The Defence Ministers of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) today have taken a decisive step by agreeing to activate a ‘JEF Response Option’.

The Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) is a United Kingdom-led expeditionary force which consists of Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway.

Nine of the countries are also members of NATO, with Sweden currently outside that alliance as their application is pending ratification.

The statement released by the Ministry of Defence states:

“Today, the Defence Ministers of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) agreed to activate a JEF Response Option. This includes Maritime and Air capabilities which will deploy across the JEF’s core region as a military contribution to the protection of critical undersea infrastructure.  The activity will take place in early December and will ensure a security presence, strengthening our common efforts with NATO in the Baltic Sea region.

The JEF is determined to enhance its preparedness in supporting the JEF Nations to protect their Critical National Infrastructure.

Throughout 2023, the JEF has developed a series of JEF Response Options, designed to deter, and defend our region from threats and establish how we can quickly respond to crises. This marks the first time a JEF Response Option has been activated. It provides a tangible demonstration of the JEF as a credible contributor to security in Northern Europe and a powerful message of our ability and commitment to bolstering the security of our critical undersea infrastructure and deterrence of hybrid threats.

By co-operating through the JEF we are able to find collaborative solutions to common regional security challenges, in line with the JEF Vision published at the JEF Leaders’ Summit in Sweden on 13 October.”

 

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ryan
Ryan
4 months ago

Maybe what the British Army should be focusing on? A few well rounded hardcore brigades to back up the other JEF nations.

Cripes
Cripes
4 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

The army has only 5 manoeuvre brigades now. 3 of them are supposed to form a single NATO warfighting division, then there is 16 Air Assault Bde which is the quick reaction force on standby. The fifth brigade, 4 Inf, is not deployable, it has no regular combat support or combat service support troops and would need to mobilise volunteer reserve units.

So we have no well-rounded hard-core brigades spare to take over 3 Cdo’s former role in Norway.. NATO wants us to up our force in Estonia to a brigade but we have no spare units to do so.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Something needs to change. The army of 72,000 should be able to be structured and equipped to deploy some battle groups or what ever they are called now. A couple of 1000 fighting troops with support to keep them going.
If it cant what’s the point in having an army that size? Cut it to 10-12k with ability to deploy a few thousand with a goal to defend the U.K. island and over sea’s territory. Put the money saved else where.
I love and value the army just don’t get what they are doing and what the future goals are.

Last edited 4 months ago by monkey spanker
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Battlegroups are still called that. There is a bizarre ritual of calling certain brigades ‘Brigade Combat Teams’ – its an Americanism, of course. Many of a 72,000 army are non-deployable, but of course a couple of 1000 troops can be deployed on a very important task. We have many troops deployed on operations and other tasks all around the world. We could not deploy a full brigade and roulemont it on an enduring operation, as five readily deployable brigades with the most appropriate equipment are required in the Orbat to resource that remit and to maintain the recommended tour interval… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I am joking about the cut, it’s frustrating as I see the army doing so much with what they have but if it came to a bun fight with 200,000 enemy what can the army throw in and what can they have left after to hold the lines. Some troops are in Japan just now, the falklands, Baltics and loads of other places. 2nd battalion Scottish regiment are deploying over Christmas somewhere, don’t know where or how many. The British army butter only spreads so far. It’s not that 72,000 isn’t enough for U.K. and overseas roles. It’s the world… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

72,000 is way to low to do the job what’s asked apon them .If HMG want to play on the world stage then do something about it and Get more cash out of the money jar 🙄 💰💰💰

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

The British Army would not of course single-handedly fight a 200,000 strong army, such as the Russian Army. We would deploy 3 (UK) Div plus other formations that would be relevant such as 16 AA Bde – to join a strong NATO coalition of up to 31 countries in all. Other commitments (except Op Cabrit in Estonia, Poland) involving 3 Div/16 Bde units would be quickly dropped. The Army Reserve would be mobilised. Some or all of the Regular Reservists may be called up. Sadly that 72,000 are not all deployable. I think Future Soldier was published in March 2021.… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Whatever alliance we’re in or allies we have, bringing less & less to the table every year shows how little we’re commited to that alliance or our own security. A point noticed by our enemies.

Andy O
Andy O
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Numbers aren’t everything. Training and equipment in the right hands will always overcome numbers, as we’ve proven time and time again. That’s probably why every NATO country and their mates, want British troops alongside them.

