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Hugely to be welcomed that the cuts aren’t worse. However the fact remains the Marines are under resourced in equipment. Just looking at the standard RN RIB reminds me of a photo I recently saw of the latest PLA Naval RIB which appears to have superior protection for the occupants.


The problem here is that the thinking does not extend beyond the Royal Navy. 3 Cmdo Brigade is one of very few deployable brigades (While there are a number of Brigades in the 1st Division, due to the Armies own cock ups and the MoD’s insistence on an unbalanced force they are completely without supporting arms now) the armed forces are left with, the others being the two armoured infantry brigades, two strike brigades and 16AA. Realistically any shortfall in the Marines should be made up by bringing a light infantry battalion from the armies non-deployable brigades in 1 Div into 3 Cmdo Brigade, thus keeping the 6 useable brigades at some semblance of strength (2 Battalion equivalents is just laughable as a Brigade structure, 16 tried it and soon found itself needing a 3rd Battalion again). The other idea would be to strip the support from 3 Cmdo and give it to one of the more robust light infantry brigades in 1 Div, such as the 7th Inf Brigade….

Unfortunately the Navy has made such a disaster of itself that it now can’t afford to look beyond it’s own narrow self interest and see how it’s hurting the forces as a hole by reducing the Marines maneuver strength by 1/3.


We tried that before with 1 Rifles on the basis that they’d complete AACC. Only a number did and thankfully as a result they were released from 3 Cdo Bde. The beauty of our brigade in comparison to all others is that every man in every role outside of administration is commando trained, the moment we water this capability down it’ll be gone forever and we’ll just become another brigade instead of what we are and what we can provide.


Baz, That’s all well and good, and I’d agree with you 100% EXCEPT for the fact that there are no other infantry brigades anymore. You can go on about the “beauty of 3 Cmdo vs other brigades” except there is nothing to compare it to save 16AA. So given the choice between having a Infantry Brigade that can actually function as a Brigade, and having half a commando Brigade, the MoD should either put support to one of it’s full Brigades *or* ensure that 3 Cmdo is a credible maneuver formation. One involves stripping supports out of 3 Cmdo and giving them to 7th Infantry, making that brigade actually able to function, or taking units from the weaker brigades in 1 Div and putting them in 3 Cmdo.

Brigades can’t realistically function with 2 Battalions even in peace time, this is why 16 AA ended up with 1 RGR being sent to them after trying to get by with only 2 and 3 Para.

David Stephen

There does not appear to be an alternative solution at present. The marines need ships to embark and protect. Nothing remains that can be cut. 6 destroyers and 8 frigates. Maybe another 5 + if lucky and some OPVs. We have 7000 marines and enough ships to move maybe 2000 at a push. We should be thankful the cut is not deeper.


When you consider that one destroyer and one frigate are in caretaker status right now, that leaves us with 17 ships total.


Would have been easier to issue them blue uniforms for the deck photos.

Its a reduction, just because the MOD circulated rumours before hand to lessen the perceived blow doesn’t mean it’s not a blow.

A real opportunity is being wasted right now, a true carrot for the EU and a stick for would be friends sliced and whittled away by the two europhiles at the helm, all to a chorus of yes men.


I question how long it will be before Press Gangs will be returning 🙁

The Ginge

Interesting piece. However I think that the Navy are following the Army in that they are removing “support” functions without thinking through the long term consequences. Firstly you can not run a Brigade on the basis of only 2 Light Infantry Battalions. The 16 Air Assault Brigade has found this out and is rapidly getting back the 3rd Battalion (this time the Ghurka’s rather than 1st Irish which it used to be, nothing like retraining people when you already have a recent re-rolled Air Mobile Unit already) which was lost to the SFSG.
The fact is it would be better for 43 Commando to be expanded to cover all Ship Board activities. Effectively leaving the Navy only with 43 Commando, 1 Assault Group 539 Assault Group. SBS Rapped up in to Special Forces Brigade with SAS, and Commando Training being merged with Para Training Centre to form an elite light infantry training centre (Ohh there goes the teddy’s out of the pram). 3 Cmdr Brigade then transfers to be in a UK Rapid Reaction Brigade made up of 16AA, 3Cmdr & 7 Heavy Protect Airmobile in Mastif/Husky etc made up of 1 & 2 Royal Anglians and 1 PWRR as a merged regiment of Princess Royal Anglian Regimet to provide a heavier protected force for immediate air transportable (2 Mastifs per C130/A400 & 3 or 4 in a Globemaster). All under Army Command.
The problem is the Navy is looking at this in Silo’s in Afghanistan and Iraq effectively 3 Cdm has acted like Paratroop Reg etc as a land based force. It would save the navy paying for artillery, heavy weapons, broncos etc and still give them 1200 Marines to train special boarding parties from, provide Air Crew Recovery From etc. We just don’t have the size of force to justify large specialist land infantry units in the Navy or for that matter in the RAF Regiment either.

Michael Watson

Reading about the Royal Marines being reduced, is really a symptom of the overall problem of our Armed Forces lack of money being spent by HM Government. Yes the Government trumpets about the UK us achieving the 2% GDP on our Forces which really is a minimum NATO requested requirement. The objectives set by the Government for the Armed Forces is not properly being funded and the growing risks of war. I think taking these things into account the HM Government should seriously consider increasing the UK spend on Defense to something like 3% of GDP. Unfortunately there is very little chance of this happening, unless we find ourselves in a war, let us hope we will have the time to build up?


Yep 3% on Defence is what we should be aiming at and reducing overseas aid, especially to nations that have large Armed Forces, if need be to get it.

The Royal Navy needs at least an extra 1,000 – 1,500 men ASAP, on top of the 400 granted in 2015, so that few ships left can be fully manned and the Royal Marines need a full brigade including three major Commando infantry units. The RN needs at least 25 Destroyers and Frigates, not a mere 19. At the time of the Falkland’s conflict in 1982 the RN had over 60 Destroyers and Frigates available, including reserves.

I also think that Great Britain needs to re-start the Navy League that did so much to keep the RN in the public eye and strong in years gone by. The Australian version is still going strong and the Royal Australian Navy actually is growing in both numbers and strength.


The truth is that the Royal Navy, and Royal Marines, are, like the British Army, very seriously underfunded, the mere fact that the Royal Navy is having to juggle just a few hundred men proves this without a shadow of a doubt.


Help i am confused , all the talk is about 200 RM, what will happen to the rest will they be put in moth balls until a carrier that works comes along?


I realise we are where we are but I would like to know how many aircraft these carriers will have and where the support vessels will come from.

Personally I think we should get rid of the army navy and airforce and have one defence force – as I believe many nations do.

The current situation suits the politicos who can play one service off against another. There also needs to be a cull of the jobsworths, both in and out of uniform, in the MOD. This needs to be followed up with decimation of those of one star rank and above.

A Happy Treamer

I am getting old, but have things changed thar Much? Two and a half years in HMS Eagle , blue hat, on green hat and off to 45 Cdo,we were soldiers and sailor too

Roger Spink

I only hope that the ‘civilian’ input to our future RM Corps does NOT involve anyone else from Sodexo! If their performance in any other field is on a par with their catering ability then the enemy will be within not without! Will these civvies come under the Naval Disciplinary and/or Army Act as well?


Nah it won’t be Sodexo, it’ll all be Capita XD