Rear-Admiral Alex Burton, commander UK maritime forces, has reportedly decided to resign from the Royal Navy in the face of mounting speculation over cuts.
News broke last week that the two Albion class assault ships could be axed as the Royal Navy struggles for resources.
Responding to a tweet by Labour MP Luke Pollard, Rear Admiral Alex Burton said he could not enter a war zone by sea without Bulwark or Albion.
According to the Daily Mail (this same Daily Mail), the Rear Admiral has been “reminded” of what it is appropriate for serving personnel to say on social media.
An MoD spokesman said:
“In the face of ever-changing threats, we are contributing to the cross-government review of national security capabilities and looking at how we best spend our rising defence budget to support that.
No decisions have yet been made and at this stage, any discussion of the options is pure speculation.”
— Alex Burton (@RAdmAlexBurton) July 22, 2017
The Albion class consists of two vessels, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.
Both ships were built by BAE Systems Marine at the former Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering yard in Barrow-in-Furness.
Albion was commissioned in 2003 and Bulwark in 2004. Each of the ships has a crew of 325 and can accommodate up to 405 troops. Thirty-one large trucks and thirty-six smaller vehicles and main battle tanks can be carried inside the vehicle deck. To disembark troops and vehicles, the vessels are equipped with eight landing craft.