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What a load of rubbish. Look at the UC branch and tell me there’s only an 8% lack of man power. A considerable amount of the man power we do have refuse to go to sea and get downgraded only adding to the strain on those that do go to sea and the families left behind. Even the Scots dont want to live in faslane.


Helensburgh A grave yard with lights. Spare crew is a drain. Or was. Only so much can be done in spare time in HMS Neptune. If your family is down South moral can get low. Off crew is a bit better. But it’s still the Ass end of the world there.


Basing all of our nuclear submarines up a cul-de-sac in Scotland has to be a tactical error no matter how you look at it. This ridiculous decision compares to Blair and Browns decisions concerning the QE aircraft carriers building at Rosyth, purely to try to maintain a political presence in Scotland in the face of rising Nationalism -failed.
As for basing all submariners in Faslane, well nothing about the decision makers surprises me there. They havent the foggiest idea what life in today,s Royal Navy involves. Nothing can make Helensburgh attractive if your family and friends live on the south coast of England.
Finally, should Scotland become independant, just where will our nuclear submarines be based ? My thought is that this would be a good time for any Government to scrap the whole very expensive submarine service, build two more Patrol craft and donate any money left to the Welfare System.


If your family come from say Bolton or Newcastle Faslane is much closer than Devonport. With all of the sub service in one place it will hopefully encourage people joining to move their families to live close to the base as there is minimal risk of a posting for most people.

David Graham

Well said, TimH.

When the Polaris Agreement was signed and a home for the deterrent was being looked for, it is perhaps worth remembering that the good folks in Plymouth/Devonport said “not in my backyard, thank you” as did the residents of Milford Haven. Submarines had by then moved from Rothesay Bay along with their depot ship to Faslane [Adamant, then in the era of Dreadnought, Maidstone].

In my youth, my home port was Devonport, long way from my home in the West of Scotland, but that was the luck of the draw. I remember meeting a friend in Euston Station who lived in Streatham and was on his way to join his ship in Rosyth.

Remember where our Cold war enemy operated,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The North Atlantic and Barents Sea, so it made [and looks like it will in the future] sense to operate close to the area of ops as possible.

D.G. Hewitt

Andrew, it’s a good name, for those that do not know its another name for the Royal Navy. I agree with the letter above, what else is there to add. Well done Sir. I just wish i had written it.


I’m sorry, but if you’re going to say basing all of our subs in Faslane is a tactical error, you can’t then say the government would be better off scrapping the whole submarine fleet, which includes Trident.

Faslane, in strategic terms, is the best place in the UK to concentrate our sub fleet, due to access to the CASD patrol areas and the North Atlantic to counter Russian subs.

Segregating the fleet into different bases (subs in Faslane, ASW and amphib in Guz, and AAW and carriers in Portsmouth) makes sense as a cost saving measure, as it simplifies logistics, and in a lot of ways it makes things easier for the sailors as well. They don’t have as high a risk of being shifted around the country. The downside to that, as you’ve said, is that the area around Faslane isn’t as attractive as being based in Portsmouth or Plymouth, so submariners get the short end of the stick.

The MoD can’t go making decisions based on IF Scotland will leave us, because that would effectively mean finding new homes for the sub fleet, nuclear deterrent, the Typhoons at Lossiemouth, tens of thousands of personnel, and would need billions of pounds worth of investment. It would also be taken as sign that we were abandoning Scotland and would INCREASE the chances of them leaving.

If all else fails, the subs come back to Devonport, at least temporarily until a more suitable home for the deterrent is found.


Hi Andrew ,
I don’t know if your last comments regarding scrapping the Submarine Service and donate any monies left to the welfare state were just light hearted banter or serious comments . I am no expert regarding the RN , its Submarines or Faslane itself ( Im ex Army) apart from a Grandson who intends to join the RN next year if all goes well . What I do have is a great and calculated interest in the Security of my Country , Europe and the wider World . As the UK is one of the Worlds top players as far as security and the Military is concerned , we have certain responsibilities as do other Countries in the Western world and further afield to ensure the safety of our present day populations as well as our future generations . We have upheld these responsibilities since the end of WW2 and as much as we would all like to live in a utopian world , but how can we with the amount of mad men and crazy political regimes that threaten our existence daily . It makes absolutely no sense to say we should get rid of our Submarine Service as has been well documented over the years it is a critical ace up our sleeves and one I am certainly glad we have at our disposal complete with the Trident detterent .
Regarding Faslane and the employment the RN brings to Scotland Rosyth etc I was not surprised when Scottish Nationalism was turned over and long may it be as I for one have a high regard for the Scotts as a unique nation and would rather see them with us as part of the greater UK .
And were you really serious about handing the monies saved over to the Welfare state because that iconic shambles of an organisation should have been kicked into touch decades ago and totally revamped to serve the people who actually deserve its services , that is the people who were born and raised in this Country and who have a proven work related background not the hundreds of thousands of will nots and immigrants that have bled the real working people dry for the last 60 years or so .
Thank you

Iqbal Ahmed

‘830 officers and 3,150 ratings‘

Is there a reason for such a large number of officers as a ratio of sailors in the submarine arm?


It would be good if an expert could address this as well as the apparently ridiculess numbers of top brass.Is pay at the right level or are they just promoting people to give them a pay rise?How does it compare to other navies?

Ian Willis

Yes, I think the service is too top heavy. There needs to be more effort in retaining engineers.

Fewer officers would free up ratings for resilience.


Look we are not going to fund defence properly .
Scrap Trident and the carriers as we all know the latter are the most exspensive helicopter carriers ever built , decommissioned the subs and the surface fleet apart from the opv which we should build more off , turn the army into a something like the Irish army and the air force as well .
The reason to do this is because we don’t want to fund defence properly and because of the Boy George and Tw@t Cameron glorious defence review we have gone past the tipping point of being a tier one defence power and lack the political will to actually fund defence properly.

Andrew ardron

I pray this never comes to pass in my forty years we have gone from and respected to be ion naughty school boy of NATO getting a telling off. Come on government there are other issues as well as brexit. . More defence cash and more nhs cash we can be great again


We’ve got no plan and when we’ve wasted the extra money we’ll be back begging for more.


Removing billets to make your figures look better does not resolve a man power issue.
Offering advanced promotion to new joiners does not give you suitability qualified and experienced personnel in the right places.


Putting all your eggs in one basket,has always been a major tactical error, it may be cheaper in times of peace,but these items are designed for war,a first strike to Faslane and blocking Rhu narrows and your stuffed,regarding Scottish independence ,the SNP want nuclear out of Scotland so if it goes ahead,and the SNP get their way then maybe shift he whole shebang to Barrow in Furness.
SM2 in Devonport should retain a base, and a new base in Falmouth.
Diesel/ hydrogen boats should be put into the mix,you cannot use a high value asset as an SSN to deliver SF.
At the end of the day you commit to a proper size functional armed forces or not at all ,otherwise your just send lambs to the slaughter, which by chance politicians are very good at.