagements. Helicopters.

Perhaps the taxpayer might have been better served by having helicopters, and instead of paying for expensive floaty little boats over decades, had a contracted arrangement with STUFT with a heli deck.

After all, that’s what turned out to be the threat, and it did not need the grey funnel line to deliver the weapon platform to firing range. ;)

Dunservin
Dunservin
February 15, 2014 1:32 am

@RT

“Point of fact. No TLAMs or NGS were provided in support in the Balkans, and the CAS were sent home…”

My turn now…

Hansard: Select Committee on Defence Fourteenth Report:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmdfence/347/34715.htm

Submarine-launched Precision-guided Munitions

154 Operation Allied Force [NATO bombing of Yugoslavia] saw the first operational use by the UK of its newly acquired capability to launch conventionally-armed cruise missiles from its submarines. The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a United States made, conventionally-armed, long-range, land-attack cruise missile that has been in service with the United States armed forces for some years. The UK had to accelerate trials in order to introduce the missile into operational service in time for the start of the air campaign, and the nuclear-powered attack submarine HMS Splendid took part in Operation Allied Force after only one live test firing. HMS Splendid remained under national (rather than NATO) control throughout the operation. The UK apparently fired 20 of the 238 TLAMs used in Operation Allied Force. The US launched TLAMs were fired from six ships and three submarines.

155 The UK TLAMs appear to have worked well. Indeed the performance was described as “outstanding” and we were told by the MoD that it “exceeded our expectations of it throughout”. Of the 20 TLAMs fired, 17 apparently hit their targets. Such a success rate—85%—seems good, if not quite up to the almost magical reputation which cruise missiles have acquired in popular mythology. Overall, it is reported that 198 of the TLAMs fired hit their target—a very similar success rate…

Target Lock – British Aerospace Sea Harrier

http://www.targetlock.org.uk/seaharrier/service.html

On January 27th 1993 eight Sea Harriers assigned to 801 NAS aboard HMS “Ark Royal” in the Adriatic Sea started flying in support of the UN (and later NATO) in Bosnia. In July 1993, 800 NAS under Lt Cdr Chris Neave embarked on HMS “Invincible” to take over Bosnian commitment. The Shars flew reconnaissance, CAP missions as well as close support with 1000lb Paveway II Laser-guided bombs.

In February 1994, 801 NAS returned to the Adriatic aboard “Ark Royal” to relieve 800. On April 16th 1994 the Navy suffered its only loss during the Bosnian theatre, when FRS.1 XZ498 was shot down by a Bosnian Serb SAM while conducting a reconnaissance mission over Gorazde. The pilot, Lt Nick Richardson from No 801 squadron ejected and was recovered by an SAS patrol.

On June 27th 1994, the first two FA.2s of No 899 squadron embarked on HMS “Invincible” as part of the ship’s work-up for deployment to the Adriatic in early September (where it would relieve “Ark Royal”).

In the period from September 1994 to February 1995 the Sea Harrier FRS.1s flew over 360 sorties in support of the UN’s Deny Flight operation…

The return of 801 NAS to the region in late 1995 aboard HMS “Illustrious” marked the first combat deployment of the AIM-120 AMRAAM on the Sea Harrier. The first AMRAAM mission was flown on December 25th 1995.

On February 13th 1996 FA.2 XZ455 crashed into the Adriatic 28 nm NE of Bari after suffering a rear nozzle failure while returning from a NATO mission over Bosnia. The pilot, Lt Oz Phillips, ejected at low level and was rescued by helicopter.

Overall the Sea Harriers flew 1748 operational sorties in the Balkans theatre over a three-year period in support of the UN and NATO, without missing a single sortie through unserviceability.

Were you ever on ARRSE with the user name ‘Tropper’?

Dunservin
Dunservin
February 15, 2014 2:02 am

@RT

“Dunservin, please count the nature of the weapon delivery platform in most of those distant engagements. Helicopters…”

The platform containing the necessary C3I, associated long range sensors, complementary weapons, logistic support and maintenance for the petrol pigeon was the parent ship. The helo was one of its main weapons. This is why the RN treats any embarked aircraft as an important and integral part of a warship’s weapons system.

The RN T42 hosts of the ship-busting Lynx helicopters in GW1 were also taking it in turns with USS BUNKER HILL (‘Bunker Bill’) as frontline upthreat AAW guard reporting enemy a/c and missiles as they went feet wet and destroying any that proved a threat. I was embarked in one of them (HMS GLOUCESTER) when she splashed one of two Silkworm ASMs approaching the force. The other ditched harmlessly beforehand.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 2:08 am

@ Dunservin’,

My error. 20 TLAMs were fired into Serbia on Allied Force. But Serbia is not really part of the Balkans as understood by those who got their boots muddy. And in the context of this debate, not really relevant, as Italy was so close.

