Admiral Tony Radakin, First Sea Lord, was speaking at the Sea Power Conference last week.
This is an excerpt of what the First Sea Lord Said, you can read the full transcript here.
“You will hear more detail shortly from Commodore Steve Moorhouse who commands the Carrier Strike Group. The deployment carries strategic and national significance. A partner nation which embarks and entrusts a squadron of F-35B jets with us. On a carrier which flies the NATO flag. With partner nation frigates, destroyers, and submarines in support. Nine major exercises. Multicarrier operations. Over 40 countries to be visited. Over 70 port visits. Stimulating cooperation and trade. Security. Asserting the freedom of the seas and worldwide reach. Testing and proving new capabilities and possibilities. Values. Alliances. Friends. And shared interests. This is multilateralism on steroids.
And we are going to become even more engaged around the world, in addition to our usual stomping grounds of the Atlantic, Caribbean, Falklands, Mediterranean and the Gulf. We already have a Littoral Response Group deployed off Northern Europe, working with our JEF partners. And by 2023 we will have established a second Response Group permanently based in the Indian Ocean. More investment is going into our nuclear and underwater capabilities, where we have, can and must sustain an advantage. And I foresee that the underwater dimension, the only remaining stealth medium, becomes preeminent for hide and seek warfare.”
British warships will also have an increased presence abroad.
“Let me also mention our very capable Batch 2 Offshore Patrols vessels: the greenest warships in the Fleet. Already HMS MEDWAY is based in the Caribbean, HMS FORTH is in the South Atlantic, HMS TRENT is in Gibraltar and about to have the new ships of the Gibraltar Squadron. Soon the final two, HMS TAMAR and HMS SPEY will head west-about into the Indo-Pacific and join up with the Carrier Strike Group the long way round. TAMAR and SPEY will stay in the Indo-Pacific and be joined by Type-31 frigates in the future.
To reinforce our increased Forward Presence we are going to place at its heart our world-class Commando forces. The IR has endorsed the Future Commando Force, an exciting and bold new concept that blends special-operations-capable troops with cutting-edge battlefield technology. And we can innovate and adapt at the pace of relevance because of the ambition, calibre and intelligence of our people. As an example, over 10% of our most junior Royal Marines have honours degrees whilst 40% are educationally qualified to be Officers. And Commandos provide nearly 50% of all UK Badged Special Forces. That’s a striking proportion from a force that makes up just under 4% of all UK Armed Forces.”