Frank62
Frank62
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

If you cut forces to current levels holding any line is academic. The only justification that makes sense is if we are at peace with no threats on the horizon. However we’re living in cloud cuckkoo land. It’s like looking for more cuts in 1938/9.

Grizzler
Grizzler
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

The army of 72k should be bigger and better equipped…but we all know that aint gunna happen.l

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I think the army is supposed to provide the structures and C2 systems into which allies can slot mass. It’s a dodgy call at best, but the army can only deliver what government pays for.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

I had not heard that NATO wants us to up our eFP force to a brigade. Given that eFP is a MN commitment, then we would not contribute all components of that brigade, but to provide the framework. Still, it would be a challenge to deploy even a Bde(-). This is an enduring commitment so it would be tough to roule this with only four fully regular deployable brigades in the Orbat – Harmony guidelines on inter-tour interval would be breached. Also, the task really requires heavier equipment to deploy – and only three brigades have got medium to heavy… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Ryan, Is the British Army the best resource as a military contribution to the protection of critical undersea infrastructure. They work so much better on land!

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Challenger 3 and Ajax will have air independent propulsion for undersea work😂😂😂😂

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I like it!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

GM,

Concur. Shouldn’t the RN be the OPR, w/ RAF (P-8s) and Army (16 Air Assault Bde., Apache force, etc.) in support/contingency roles? Can envision any number of soldiers concerned re sea duty, especially in the Baltic during winter! 🤔🥶🤮🤧🤯😱

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Sorry, forgot another conversation obvious candidate organization, the RM…🙄

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Delete ‘conversation,’ not certain how that was inserted…🙄

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

OPR? All our significant ops and deployments are mounted by the tri-service PJHQ at Northwood. The article talks about the Baltic Sea region and photo shows RN assets. This therefore might be RN/RM as the supported service and Army and RAF as supporting services – as the default. But it would switch to Army as the supported service if the threat was clearly a potential or actual cross- land border invasion of a NATO Baltic nation. Still PJHQ-led, of course. If that happened we might be heading to WW3 and would send more than 16 AA Bde and Apaches –… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Your explanation of component roles and responsibilities is inherently more rational. Confused by previous comments re presumed Army involvement in protection of undersea infrastructure.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago

Air, land, sea, space, cyber? Or all five?

Temperature in Latvia was circa -20⁰ yesterday, so avoid the wind and remember your skills and drills.

Keep safe and try to have a good time.

Toby J
Toby J
4 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

A refreshing excursion, nothing more 😏

Jim
Jim
4 months ago

That the third commitment to,forward deployment announced in three days. No new forces announced surprisingly.

Got to love Grant Shapps, f**ks up everything he touches

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Another party political. We don’t have to have twelve month’s of this Jim, do we?

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I guess that depends how many more agreements and deployments the MPs sign the U.K. forces up for in December. November will take some beating.

Grizzler
Grizzler
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Depends if Shapps turns out to be any good or not I suppose…I know where my money is, but we should wait & see, to be fair if nothing else.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Grizzler

All anybody can ask for really.

Frank62
Frank62
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

We all criticise whatever party is in power if they fall short in defence, so it’s not party political victimisation, it’s calling out failings whoever does it. The country is the victim.

Last edited 4 months ago by Frank62
Cripes
Cripes
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

👍👍👍

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim. The announcements about South Korea and Turkey did not mean additional tasking or commitments. Closer defence relationships do not mean we are deploying RN escorts, RAF sqn’s, or Army units to those nations.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Talk is cheap. Any MP putting forces forward should have to go on the actual deployment for the duration. Lead from the front and get to see where issues are and what strengths they’re are.

Jacko
Jacko
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

If it was just Shapps you might have point! As it’s an agreement with all those other countries it’s not just the UK is it ?

Last edited 4 months ago by Jacko
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago

Another move to strengthen JEF can only be good. As I’ve been saying for the best part of four years ,if there is a way of the UK being a real contributor to European defence this is it.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Not JEF per se, but Sweden cooling on GCAP, somewhat against this trend. Saab very handy.