The rest is largely self-serving nonsense. Of course the FAA flew lots of missions, but they did not really do much. I used to get irritated when on getting my in-brief at 0600 daily from my overnight Watchkeepers I was told that CAP was scheduled for SHAR, as they were ridiculously complex to deal with, unlike the Dutch, Danes or USAF F16s who I could talk to, and more important the FACs could as well. The problem was twofold: firstly the pilots were only used to dealing with the maritime component and even standard things like the nine line brief was in those days unknown to them, secondly and more importantly you could only task them from CinCSouth to 6th Fleet to AFSouth, whereas the F16s you could task direct to AFSouth.

Then on top, they never had gridded maps, so lat/long conversions were necessary, which I did myself as I was the only one in the HQ who knew how (only as a result of attending the Andrew’s junior Lt’s Navigation course at Dryad ten years before). And the icing? No GPS weapons, which inserted about 6 extra loops into the ROE. The Dutch F16s were the same, which partially explains why Srebrenica was such a clusterfuck for the UN/NATO dual key arrangement.

Anyway, doesn’t matter how many missions the FAA flew over the Balkans, they were largely unusable, never dropped a bomb for good reasons, and most of us were glad to see them go. But the glorious history of the Andrew will I suppose only record the thousands of missions flown, not that they were useless militarily and unwanted claggages.

Overseas
Overseas
February 15, 2014 2:31 am

Response is actually to a very early comment by an esteemed member of the TD community, and I really do hate to beg his pardon but on this occasion I feel I must.

Re Sir Humphrey’s assertion that RN get a hard time by the media, I have to say that friends (well placed) have oft spoken to me of a difference in access from the RN to, say, the USN. As far as I can gather media would like nothing more than to gain access to one of their vessels doing their business (as say, the RAF Sentinel did with the BBC recently) but are always refused.

Compare that to the US Navy who’re more than willing to take a couple of scribblers along for the ride. So less a case of media agenda, as an inability for the RN PR department to figure out how to do their job (other than stage-manage absolute nonsense like we have here).

You want people to know how well Daring as done? Well then stick a reporter on her deck for 48 hours so they can do just that. Might cost a couple of quid, but you can’t get something for nothing.

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
February 15, 2014 7:16 am

@RT

On a point of fact.

It was a Carl Gustav MAW fired at a surface vessel on South Georgia. Only the first round was fired but missed, the other rounds turned out to be duds.

The submarine, the Sante Fe, was disabled by a depth charge dropped from a Wessex helicopter from HMS Antrim.

Just to keep the record straight.

El Sid
El Sid
February 15, 2014 11:31 am

@TD
WAGs don’t read recruiting literature. WAGs do read the Daily Mail.

You have different messages in different media, for different audiences.

El Sid
El Sid
February 15, 2014 11:39 am

Story of the attack on the Guerrico per Navy News – also hit by 66mm rockets :
http://web.archive.org/web/20030507084432/http://navynews.co.uk/falklands/stories/8202040301.asp

The Sante Fe was a team effort, it was also hit by gunfire from a Lynx and AS-12’s from a Wasp from memory.

@RT
Given that a “proper warship” is a major investment by an enemy, you should compare like for like – when did the British Army last destroy a proper armoured brigade? More to the point, rather than fight the last war, when are they likely to face an armoured brigade in future?

On land and sea, the future is likely to be more low-key security type operations, with non-state actors getting ever-better weapons, like Hezbollah attacking the Hanit. That points in the direction of better defensive weaponry like SAMs, and lighter, more numerous attack weapons but maybe less need for heavy assault weapons.

x
x
February 15, 2014 11:53 am

TD said “I think the last ship to be sunk by the British armed forces was Libyan, by the RAF”

Remind me again when was the last time the RAF shot down an aeroplane? And remind me again to whom that aeroplane belonged?

Where is the Army’s or RAF’s equivalent of Suez or the Falklands. A bigger RM and a few modern bigger carriers and neither junior service would have been needed on either occasion.

RAF flies through air secured by the USAF and gets shot down alot. What was it again? Oh yes carriers can get sunk but runways can’t, so please Uncle Sam can we bomb runways needed by a completely overmatched airforce that had run away? Never mind the carriers robbing the defence budget. How much is Typhoon again? How many bombs did it drop in the Sand Box? How much is F35b going to cost because lets face it will be a RAF platform when push comes to shove.

