12 Apr 2017

Royal Marines restructure

The First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones has confirmed that the Royal Marines will be restructured in order to better balance a growing Royal Navy.

As part of the Navy’s regular review into its structure, it was identified that skills could be better balanced in the future particularly with £178 billion equipment plan and rising defence budget. The Royal Navy will see the first of two giant 65,000-tonne Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers arrive in Portsmouth later this year, while the first of the Navy’s five next generation patrol ships begins sea trials, and the fourth Astute Class submarine enters the water.

The move will see a number of jobs repurposed, such as administrative staff and drivers leading to 400 more personnel on front line duties. With more ships, new aircraft carriers and submarines, staff roles are being freed up to be carried out by Reservists and civilians, allowing skill sets to be redistributed across the Navy.

Part of the restructure will see 42 Commando developed into a specialist Maritime Operations unit, under plans developed by 3 Commando Brigade, who are responsible for the deployment of the Marines. By creating a ‘go-to’ unit for maritime operations, other responsibilities such as heavy weapons specialists can be reallocated across the Navy.

No Royal Marines will be made redundant as a result of today’s news, with roles transfering to a different area of the Navy when personnel leave.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, said: “As someone who has worked with Royal Marines at every stage of my career, most notably when commanding the Amphibious Task Group from RM Stonehouse, I know how vital their role is as the UK’s premier high readiness contingency force. However, as First Sea Lord, I also know we must adapt to meet the challenges of a dangerous and uncertain world.

“The Government is investing in a new generation of ships, submarines and aircraft. As we introduce these capabilities into Service, we must ensure we have the right mix of skills across each of the Navy’s Fighting Arms to optimise how we use them, and the Commandant General and I have sought to find the right balance between sailors and marines in responding to this challenge.

“The Royal Marines remain bound in to every part of the Royal Navy’s future, from conducting sophisticated operations from the sea, at a variety of scales and against a range of threats, using our new aircraft carriers as a base, to leading the Service’s development of information warfare. They will continue to be as vital to the Defence of the Realm in the years ahead as they have been for the past 350.”

Commandant General Royal Marines, Major Robert Magowan, said: “As Royal Marines, we pride ourselves in being the first to understand, the first to adapt and the first to overcome. So as we confront a changing and unstable security environment, we are defining an exciting future for our Corps, which will ensure that we remain as relevant tomorrow as we do today.”

Images: © Crown Copyright


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