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Sweden is out of the GCAP Programme,and has been for some time.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Afternoon, Paul. Combat air’s certainly not my main area, other than which international partners contibute what to platforms, weapons, etc. But remained confused over whether Sweden’s disappearance at time of Japan’s appearance(!) – GCAP, was permanent or effectively a hiatus pending progress within UK /EU programs, or indeed other options ranging from recombining the two along Typhoon lines, going solo (unlikely) or with USA even. Still, hearing that they’d a) Officially left this month; b) still had understanding with Japan over possible recommitment in time. Personally, chary over extending association with the United States unless she recognises essential partner nations… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Current understanding is that ITAR will be significantly amended as part of AUKUS, in order that Uncle Sugar’s minions will be permitted to play nicely w/ Brits and Aussies. That is, if ye olde Congress ever ceases coitusing w/ itself and the Executive branch…🙄

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Thanks, Former. Honestly feel that, with the current direction of travel, US itself is going to end up seriously fcuk’d this century if it doesn’t just so lighten up on ITAR, and the like. Or fail to accord other states technological acumen. Russia, under Putin & his ilk, are an absolute pain, but less compared to an awakened China, to whom they may be little more than a resource. We, the Democracies, need each other – not shortsighted politicoeconomic oneupmanship. More so than ever before the world is fracturing between democratic states, where the electorate have a highly valued periodic… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Gavin Gordon
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Fair enough. Not just JEF but it’s a cracking place and commitment to start rebuilding our forces.

Bill Glew
Bill Glew
4 months ago

This deployment makes sense – but I cannot understand why we are sending the navy to the other side of the world!!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Glew

Because we are global Britain. The navy has always sailed the Seven Seas.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sir! Bluffer coined the phrase ‘Global Britain,’ surely you are more erudite than to repeat it?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

David, you may not like a politicians ‘soundbite ‘ phrase, but our armed forces have always been globally deployable, we have many overseas bases (second only to the US) and have participated in much warfighting, stabilisation operations, peacekeeping duties, protected evacuations and humanitarian operations all over the world since…. forever.

Our armed forces are inherently expeditionary – virtually every use of our armed forces is overseas.

Perhaps we did not even need the phrase!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As a P5 member and one of the world’s biggest economies, with our history, we have been Global Britain for centuries. BJs grandstanding has been seized upon by many, but also includes trade and defence agreements like GCAP, AUKUS, 5 Eyes, and lots else. Which are global. When else has Japan decided to pass the US by and get involved with the UK in a project of Tempests scale? Global Britain is a thing, whether it’s detractors like it or not. Boris Johnson’s wording doesn’t change that. I’d hope we remain Global Britain with Sir Kier in charge, because if… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago

I think Japan feels comfortable dealing with the UK because they appreciate our monarchy and history. Says a lot that Nissan are investing in EV cars even though we have left the EU. In King Charles’ coronation anointing we still retained the notion of a divine authority. Its something about our culture they can relate to. We are global Britain because we have given the world English, the English Legal System and 4ft 8 1/2 in railway gauge 🙂 My take is that we are coming through rough waters but we haven’t capsized. As a nation we don’t do extremes… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul. Hmm, how powerful Starmer will be faced with the left of his party will always concern me until proven otherwise.
Agree on the British Empire links.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes, and English weights and measures! Then you Brits abandoned the poor colonials and went metric! What the hell, thought the crew, or at least the Captain, was supposed to go down w/ the ship?!? Colonists are slowly and painfully migrating to the Metric system…🙄

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I bought a very good quality set of Whitworth spanners for my MGB…..made in Japan 🙂

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Had to look this up, & used Wikipedia* for quick reference, but seems we’ve had cordial official relations with Japan since 1854 pretty much right up to today. In other words 1930s/40s were the unfortunate exception. Probably the most appropriate perspective with which to view our two nations from now on.
* further interesting dits about earlier British ‘adventurer’ contact since the 16th century – including of course the first granted Samurai status in the 17th, William Adams.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yes, traders and evangelists from Europe were a busy bunch in Asia. The Jesuits landed in Japan in the 16c but failed to convert the closed culture. But had success in Nagasaki which was home to a significant number of catholics when the atom bomb fell.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Your knowledge of history always impresses me, Paul. I knew nothing on that.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago

Actually, I come late to an interest in the subject. Gave up history at school in favour of chemistry as I recall. There are many other folks posting whose knowledge is far better.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago

I totally agree mate. Plus I have a fair degree of faith in John Healey, more so than faith in Schapps.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham.
Given his earlier comments, I don’t. But yes, Schapps is a waste of space too.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago

I’m hopeful that starmer will be ok but the election hasn’t happened yet and who knows what can happen.
Looking over the defence spending since 1998 to today, it sat around the 2.5% of gdp until 2010. Then went down to around 2% from 2011 until
Today.
Tony starmer in the making 😂😂

