Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The UK prepares for a evacuation of personnel from Yemen.

You reap what you sow.

Destroy your Naval Expeditionary Forces and you're left with an inadequate fleet to get the job done.  Interesting.  The Royal Air Force can't even provide close air support in a proper way to assist the evacuation.

From the Daily Telegraph.

Three Navy Merlin helicopters have been also been "stripped out" of their anti-submarine equipment to be ready to help. The Telegraph understands that the aircraft will only be used to evacuate the British ambassador and his staff, as well as the 30 man military training team helping Yemeni special forces.
A force of 80 Royal Marines from Alpha Company, 40 Commando, equipped with landing craft and helicopters and enough arms to secure a port are also on board the ships, which are using Djibouti as a basing area.
The Apaches would be expected to escort the Merlins to the capital Sana'a, one of a number of cities where there have already been clashes between government forces, troops loyal to a general who has defected and tribal militias.
They might require desert refuelling, and it is believed part of the reconnaissance mission was to find a suitable rendezvous spot. The helicopters would also be expected to suppress anti-aircraft weapons with their Hellfire missiles.
The Apaches have already shown their ability to carry out strike missions from sea after they were launched from the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean on to targets in Libya earlier this month.
If I was British.  If I was watching this nonsense.  If I was witnessing the death of my once great Navy.

I would be like Sharkey Ward.  I'd be in agony.


  1. This is probably a silly question, and I think I can surmise the answer, but why is it the Apache Longbow not carrier based? Why can't the Marines or the Navy have it?

  2. not stupid at all....NAVAIR did suitability trials on the Apache and decided that some pretty extreme modifications would have to be done to the landing gear in order to make it safe enough to operate off US warships.

    if i recall correctly, i've never seen Apaches from any nation operating off US warships and this dates back a couple of decades now.

    even during action before the first gulf war, the US Army sent its Kiowas out, not its attack birds (although the Kiowas do have a light attack capability).

  3. Blieve me, we are in agony! The trouble is, the MoD seems to be completely incompetent at making sure projects run within budget (Eurofighter, Astute, Type 45, the new carriers, Nimrod, potentially JSF etc etc). All of the overuns suck up the cash that should be used to maintain a larger fleet, and allows the Gov to say that they can't be trusted with money, so don't give them any more!

  4. The British MoD makes the American DoD look good.

  5. smoking crack USS Helm.

    the only news coming out of the UK is the fact that they're cutting everything.

    not the fat stays...they're cutting muscle.


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