Op Banner and Afghanistan appear to be score draws. HMS Cornwall incident may have been bad but compared to Basra in 2008 it is nothing.

And as for the Cold War wasn’t the BAOR plan to run away to the Channel? And remind again which service would have settled that bunfight if it had gone hot? Oh yes the Royal Navy with its cans of instant sunshine.

I don’t know what annoys me about this site the silly anti-RN bias dredged up by Cold War warriors from the junior services with no idea of history or geography. Or the wet lettuce RN personnel with their smug we-know-better-than-the-rest-of-the-world’s-navies don’t-hits-us-we-are-the-USN’s-BFF attitude.

I feel better for that.

Carry on.

EDIT: The RAF may have sunk the last enemy boat. Again something belonging to a completely broken force. But at least since WW2 the RN has sunk enemy vessels. Again I ask how many enemy aeroplanes has the RAF shot down since WW2? And please none of this RAF pilots in SHARs crap because if the FAA in the carriers weren’t there the RAF pilots wouldn’t have been there.

Observer
Observer
February 15, 2014 12:00 pm

El, think the Iraqi Republican Guard might qualify.

Mark
Mark
February 15, 2014 12:00 pm

I do believe that would be called a bite!

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 12:02 pm

@ El Sid,

Both Gulf Wars. From personal experience, in Gulf 1 the Divisional reconnaissance Regiment of 93 recce wagons destroyed an armoured Brigade by itself on 25th February 1991 with 100 armoured vehicles destroyed by MLRS or close air support. At the same time, 4th and 7th Brigades took on an Iraqi brigade each. In a total of 14 hours, the Iraqi 12th Armoured Division ceased to exist. It had started the day at 80% combat effectiveness, 240 tanks, 120 MTLBs and about 6,000 soldiers.

Then we turned east and had a three day crack at the Hammurabi and Tawakalna divisions of the Republican Guard, and broke through both of them.

Sir Humphrey
February 15, 2014 12:17 pm

I’ve felt sufficiently riled by this article here to type up a riposte over at my blog (http://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/in-defence-of-love-boat.html)

Essentially my point is that we here are technical experts who get this stuff. The majority of the public, who are the target audience do not. They are not interested in much of what the RN does and to try to get through to the average member of the public, we need to do things in a way that not everyone here likes.

This may sound patronising, but I get the importance of balanced maritime forces doing stuff across the world to support defence engagement. Tracy and Shaznay may not, but if they want to travel and are bored but don’t exactly hang around the ‘specialist media’ section of WH SMiths, then they will never easily know what the RN does all day. This sort of press release may encourage a few people to join, or at least get what we are here to do.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 12:35 pm

X, re “a bigger RM”,

The RM don’t have many of their own combat enablers, such as artillery, signals, intelligence, logistics…. In some configurations in the 90s and noughties (although I may now be out of date) the numbers of RM in 3 Cdo Bde were outnumbered by army and RAF.

The RM are an extremely useful adjunct of 3 light infantry battalions and a too small beach opening detachment with not enough assault boats. But do not fool yourself that they are a self-contained fighting force entirely composed of RM.

Dunservin
Dunservin
February 15, 2014 1:19 pm

@RT

Your contributions to this blog are prime examples of what I term ‘opinionated ignorance’. To summarise the knowledge backing your credibility for villifying the performance and image of the RN:

“When did the RN last launch a weapon at a surface or sub-surface combatant? From a non-airborne platform, I can think of Conqueror vs Belgrano in 1982…”

Wrong. The RN also destroyed or put out of action the Argentinean submarine ARA SANTA FE and five surface vessels during the Falklands conflict. It also destroyed 15 Iraqi naval vessels and shot down a threatening Silkworm ASM during GW1 in 1991. Since then, enemy submarines and combatants have been deterred from coming out to play with us.

“…ditto the enterprising Lt Keith Mills RM firing a Milan at an Argentine sub and disabling it…”

Wrong. His Royal Marines fired 84mm Carl Gustav, 66mm LAW and MG at the Argentinean corvette ARA GUERRICO which withdrew out of range after being damaged. No submarine was involved.

“Point of fact. No TLAMs or NGS were provided in support in the Balkans, and the CAS were sent home…”.