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well said Graham 👍

Bill Glew
Bill Glew
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We ceased to be a world power at the end of WW1. We cannot even police our own shores. We are part of NATO and the only way we could ever survive in a major conflict is to act as part of NATO. We have only got involved in alliances on the other side of the world to boost the ego of our politicians. Someone, somewhere needs to take a serious reality check.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Glew

Bill, I would not date our demise as a world power to as early as the end of WW1 as we still had the Empire, were still a major manufacturing country, still had an enormous and much respected Navy and many overseas garrisons, naval and air bases. Certainly the USA was ‘on the rise’ from that time despite the Great Depression. But the UK was, by any metric, still a world power and was going into WW2. Britain is stil a global power – a country with a global perspective with friends and allies and trading partners across the world,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Brilliant post.
One for the self loathers and detractors to stew over.
I predict very few replies.

Cripes
Cripes
4 months ago

Come , come Daniele! The fact that most of us see that, militarily, we have next to nothing with which to tilt to the Indo Pacific, does not make us self-loathers or detractors, just realists! The fact that we trade globally is not really the issue. The USA, China, Japan, Korea, France and a few dozen others trade globally, genetally more successfully than we do. What makes me uncomfortable about the ‘Global Britain’ slogan is its similarity to the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan. Both are/were deployed by rather unattractive leaders trying to be re-elected on a whipped-up nationalist platform.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Fair one, mate.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago

Thanks mate. I cannot understand those who say we are on the scrapheap just because we shed the Empire and have a smaller Navy.
I never doubt that we have many problems with Defence and other areas though.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Glew

What else would you do with it, pootle around a puddle?

Christopher
Christopher
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill Glew

There are 300 million people in “Europe” they can (as the Poles are doing) ”buy there own tanks”. The opportunities in the next 100 years will be East of Suez….. the Navy should be there and in force, A couple of squadrons might be an idea too in somewhere like err…..Singapore..

Tom
Tom
4 months ago

So as a NATO member, the UK will be deploying forces across the Baltic, as part of the JEF.

50 people here, 50 people there, supported by 3 Typhoon jets based in Cyprus.

Cosmic!

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Britain leads a coalition of ten like-minded countries who are serious about maintaining a rapid response and solid defence posture in the Baltic and the High North. You know it’s nothing like what you’ve written, so why did you write it?

The JEF is one of the things we’ve done right. Better than the German or Italian equivalents, IMO.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Good to know. The U.K. forces are good at the working together.

Tom
Tom
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

So the UK and 9 other ‘like minded’ countries will each be sending 50 people here, 50 people there, and 3 Typhoons.

So that could pan out as 500 people here, 500 people there, and maybe 30 jets then.

So what’s the problem?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Don’t be like Tom. Be more Jon 👌

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Which of the ten do you think would actually fight. Uk and Finland for me. Dutch not a chance, remember the Srebinca massacre. Baltic states can’t see it. Norway an army based on reserves. Iceland ? Bigger chance of Asda getting involved.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

Perhaps you should not underestimate the Norwegian army just because they are 54% reserves. They have two brigades, one equipped with Leo2A4, CV90 and K2 Thunder. They have had a lot of deployments (UN and NATO in recent years).
Their air force has 103 aircraft/helos including F-35, MPAs (5 x P-8A), Their F-16 fleet had a lot of combat experience.

Chris
Chris
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They’re also well funded.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Yes, believe Norwegians have a $1+T sovereign wealth fund! Meanwhile, Uncle Sugar has $30+T of debt! 😱

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agree.

Because they are a lean organisation the money goes further too.

I’ve got quite a lot of time for the Swedes and Norwegians.

What they have are well educated and motivated people who are well trained and used to the snow / ice conditions.

Kit is generally very well maintained and stuff in storage is operable. Because it is periodically used for exercises.

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Not sure where you get your numbers from. The Norwegian army is only around 8000 strong with half of that being conscripts. They have one brigade based around Bardufoss and Setermoen . The reserve element is around 40,000 strong. The entire Norwegian armed forces are only around 17000 strong. Their army only take part in any numbers in NATO exercises that are based in Norway. Always in the Bardufoss Tromso Lofoten Islands area. They lack logistics to operate outside that area. Their role is to hold up an invasion force until the USA arrive. Nato have spent a small fortune… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

Asda are the toughest of the supermarkets. Have you seen the staff. Rough as a badgers arse.
Should see the price gun work. Wow.

