The Brits are not pulling out the the Western Atlantic/Caribbean

Some of you may have seen reports such as this, that the Royal Navy is ending its warship patrols in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean. This would be significant for the Coast Guard, because of the long and successful cooperation between the Royal Navy and the Coast Guard in drug enforcement in the area.

While it is true that the Royal Navy will no longer send a warship into the area, they still plan to have a presence in the form of an RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary, roughly their equivalent of an MSC ship). This is not all bad. These ships frequently have very good helicopter facilities, they have had some significant successes catching smugglers, and they may be able to do more than a frigate or destroyer in the event of a natural disaster.

9 thoughts on “The Brits are not pulling out the the Western Atlantic/Caribbean

  1. MSTS has not been around since 1950~ Military Sealift Command was established back then. The RFA is MSC’s functional equivalent. But one big difference is the RFA is considered part of the mainstream by Royal Navy and as such many RFA ships have large complements of RN sailors onboard to do such things as man weapons, boats and lighterage. The USN temporarily assigns sailors to MSC ships for special operations.

    • The name change was 1970. Yes, Lee, I’m showing my age.

      The USN is talking about putting civilian mariners on some of their amphibs now, so the line is blurring further.

  2. I forgot to add that I was in Carib ARG back when the USN had enough amphibs to station one down there. Won’t happen these days not enough to go around.
    Should maybe the USCG be given some capability similar to RFA/MSC for HA/DR down in the Carib? Well maybe but they are having a hard enough time with their own cutters. Should the USN support USCG by sending/paying for MSC/MARAD ships to be operated down there? Wanna bet the USN won’t fund that idea?!!

    • I’m thinking we will see some JHSVs (Joint High Speed Vessel) and LCSs being use for drug enforcement with Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments on board in place of the FFGs we have seen in the past.

      They might be useful for humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HA/DR) as well.

  3. yes those ships can help with high speed ops and quick reaction first response, but not like a sealift ship or RFA can. And you needs a big ship to remain on station. Of course, that is NOT so much the standard model of USCG ops?
    A Bay class LSD(A) loaded with emergency cargo and set up to support cutters alongside as a station ship would be a nice idea.

    • Large mother-ship/tender to work with Fast Response Cutters and provide multiple helo search capability might be a alternative model to the way we do it now.

      Think our leadership would be amazed at how few people the Brits use to run a Bay Class.

  4. Yes a Bay and FRC team would work, not only helo and boat support but also logisitics and spare crews too. Big ship needs to stow emergency materials too. And gear for SEABEES to use ashore. Not an expensive proposition. Because once again sealift ships are much cheaper to operate than warships.

    Our naval leaders turn a bling eye towards MSC NFAF ships

  5. For those unfamiliar with the acronym NFAF, it is one of Military Sealift Command’s four programs: Sealift, Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (NFAF), Special Mission, and Prepositioning.

    NFAF ships include the underway replenishment ships: Ammunition Ships (T-AE), Combat Stores Ships (T-AFS), Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ships (T-AKE), Fast Combat Support Ships (T-AOE), Fleet Replenishment Oilers (T-AO),
    Hospital Ships (T-AH),
    Fleet Ocean Tugs (T-ATF)
    Rescue/Salvage Ships (T-ARS)

  6. CLF is a term only used on Navy planning documents. Almost all of what was called Service Force, Combat Logistics Force ships are now in the NFAF and MSC serves as that defacto type commander. So… naval officers who have never commanded a fleet auxiliary are doing the programming/planning in the Pentagon.

    Wonder why the T-AO(X) will be coming on far too late? sic

    MSC PM1 NFAF also manages the hybrid crewed command ships and tenders. It is debatable if either of those classes will become T-ships in the future. But they are definitely auxiliaries.

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