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Monthly Archives: September 2016


    DEBATE:     It is great news that the Royal Navy is poised to again deploy fixed wing aircraft from a modern and capable aircraft carrier. However, how will the arrival of the new carriers affect current and future naval operations?  A Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is the modern successor to the Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) of the post WWII era. Generally one would expect a carrier to have its own assigned air defence destroyers, ASW frigates (note the plurals) and possibly an SSN in ‘deep field’ along with logistic support. The Royal Navy will, next year, take acceptance of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH. How will the RN deploy a CSG from its very limited resources and what impact will such a deployment have on the rest of the Royal Navy and its tasks? Today it is severely stretched to meet current tasking - RFAs and OPVs have already taken on roles previously carried out by frigates and destroyers. 19 destroyers and frigates we know, translates to roughly 6 – 8 operationally available at any one time - particularly if deployed at a distance from UK. With only 6 SSNs by 2017, three of which are ageing T Class boats, the submarine service would be hard pressed to provide full time support to a CSG in addition to its role in protecting the CASD. The RFA has the two ageing Rover Class, two Wave class tankers and three stores / replenishment vessels with which to deliver logistic support.

    With pressures looming in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, in the Indian Ocean and Chinese littoral the ability to deploy a Royal Navy CSG would be a powerful international political tool - but could it be done?

    I am sure that deep within the MoD and CinCFleet HQ there are people that have been working on the challenge of squaring this circle. Nevertheless, adding a powerful, sophisticated and high value ship to the Fleet that will, itself, absorb units of the Fleet for support and protection could be seen as less a 'force multiplier' than a 'force reducer'. How will the arrival of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH impact on availability of ships and the ability of the RN to meet all its current commitments?

    What do you think??





     HMS President Preservation Trust, the charity that owns HMS President 1918 (“The President”), London's last remaining World War One ship, and one of only three left has been refused Lottery funding of £330,000 to secure its future.

    During WW1 The President was a secret German U Boat Submarine hunter (a 'Q ship') shadowing the Atlantic convoys with concealed guns. In WW2 She was used to protect St Paul's Cathedral from the Luftwaffe and as a base for the French Resistance.

    The President had to be moved from its 92 year mooring at London's Victoria Embankment in February 2016 to storage at Chatham Docks in Kent awaiting refurbishment of its hull and a new mooring in Central London due to the major Thames Tideway Tunnel sewer Project. The City of London Corporation have in principle given their support to a new mooring for the President adjacent to London Bridge on the North bank of the River Thames.  However without the funding required to pay for this, the Trustees of the Charity are unable to move forward.

    The President is planned to be a key part of the WW1 Centenary celebrations in 2018 as it celebrates its own Centenary that year. The Charity has the support of numerous senior Politicians and Peers, the Military and related Organisations and Charities such as the National Maritime Museum of the Royal Navy, 14-18 Now and The National Historic Dockyard.

    However despite widespread support and thousands of members of the public who receive monthly newsletters from the Charity the Heritage Lottery Fund said although 'the application was fundable' they considered it 'too high risk' and other projects were funded in preference to The President.

    Gawain Cooper, Chairman of the Charity said ''Our Trustees are bitterly disappointed that with all the public support we have, and after having been encouraged by a senior director of the Heritage Lottery to reapply for the £330,000, that we were again refused support. This decision will most likely condemn The President to the scrap yard''.

    The Charities last resort is an appeal and application to The Treasury for Government funding and it is hoped that the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond who was previously Defence Secretary and aware of the importance of The President  to the nation and military will now step in and save her.

     Supporters can help through and by signing a petition to the government

    Further Information:

    E: [email protected]

    T: +44 203 189 0089



    LONDON,  SQ18 1 EP


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