Simon
Simon
4 months ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

I would have thought the Baltic states would be fine. live next door to Russia so threat is on the door step. Airborne worked along side some of them and spoke well of them on another thread

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon

I was on the very first Baltic States training team. I know a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. They were a shambles at best. The investment needed has never been there until Ukraine blew up. It would take a lot of money and will to get anything meaning full up and running.

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon

I did mate many moons ago, the Estonians. Tough lads up for a scrap but were playing catch up in regard to using western kit and TTPs. But that said, in spite of that they did well. Always thought the Baltics were pretty tough cookies, remember the Forest brothers between 1944 to mid 60s! 👍

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 months ago

A nice little Mistral LHD or two with some supporting T31s would be good…just dreaming a bit.. 😆 Lol

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Talking of little Mistrals, have you seen the new Portuguese multipurpose vessel Damen will be building? For less than the price of a B2 River.

https://images.marinelink.com/images/maritime/w400/source-damen-145767.jpg

Last edited 4 months ago by Jon
Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
4 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Unfortunately the Mistrals are built on a penny pinching budget to civilian standards. Even more crucially, they’re very ugly!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago

Ah, so is Ocean / Atlantico, still proving a useful little critter.

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

My last attempt to point out the “little Mistral” that Damen are producing for Portugal fell to the censor. So this time with no links.

Search Damen site for: Portuguese Navy signs contract with Damen Shipyards for innovative Multi-Purpose Vessel.

It’s a small through-deck mulirole ship. 107m long, for £115m. It will be civilian standard, but even at 50% extra, it looks like a bargain.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon, yes I saw the Damen multi purpose design. Looks very useful, a bit like an RFA Argus with a flight deck for drones, helos. Like the Turks they’re using a ski ramp to launch UAVs. Not sure if that’s also happened on the QE Carriers? A while back BAE had a LHD design as an Ocean replacement, which didn’t eventuate, but it’s there and could be dusted off and upgraded. The RAN here has its two Canberra class LHD’s sitting in Sydney harbour. Maybe a couple of these types as Albion replacements as well as some MRSS might… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Quentin D63
Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I’ve been wondering if the Canberras would go drone heavy like the Anadolu. I haven’t heard that the QE’s have trialled any full-ramp-enabled UAVs yet. The only fixed-wings I can think of are Puma (hand launched), Banshee (small purpose-built ramp), and Mojave. The only way we can realistically get stuff now is if it’s already part of the pipeline, so I was thinking these could be small MRSS, so we build 4 big and 6 small. It would fit the Dutch paradigm too, as they are looking to replace the Hollands as well as the big Rotterdams. Small LHDs would… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

It’ll be interesting to see any MRSS mix of sizes and designs for the RN and for the RAN and RNZN down here.

Toby J
Toby J
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Would be nice to have one of those Damen designs as a pure
drone carrier. Could function as an escort to a LRG rather than needing escorting iteslf. Would have CAMM to defend itself and Mojave w/STOBAR to have a patrol umbrella 4000 miles wide.

DC647
DC647
4 months ago

So we’re supplying one marine with a catapult and a pebble attached to a elastic band because we can’t afford two pebbles.
Give the military budget that they need instead of cutting numbers and budget or stop spreading our brave personal all over the world we are not a superpower any more.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 months ago
Reply to  DC647

2 marines. One to carry the catapult and the other to carry the pebble and spot targets.

DC647
DC647
4 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

😆😅🤣😂 only if the budget will stretch that far.

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago
Reply to  DC647

Time for the government to wake up ⏰

DC647
DC647
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

This government! they seemed to forgot to set the alarm clock to wake up. This special operation (everyone else calls it a war) between Ukraine 🇺🇦 and Russia 😈 and the way China is going you’d think the government would twig on this is the time to boost the military.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  DC647

HMG set up the rearmament committee in October 1933, years before Hitler invaded a foreign country, or even planned to – let alone 2 years after his invasion of a neighbour. The committee soon set to work launching rearmament programmes. Thus, thank goodness we had Hurricanes and Spitfires in some quantity by summer 1940 – or we might all be speaking German now!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_re-armament_before_World_War_II

DC647
DC647
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Your point is ?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  DC647

Was it not clear? The UK Government should set up a Rearmament Committee, so that we are prepared if WW3 is around the corner.