Wrong. HMS SPLENDID fired TLAMs against Yugoslav targets in Belgrade (now in Serbia) on the first day of Op ALLIED FORCE (24 March 1999) during the Kosovo War and Sea Harriers flew 1,748 reconnaissance, CAP and CAS sorties supporting UN and NATO operations in the Balkans theatre between1993 and 1996. Whatever your personal view, I find it difficult to believe that map-reading and other incompatibilities weren’t resolved over a three year period and that SHAR would have been employed for so long if they weren’t.

“But Serbia is not really part of the Balkans as understood by those who got their boots muddy…”

Wrong by anyone’s understanding:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbia

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkans

European Union institutions and member states defined the “Western Balkans” as the Southeast European area that includes countries that are not members of the European Union (Croatia, which is a member, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania — or Albania plus the former Yugoslavia, minus Slovenia).

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 2:54 pm

@ Dunservin’,

I’m delighted you have such a robust opinion of me, matched equally by my opinion of your opinions.

You might have missed two things: firstly I acknowledged my oversight of the Allied Force TLAMs, so you might want to pipe down on the outrage on that. If I make a mistake, I acknowledge it.

Secondly, the original question very specifically asked about “combatants”, and set my known last knowledge of such as 1982. All of the examples you can come up with are either 1982, or references to poxy little gunboats. If you want to call those combatants, all well and good, in which case I as a taxpayer will gladly help to fund a RN of 19 surface combatants, by your definition.

But enough jousting. You really don’t understand where I am coming from. I don’t dislike the Navy at all: I see the need for one. What gets me is the rather one-sided apportionment of funding, for close to 15 years, and forecast for another 10 years, that the RN is receiving when the reality is that, strategic deterrent aside, it is an utterly marginal capability for the wars Britain has fought since 1982, and the predicted threats it will face. That and the fact that corporately the Navy behaves around Whitehall as though it is hard done by, and like a noxious ginger headed brat with a chip on both shoulders. And then whines when it has it’s little balloon burst.

mike
mike
February 15, 2014 3:08 pm

@TD

Spare your efforts… we are still yet to learn more about how the RN lost big parts of a T45’s radar unit… far more important WTF story than love hearts.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
February 15, 2014 4:17 pm

Navy needs to be ‘credible’ says Admiral Sir George Zambellas

Get some campaign medals then, you F***ing war dodging T**t! ;-)

Sir Humphrey
February 15, 2014 4:23 pm

“The RAF had stuff about Red Flag
The Army had 2 PARA kicking the shit out of some targets
The Royal Navy had 2 stories about valentines day and how much everyone was missing their mums and sweetheart”

TD – fine, but of those three stories, which one was put in the press and broadcast to the public? Right now, outside of the small community of defence fans, none of the UK public are aware of 2 Para or Red Flag. Anyone who read a paper yesterday will have seen what the RN is up to.

Fine, it may not appeal to hardened internet warriors that the RN has issued one press release which seems soft, but trawl back through the archives and you’ll find dozens of press releases in the ‘lets kick some shit’ vein, none of which were carried by the national media.

TAS
TAS
February 15, 2014 4:35 pm

TD,

I have been equally guilty of sending home some of this yukky, schmucky garbage.

You know what? To my family, who miss me for 7 months straight when deployed, it makes a difference. Our families and friends worry. That’s the demographic this is aimed at. As Sir H says, it’s not the only media story we release but it’s the one the media have chosen to run. Anyway, as you’re sat safe in TD Towers, those massive f***off storms that just washed over you? We’re in that, trying to get home. Cheers for the morale boost.

And as for what is says to our enemies? I suspect it says ‘oh, they appear to actually give a f**k about their people. Maybe we should do the same’. Without people, supported by families and friends, you have nothing – just a conscript service of disillusioned people who don’t want to be there plus a few hard-core nutters who do it ‘for Queen and country’. If you think that any nation that means us harm have even picked up on this story let alone gone running to their superior shouting ‘sir, look, look at what ze dastardly British have done now!’, you may well have deviated slightly into la la land. Sorry, but it’s true – what a fuss about nothing!

TAS
TAS
February 15, 2014 4:59 pm

DavidNiven,

What is is about a Distinguished Service Cross that makes Admiral Zambellas a war dodging t**t?

Perhaps a quick check on Wikipedia would have been in order before being quite so insulting.

Ignorant cretin.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
February 15, 2014 5:20 pm

TAS

I suppose you missed the wink at the end? a bit of inter service banter? I suppose that’s lost as a concept to an arrogant organisation that believes it can do the worlds jobs and more intelligently, is unfairly treated because the government, shock horror spent money on the Army during a ten year land campaign.

