Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Could the Iranian 15 fiasco turn out to be good for the Royal Navy and the Country?

There has been deep concern as to whether the arrest and subsequent release of our 15 Sailors has damaged the Royal Navy. There is no doubt that there has been some embarrassment and questions need to be asked about what happened both in Iran and here at home.

Could there be a positive to come out of all of this? I think there could just be.

No matter what public opinion of the RN may be at the moment, it has in general always been held in high esteem. Those serving in the RN are aware of this and are proud to serve in what was, until recent events, such a well respected service. This recent loss of public faith has hurt no one more than those members of the RN.

The RN has made mistakes in the past and has learned the hard way from those mistakes. The Falklands War is considered a victory, but many men in the Navy lost their lives because of some fundamental mistakes. The Navy of 1982 had aluminium ships which melted when they caught fire, the uniforms were synthetic and melted on to the sailors in high temperatures and the electrical cables running throughout the ships gave off toxic fumes when on fire.

After the Falklands War the RN corrected many of the failings that became apparent during combat. Ship construction was changed, the uniform was changed to a fire retardant material and the toxic cables were replaced. On top of this training in fire fighting was rehashed and it's frequency intensified. These are just a few examples of improvements that were made, there are many more.

The Royal Navy is an intensely proud service and I have little doubt that it will once again learn it's lesson and come out of this the better for it.

So, embarrassment now could mean a better Navy for us all in the future.

This of course is dependant on the government giving the Royal Navy it's backing in both leadership and finance to get the job done.

Or am I hoping for too much?


St Crispin said...

The changes that reslt from this is that the RN will start recruiting people candidates with a spine!
I have just returned from a few days with a line infantry regiment, and their opinions of the RN & RM involved ranged from "Spineless cowards" to softees from a me generation"

Elliott said...

I hope you're right. It's nice to see a post on the subject which isn't just about political mud-slinging or doing down the Navy. I'd be less optimistic about the prospect of better funding or political leadership, but I guess we'll know about the first thing after this year's Comprehensive Spending Review and the second after Mr Brown takes over the helm.

Daily Referendum said...

Thanks Elliott,

I do believe the Navy will learn from this and they will be better for it. Over the last twenty years I have witnessed reductions in Ships, manpower and spending. The fact that we have ships tied up in harbour because we can’t afford the fuel to run them is pathetic and should be a national disgrace. In a time of growing conflict the Defence Budget has been cut and new Ships that were promised the Navy will not be built. It’s a scandal.