DC647
DC647
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

No, were talking about ww2 no mention of the world’s current situation. Plus the biggest difference between then and now is the UKs manufacturing, ww2 the UK was nearly self-sufficient in armament manufacturing. We don’t have the capacity now to manufacture large quantities in a short time frame we no longer have an MBT manufacturing base in the Northeast. The only plane we manufacturing is the Typhoon and those rely on other countries manufacturing parts. The military has been run down that far I reckon we couldn’t sustain more than a week. I don’t think a committee been set up… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  DC647

We learn from history. My example (WW2) showed how rearmament (planning and then execution) prepared the nation (and saved the nation). Of course things are different now, but my point remains that government should discuss and plan for a future major peer-peer war. Because we have less manufacturing capability, does not mean we should not do it – it just makes it harder – we would have to buy more from overseas companies. In my WW2 example we ended up with 4.5 years to prepare for major war. Doing nothing now means we have zero time to prepare for major… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago
Reply to  DC647

Couldn’t agree more 👍🍺 🇬🇧

Stc
Stc
4 months ago

Perhaps the answer to our Manning ( am I allowed to say that word ?) is some form of conscription say limited to those males 18 to 45 who are uneconomically inactive. Now I have read it takes at least 3 behind the line to support one in it. Presumably one of those 3 is a frontline replacement. The conscripted soldiers would mainly fill the other 2 roles. The army will shrink to 72000, the MOD has increased its paper pushers from 62000 to 67000 in the last few years. We will soon have more MOD staff than soldiers. God… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Stc

Conscription has its merits during a World War. We expanded the WW1 army to a maximum of 3.82 million and 70 divisions! WW2 – 2.9 million.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Both are impressive numbers, given the relative size of UK population. Solely British forces, or does that include the Commonwealth contingent?

Ron
Ron
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

British and Commonwealth troops. What did catch me of guard was the fact that in WW2 the UK and Commonwealth had more troops in combat than the US. When I say in combat I mean in contact with the enemy. This was in a series of books The Second World War, W. Churchill

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Thanks for the clarification. 👍 Americans occasionally overlook the fact that WW II was in progress well before December 7th, 1941. Read Churchill’s memoirs; absolutely impressive (even w/out mention of Enigma/(Bletchley sp.?) Park, etc.). 👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

UK population in WW1 about 40m and in WW2 about 46m.

So I am sure the figures must include Commonwealth troops under British Army command.

Aside: I found something of interest – a letter from the PM of Canada requesting to King George VI that Canada join WW2.:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_in_World_War_II#/media/File:GeoVICan.jpg

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Indeed. Feel the army has less to worry about over personnel numbers, in war conscription will rapidly expand numbers ‘given a rifle’. Similarly, land force workspace is the battlefield.
In maritime, a greater proportion of the personnel require the skills to operate advanced systems in and under the sea. The workspace is at a premium, being inside a box. Discuss!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

The army might perhaps not worry about numbers for WW3, but can and should worry about numbers for anything short of General War. Conscripts still take time to recruit for full national mobilisation (please let us not use Capita) and train (the Combat Infantryman’s Course at Catterick is 6 months long). The army is not as low-tech as you might think – it has advanced systems too. It is one thing training a rifleman in the Infantry – that just takes 6 months in peacetime, as stated. Quite another thing to train those manning or maintaining the large amount of… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Certainly it’s planning for peer conflict I’ve had on my mind, since such tend to flare up far faster than anticipated. Recall being asked early in 2022 if Putin would invade UKR. A short pause led to the affirmative, at a time when the publicly maintained political narrative, even in Ukraine, centred on it being bluff. Naturally, no armed force is low tech, and your point over the time taken to build warship replacements is key here, I think we agree, since maritime remains (or ought to remain) our prime contribution, both historically & geographically. My start point on this… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

for which the Staff try their hardest not to criticize the Cabinet during Defence Committee interrogation, and for which No10 grandstand their latest, never-ending contributions to worldwide force projection, whilst cutting real funding, by way of thanks.”