But then again if your in a tizzy fit because your service is getting its PR policy questioned then fine, If you read the entire thread you will notice that I have said nothing previously about the subject and that is because I could not honestly give a toss about how the Navy wishes to portray itself to the outside world.

Calm down, Prick.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 15, 2014 5:28 pm

OMG everyone still stormy.

@TAS I am sure David Niven will apologise once he actually does some research.

After an early flying career he took over HMS Cattitstock after she had returned from GW1 ops in the NAG. He missed out on Former Yugoslavia ops being shore based and then as CO HMS Argyll deploying on WIGs/APT(N). Then shore based and then promoted CO he won a “shitty war dodging DSC” as CO of HMS Chatham.:)
As a 1 star he was AD to CDS during GW2 so not much chance to deploy operationally but involved in successful planning, I would say so.
Commanded UKATG as a 1 Star and UKMARFOR as a 2 star, so not likely to be asked to op down to Basra or Helmand but hardly non Operational.

I had an oppo who had 3 medals before he had finished training. He got Air Ops Iraq on IST, and then on split fleet time picked up Former Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland. Much preferred my STANAVFORLANT drink and shag fest in North America though.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 15, 2014 6:00 pm

Anyone who read a paper yesterday will have seen what the RN is up to

@ Sir H,

That’s the problem. In MY opinion, it is crushingly embarrassing for a service as proud as the Navy. In the opinion of others, it shows a warm and human side.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this, at least on this blog without the official data / demographics and what have yous. Your opinion as to efficacy is just as valid as mine, and neither of us know what 60 million other Brits think, let alone anyone abroad.

I do know that my 14 year old thought it was “weird”, and TD reports that his older boy thought it was “gay”. My mother has now been consulted (RT offering a public service here ;) ). She’s been an Army wife for 30 years and is well used to old man RT being away on operations for months and once a full year away, then watched me make all of the same mistakes. Her response? “Rather silly. Makes the Navy look a bit pansy”

I hope the Navy PR people know what they are doing. PR people used to be the dregs among officers, you report they are now culled from the finest of the service, so perhaps they do.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 15, 2014 9:49 pm

@TD

I do not agree with the whole softer side of PR but I have seen the results and have to grudgingly ignore it.

However I appreciate RT comments though await his 12 months on ops dits. TAS also has a point an army truck failed to rescue people in Hampshire on dry land last night because the weather was too bad.
TAS and his T23 have been enduring that across the Pond for days, Daring has taken part in several exercises with multiple Navies in the Pacific been away from home for 9 months, rescued civvies in the Philipines, integrated air defence networks and shown off capabilities world wide.
If they want to do do a display on the flight deck, crack on, they should have been home for xmas.,
What are your quals to sit at home and slag them?

Overseas
Overseas
February 15, 2014 9:59 pm

@ Sir H (If I may),

Big difference between a press release and a broadcast report/print article.

I was having a think about this today and it seems to me the RN press people aren’t as comfortable with access ‘warts-and-all’ style as USN are (its the only comparison I can think of). Far better than to risk something bad or daft being said or done by Able Seaman Jones by stage managing the news agenda (like a giant ‘I wuv u’ on a T45 flight deck).

Which might be the issue, no?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 15, 2014 10:05 pm

@TD

I read them all and yes I still await your quals to how it feels to suck up 9 months doing it, instead of commenting on it!

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 15, 2014 10:26 pm

Well a lot of people on here will talk about experiences, having served or still serving that lends them credibility. Do you tell people air bags are rubbish?

i am going to put this in capitals directly and you can ban me if you want.

YOU HAVE STOPPED BEING THE FACILITATOR OF OTHER PEOPLES CONVERSATIONS AND DEBATES WITH PROMPTS, SUBJECTS AND DISCUSSION POINTS AND BECOME YOUR OWN ARBITRATOR OF HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE COMMENTS WHICH YOU REFUSE TO BACK UP WITH DETAILS OF EXPERIENCE.

wf
wf
February 15, 2014 10:31 pm

@TD: agreed. The British don’t do the soft stuff…well, the sort you want to join the Services don’t. They are your target market @APATS :-)

Phil
February 15, 2014 10:47 pm

Well that escalated quickly.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 15, 2014 10:52 pm

@TD

Well do I not feel like duty strops, experiences would help, you have become more opinionated. I should learn to spell it and get over being the only half that got home.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 15, 2014 11:13 pm

@TD
i do not think you have, you have become more opinionated on something things and less on others, some go without without editorial comment others engender paragraphs, that suggests anything other than an impartial stance. your editorial comments would have far more value with knowledge of your background.