Yes, spot on. It is infuriating.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Gavin, you say our prime contribution to major conflict has been naval, but has it, really. In the world wars our initial contribution was the BEF (RFC/RAF and Army). In the Gulf Wars which were major regional conflicts againsta state actor, I don’t recall seeing many warships employed. RN crewing is I am sure a massive problem. But decommissioning early build T45s sounds crazy – we have only 6 of them against an endorsed naval requirement at the time for 12. If anyone still believes in the rule of 3, thats just 2 ships available for new operational tasking. Also… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Good Evening Graham. I must confess, l wasn’t expecting your …naval, but has it, really – in the context of my….since maritime remains (or ought to remain) our prime contribution, both historically & geographically. Maybe we won’t agree after all! In the world wars I’d have to reiterate that, whereas our initial land contribution was as you say, our prime contribution remained upon the oceans i.e. with vessels that; firstly maintained their constant policing role, and then grew to blockade, convoy, defeat other surface units, resolve the submarine menace and then transport & protect expeditionary invasion forces. Of course, by… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Oh, with all that, I neglected to carry forward the existential i.e. that with regard to the historical & geographical, and in the context of NATO, JEF, AUKUS and other defence issues / contributions from an enlarged European state effort, our *primary* contribution ought to remain maritime. Though we’re still getting praised for our behind the scenes diplomacy, I note with satisfaction (again, beyond this remit). KRs

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Hi Gavin, certainly the RN played a massive role in the two world wars. My point about the RFC/RAF and Army (combined as the BEF) being an initial, very visible contribution to beleagured European allies in both conflicts, should not imply that the RN played a lesser role in world wars – far from it. I remember the ‘Year of the Navy’ strap line in 2017 referring to ship building programmes – and the Navy has had some more good ‘procurement years’ since. The defence of the realm should start with the homeland itself and it seems that the RAF… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Certainly no such implication assumed, Graham. All our forces, and backroom boffins will be there to answer the call when required. That’s the good news – the bad news is that they’ll need to be thus called upon. If peace and harmony reigned worldwide, the answer to what percentage of GDP ought be allocated to defence, would be zero. If only! Just watched the Times Radio snippet on Russia’s patriotism exhibition. Interesting, if West (inc UKR) think peace negotiations’ll get anywhere. One comment was roughly: We didn’t want Crimea, but it was Ukraine’s fault for losing it, so now it’s… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Gavin Gordon
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Thanks Gavin. The concern is that there is so little redundancy. In General War if we lost some, much or all of the following due to enemy action or equipment failure – a couple of C-17s, one or two Point class sealifters, a carrier, a couple of T45s, two Astute-class SSNs, a couple of P-8 Poseidons, one E-7 Wedgetail, 10 to 15 Chally 3 tanks – then we probably have big problems!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Ha! do like the use of the word, ‘probably’🙂

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I don’t think the army has been doing anything very clever to deal with under-manning in recent years – so the Sof S decided to cut 10,000 established posts to solve the problem and save money. That’s the way politicians seem to think. Forward basing does not help under-manning. What is it anyway? Op Cabrit (eFP in Estonia and Poland) might be called forward basing by some, maybe, but it is a 6-month op tour, for which units need to be fully manned. The units waiting in the wings to immediately deploy next should also be at full-strength. I have… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

One this one, it’s entirely possible I misled. In other words, I was focussed upon RN Staff efforts with regard to examples; the reference to ‘assuming the Army was now’ referred to efficient & convoluted in order to satisfy orperational & political demands. Sorry.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Thanks Gavin. Nice to have a civilised conversation with someone – and exchange points of views!

Louis G
Louis G
4 months ago
Reply to  Stc

It’ll never happen, the army doesn’t want conscripts and support the return of conscription is political suicide for any MP. Much of the armies lack of numbers comes from to issues; firstly, they don’t have the budget to support a larger force, and secondly, their recruitment process since subcontracting out to Crapita is so bad that people lose interest and look elsewhere after waiting an unreasonable amount of time to join. Simply sacking Capita and letting the MOD handle recruitment again would be a huge first step.

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis G

That maybe the way to go , Capita a wast of time 🙄

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis G

I would think retention is also a problem, for multiple reasons.

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Stc

All parliamentary candidates and MPs under 50 need to have served or be reservists. That would get the money to pay for volunteers. It would also get the unnecessary medical exclusions sorted as candidates try to explain to Capita that the PPE they picked up at Oxford wasn’t a disease.

If they are medically excluded, three years civil service at the MOD or security services would do instead. I wonder, would that also satisfy Sinn Fein? Perhaps they’d rather do a few years in Border Force.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jon
Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter
4 months ago
Reply to  Stc

There are no good reasons to conscript apart from an existential war of survival.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 months ago
Reply to  Wasp snorter

Unless you made it a part of citizenship!. But then you need to weed out the wasters.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter
4 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

It’s not Starship Troopers 🙂

Ron
Ron
4 months ago
Reply to  Stc

Conscription could work but it could mean the wrong sort of people. What could be an idea is incentives. For example University gradute enginneers could run down their student loans at x% per year of service. One year military service = 1.5 years of service say in the police/ NHS etc.So say after 6 years of military service or 9 years NHS the student loan is paid. A further incentive could be that for every year served would equate to two years towards the right to buy. If that program still exists, I think you had the right to buy… Read more »

Anthony Davies
Anthony Davies
4 months ago

The armed forces are massively undermanned and equipment old the metal fatigue on some off the equipment still around that was used in conflicts like the Falklands and Bosnia must be terrible.
We spend thousands on training these young men and women now we need to spend millions on giving them the best chance of survival before we send them of .
Visited a camp recently was surprised I recognised most the equipment I worked on still in use I left in 2000 some off that equipment was classed as old then

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
4 months ago

Is that Merlin dropping soldiers into the Baltic Sea ?

🙂

Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll
4 months ago

Hello to one and all, have been following UKDG for a while and really enjoy the banter. Was struck by the discussion re what the British Army of 72, 000 can generate: 5 (deployable) field brigades? A comparison with 1983 is educational, albeit it Cold War: the army, then 159,000, generated 20 brigades, excluding brigade-sized formations in Cyprus, Hong Kong and the Falklands. Present strength is not much shy of 50% of 1983: yet just 5 brigades? Methinks force structure totally askew: makes no sense, 72,000 should easily permit 8 to 9 field brigades.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat Carroll

Worse, as one could argue it’s only 4 that have the full set of CS CSS. 12 and 20 Armoured. 7 Light Mech. 16 Air Assault. 4 Light only has a regular Light Cavalry Regiment. The DRSB has a regular REME Bn, rest of its CSS made up of reservists on deployment, and it’s not an all arms Bde anyway. 3 Cdo no longer a deployable Bde more an umbrella formation. Its units are reduced and split into other roles. There are several other brigades, but they are “corps troops” formed of CS CSS formationsso don’t usually count in a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat Carroll

Did we really have an army brigade in the Falklands the year after Op Corporate? Anyway, I find the figure of 20 brigades surprising (I was in the army 1975-2009) – I am sure you are counting in the very light infantry brigades in GB, that lacked CS/CSS, and I think lacked sufficient organic transport, and were never deployed overseas on operations or exercises. Cynics said they were just in the Orbat to increase the chances of 1-star promotion for officers! A large amount of the army manpower is non-deployable – it was always said that 30% of the army… Read more »

Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hello Graham, appreciate the reply. I admit I am using rough science, as regards the numbers. Based on figures for 1983 there were some 4000 personal with a Brigade HQ in the Falklands – very weak ‘Brigade’ nonetheless, but i excluded this from the total. The 20 X I quote is based on UKLF (less TA brigades) plus BAOR (8) plus Berlin (1). I take your point that a smaller army is heavily impacted numerically by CS & CSS, my fear is the army is now disproportionately manned by CS & CSS to to exclusion of a meaningful ability to… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat Carroll

Thanks Pat. I am sure some or even many of those 4,000 In the Falklands in ’83 were RAF or RN – but who knows. The RAF seems to need huge numbers of maintainers. Don’t let Daniele hear you say that there are too many CS/CSS in todays army! I always reckoned on 20% of a deployed army force being Infantry as a rough yardstick. Thus 80% would be other Combat Arms (or Teeth Arms as we used to say – RAC, AAC) but mostly that 80% would be CS/CSS. Different if it is patently ‘an Infantrymans war’ as Op… Read more »

Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, based on current force structure and head count: no, there’s too little else to add to the mix. So not a happy camper 🙁

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Carroll

Yep, we can’t really do a brigade group deployment on an enduring op (as per Afghanistan’s Op HERRICK) with the 73k headcount, without resort to reservists and/or RM commandos.

Last edited 3 months ago by Graham Moore
Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll
4 months ago

That’s Journal with a G…apologies 🙄

Jon
Jon
4 months ago

I see HMS Diamond is to be sent to the Gulf. It’s been a while since we had two escorts there. I thought it might have been part of this JEF deployment, but it seems not.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I think our Kipion contribution has been historically been a frigate destroyer and destroyer. Can’t leave the US to have all the fun in the Red Sea against the Houthi drones and sea skimmers.

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul.P
Ron
Ron
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Noticed that to. I just hope that HMS Diamond is loaded for bear. All I can say is good luck to the ship and her crew.