Yours
APATS

Phil
February 15, 2014 11:15 pm

I’m as guilty of this as the next man, but let’s all read the bottom right (starboard) of the page.

Observer
Observer
February 16, 2014 12:24 am

The bottom right of my page reads

8:16 AM
16/2/2014

Was that what you meant?

:)

Anyway, let us just chalk this down to personal preference shall we? Some of us like navies with more teeth while others think they need a more “in touch” look and yet another group thinks that it has always been happening though on a smaller scale and that even the Navy needs to de-stress once in a while. All are justifiable comments and goals, so we can’t really say outright that they are wrong in doing so, though my preference is for teeth, but in such a nebulous values judgement, let us just accept that our values may not be another person’s values and agree that we disagree?

Or should I break out my SAW for more target practice? “DIE SCUM DIE!!!!” *long bursts of fully automatic fire* :P

John Hartley
John Hartley
February 16, 2014 11:15 am

All the nice boys like a sailor & in this day & age does it really matter? There are some hard fruits out there & if they lip sync to Kylie while they pull the trigger, again does it matter? As long as they have that Spartan warrior mentality, I cannot see the problem.

Sam
Sam
February 16, 2014 11:35 am

Can I just enquire how this lovey doveyness is any different to the peter Kay music video’s that came out of camp bastion? Did the Taliban reconsider the threat level of the British Army as a result? I really don’t see what the fuss is.

RL
RL
February 16, 2014 11:54 am

*Not Spam Alert !*

Everyone had a few too many sherries and got a bit emotional? :)

A classic and balanced comment from x

“I don’t know what annoys me about this site the silly anti-RN bias dredged up by Cold War warriors from the junior services with no idea of history or geography”.

And then, not just that but this !

“Or the wet lettuce RN personnel with their smug we-know-better-than-the-rest-of-the-world’s-navies don’t-hits-us-we-are-the-USN’s-BFF attitude”.

Talk about something for everyone! :) Hilarious and very (HMS) Astute.

Truth is, some on here “parade” (is that the right word), their service or government experience.

That presupposes that everyone who pulls on a pinstripe or uniform always does everything correctly and never buggers anything up.

And that is demonstrably incorrect. So why be so precious then about that supposed insight?

It comes across very badly guys. Is the term “man up” appropriate? Its just opinion. No deference required chaps.

History is full of examples of wizard developments and “new thinking” that would have, could have, should have, consigned prior truths to irrelevancy.

Many others however, i am sure, read this a lot, comment occasionally, if at all, but don’t trumpet expertise, knowledge, insight or experience in the same way.

Don’t feel the same need to be viewed as correct I suppose.

And no-one really knows who is talking to who, who has done what, or if someone chooses to be a touch more reticent.

Personally however, from reading the site for about 6 months, it seems in here that some regular posters must be right about everything because their experience is “current thinking” …….. It’s easy to be blinded by the light.

Also, if TD is putting up what must be a considerable sum of money and a hell of a lot of effort to keep this going, i think it’s more than a bit rich to be so critical and spit the dummy out in what comes across as quite a petulant, i’ll scweam and scweam and scweam, until i’m thwick, thwick, thwick manner :)

Self-appointed experts with current experience abound, absolutely sure of their own rightness and with it seems, (often), a feeling that others just dont “get it”, or that their views should be dismissed or disparaged because they haven’t had the same sterling experiences and the superior “in service” current thinking insight. Why is it so important to you? I’m sure Freud would have known.

In truth however, whilst technology changes and therefore tactics change in a very anodyne sense, conflict is defined by the same enduring set of truths throughout human history.

Any other appraisal of our muddled fumblings together is very short-sighted and, although that sort of stuff pops up frequently, is always proved wrong.

Which was why I particularly smiled at Gloomys “pissing on chips” theory. Never heard such a concise description of the art of International Relations.

Personally, i like Gloomy the best :) and FFS can we please restore some order and normalcy and have another cavalry based anecdote RT? I especially liked the one with the Sterling and the fixed bayonet. :)
The wonders of the Internet and Android tablets make TD my favourite Karzi based pastime. All this fluff and bluster is funny but upsets my stomach ……..

TAS, hope it isn’t too long before you manage to make it back home for a bit.

Anyone remember the pre-early 90s when you actually had to go out of the house to get annoyed with people? Unless that is you were shouting at Kinnock on the television ……………….

WiseApe
February 16, 2014 12:57 pm

I’m considering a new avatar. I thought perhaps:

http://www.rafbf.org/files/rafbf-display-hawk-03-604.jpg

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
February 16, 2014 1:03 pm

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/4364448/Heroes-Remembering-Britains-fight-to-rid-Falkland-Islands-of-invaders-30-years-after-Argentines-surrendered.html

There, the Navy doing something properly gritty. That should calm things down a bit.

@APATS, I never managed a full year on tour, more is the pity. Nine months is the most: 6 months as the MA to the French Force Commander UNPROFOR, followed by 3 months commanding the anti-sniping platoon of FREBAT 3 in Sarajevo, which at that time was the 2eme REP. The boss was a long time Legion officer, and he arranged it for me as a thank you. Those boys were as hard as nails, mostly Eastern European. Good fun stuff.

WiseApe
February 16, 2014 1:07 pm

@RL – We try to remember the site motto: “It’s only the internet you know.” And duelling is frowned upon.

Phil
February 16, 2014 1:18 pm

How are the hangovers this morning?

Why don’t we talk about where the Army got all those waterproof fishing trousers from. UOR?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
February 16, 2014 1:45 pm

@TD

LOL

Bad ;)

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
February 16, 2014 2:29 pm

@RL :–)

– “Duelling is frowned on” – also lethal – @RT brings the Family Sniper…

GNB

Dunservin
Dunservin
February 16, 2014 5:30 pm

@RL

“Self-appointed experts with current experience abound, absolutely sure of their own rightness and with it seems, (often), a feeling that others just dont “get it”, or that their views should be dismissed or disparaged because they haven’t had the same sterling experiences and the superior “in service” current thinking insight. Why is it so important to you? I’m sure Freud would have known…”

On a point of order, some of us were appointed by Her Majesty, albeit through her ministers.

Enthusiastic amateur: “Two plus two equals five.”
Eminent mathematician: “No, two plus two equals four and I have the evidence to prove it.”
Enthusiastic amateur:“Unfair! You are dismissing and disparaging my view owing to your superior ‘in service’ current thinking insight. I’ll set Freud on you; then you’ll be sorry!”

Anyway, glad to see some reconciliation has been reached between TD and APATS… for the moment.

;-)

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
February 16, 2014 7:06 pm

– in fairness, on this subject we needed experts on how the modern media function – on how the offending article might affect the view the GBP took of the Royal Navy – on the extent to which this sort of fluff influences the view held by our friends and enemies as to our military capacity – and the outcome sought for the article in question with those various audiences.

Some of the genuine experts on matters military floating in the Alphabet Soup might be qualified to sit on the Committee and participate in the Research Project to sort that lot out, but there is no obviously correct view or conclusion to be drawn on this sort of stuff, even amongst my august, learned and expert friends hereabouts…which is probably why everybody got so cross.

GNB

RL
RL
February 16, 2014 8:41 pm

Dunservin,

I promised myself not to write and will go back to simply reading but you can guess where I’m writing this from :)

With this, delicious comment,
“On a point of order, some of us were appointed by Her Majesty, albeit through her ministers”,

You proved the general point entirely ;)

As with the mention of amateurs, I’m afraid.

Then you conflated maths, which is incontrovertible, with opinion :)

Opinion is opinion, even militarily it depends on rank, experience, era when serving and in which service, or whatever else, it all frames a biased opinion but I’m not explaining it again.

Just to be clear all, i’m an advocate of naval strike, long range RAF strike and heavy armoured divisions.

Armoured divisions don’t seem to be very fashionable at the moment though.

What was that about us always fighting the last war in defence planning assumptions :)

We never learn do we.

However, I’d be a cheerleader for an intergalactic space command too if it meant projecting British projectiles into recalcitrant and uppity parts of the solar system that didn’t show proper deference to our uniquely impressive contribution to the world.

I just enjoy reading TDs blog and i’m amazed that people get so precious about opinions on a website and someone disagreeing, that’s all. But now I’m doing it too! Bugger.

Maybe it’s me but generally when someone doesn’t agree with me, I mainly dont give a **** and just plough on regardless. At the very least inject some humour, pinch of salt etc.

I shall assume the prone position in my hastily dug shell scrape, hands over ears and await the counter battery fire.

Anyway, please don’t disagree or I’ll get all upset and go back to reading counterfactual history blogs on the loo instead :)

WiseApe
February 17, 2014 6:05 pm

“Just to be clear all, i’m an advocate of naval strike, long range RAF strike and heavy armoured divisions.” – “And so say we all” as they used to say on Battlestar Galactica.

I’ve just started reading Max Hastings’ “Bomber Command” – don’t tell me how it ends!

x
x
February 17, 2014 6:38 pm

RL said “Just to be clear all, i’m an advocate of naval strike, long range RAF strike”

What does that mean exactly? Do I take you mean the RAF’s job is to range far and wide to strike at HM’s enemies at “long range” while the RN’s strike missions are just NGS Plus? If an SSN launches a TLAM say at Yulin Naval Base isn’t that long range both in terms of the platform’s distant from home and the weapon’s range? How many AAR evolutions would it take for a Tornado to undertake the same mission just purely in terms of matching the TLAM’s range? How does Storm Shadow use equal longe range at just 200nm or so? How does Trident figure into your model?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
February 17, 2014 7:03 pm

‘Just to be clear all, i’m an advocate of naval strike, long range RAF strike and heavy armoured divisions.’

How does a comment about someone putting their cards on the table and stating that they prefer no service against any other, turn into a pissing contest with the Navy? FFS

dave haine
dave haine
February 17, 2014 7:48 pm

@ X
Simply, Yes. The Nation ought to have a long range strike component, just as much as the nation needs to have a carrier strike component.

Tornado GRA4- 870nm, TLAM block 4- 900nm, so none. If you talk about a launch from home soil, how long would it take to transit a submarine or a task force to say, the Indian Ocean? (About 9 hrs direct, 11hrs over the pole by air)

@ DavidNiven
Because the dark blue gets all prickly when someone even suggests that there are other services, because as we all know, they can do everything……. and should be the only ones doing it.

Challenger
Challenger
February 17, 2014 8:00 pm

@DavidNiven

‘Just to be clear all, i’m an advocate of naval strike, long range RAF strike and heavy armoured divisions.

How does a comment about someone putting their cards on the table and stating that they prefer no service against any other, turn into a pissing contest with the Navy? FFS’

People can advocate what they like but any reasonable person know’s that the UK is no longer in any position to do everything to a high standard all of the time.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
February 17, 2014 8:20 pm

@Challenger

People can advocate what they like but any reasonable person know’s that the UK is no longer in any position to do everything to a high standard all of the time.

But this thread was not a debate about which service gets priorities over another in a climate of falling budgets, so how does x’s comment relate to RL’s?

Observer
Observer
February 17, 2014 8:46 pm

Easy David.

Amusement value.

x tends to love winding people up then watching them run around in circles beating their drums like the Duracell bunny.

RL
RL
February 17, 2014 11:41 pm

Speaking of winding people up!

But come on X don’t come over like you’ve got any actual experience or anything ;)

Anyway, you had me at wet lettuces :)

Now look, I’ ve just got back from the pub and keyubnoardss and alochjok don’t mix as you all know….

Am I the only one being spammed adverts on here for army singles BTW?

RT? Is that some kind of perverse green and brown loving eharmony you’ve got shares in?

What would the navy singles advert look like?

Observer
Observer
February 18, 2014 9:21 am

RL, something like this

RL
RL
February 18, 2014 9:57 am

You Tube, I’ll see you and raise you a shilling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC61zbu0ZLk

Obvious but had to be done.

The original was just too much ….

dave haine
dave haine
February 18, 2014 10:04 am

@RL

LOL…..just LOL……

‘Nuff said…..
;)

Observer
Observer
February 18, 2014 11:29 am

RL, proof that strategic raiding is a tried and true tactic of the RN.

:P

My jaw hurts.

Alex
February 18, 2014 11:39 am

“Not getting out of the Bedford because you haven’t brought your wellies” is the new “thanks for the iPods, IRCG”. Discuss:-)

Dunservin
Dunservin
February 18, 2014 12:16 pm

Meanwhile…

HMS Daring trains with French flagship from the Red Sea to the Med

https://navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/9915

HMS Montrose thanked for her contribution to remove chemical weapons from Syria

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2014/February/17/140217-HMS-Montrose-Syria

Same ships involved as in the Valentine’s Day articles. I wonder whether these more steely stories will be picked up by the national media and given a similar level of positive blanket coverage.

Mark
Mark
February 18, 2014 1:37 pm

If the royal navy’s media are looking for the same effect as the Ryan air media team eg any story in the media is a gd one regardless of content then who are we to argue that clearly how they see themselves.

We had rn personnel support flooding, supporting disaster relief in Philippenes, contributing to providing air defence to Cyprus and escorting chemical weapons all in the last 6 months or so. If the rn pr people can’t use those examples with huge world media attention to project the professional face of the service then that’s rather depressing. Perhaps quality rather than quantity is the best approach.