Ex-Royal Navy Head "Never Knew" Who Made Aircraft Carrier Decisions

mso

LE
Generals, politicians, now Admirals: http://forces.tv/89027148

Apart from the man at the MB pissoir, does anyone in the armed forces know exactly what they are doing?
 

Donny

ADC
In West's case he would have been better informed if he'd read the briefs, rather than leaving them on a canal towpath to be picked up by a passing journalist.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
[cynicism on]

jim30 would know, but I thought a civil servant was present at all important meetings with the duty of taking minutes. In which case those minutes would record who decided what.

And changes require modifications to contracts - which again have to be signed off after due negotiation. I would expect (at the minimum) there to be trail of emails and letters agreeing to the changes.

And - given the importance of the carriers to the navy, wouldn't the professional head of that navy keep close tabs on the project?

[/cynicism off]

Not so much CVF as CYA.

Wordsmith
 
I thought that the decision was made by Brown to secure jobs in Labour held constituencies. Why did the navy need an input?
 
The link showed the visit to Portsmouth by three ships of the PLA. That was interesting.
 
Does it matter if he doesn't know who makes the decision on what colour to paint the wardroom? No.

Does it matter if he doesn't know who decides cats and traps or VSTOL? Damn right it does, and he ought to either find out or make the decision himself, if he's the big cheese.
 

Donny

ADC
jim30 would know, but I thought a civil servant was present at all important meetings with the duty of taking minutes. In which case those minutes would record who decided what....

Wordsmith
Ah yes - in the words of Arthur Bryant:

And so while the great ones depart to their dinner, the secretary stays, growing thinner and thinner, racking his brain to record and report what he thinks that they think that they ought to have thought.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Does it matter if he doesn't know who makes the decision on what colour to paint the wardroom? No.

Does it matter if he doesn't know who decides cats and traps or VSTOL? Damn right it does, and he ought to either find out or make the decision himself, if he's the big cheese.

STOVL was decided after a lot of analysis and modelling (both capability and cost) back in 2002-3 or thereabouts. The SDSR10 decision to switch to CATOBAR was... well, frankly, it seems it was done on the cuff, without any detailed investigation of what the costs, risks and capabilities would be, which is why it all came unravelled.

That said, there's an infuriating tendency (by no means confined to defence) for bad decisions to be made and for the person responsible to be safely in their next post by the time the problems emerge.
 
More to the point, DCDS(EC) was responsible for the procurement of new kit pre-Levene. Whilst First may've wished to have a vote, he did not have the final one.

Ironically, post-Levene, First still doesn't 'own' CEPP.....
 
I thought that the decision was made by Brown to secure jobs in Labour held constituencies. Why did the navy need an input?
This would also be my opinion, but a lot of people seem to think there were military reasons, power projection ,neo-colonialism, the fight against terror........ you have to believe in something better than Broiwn's grubby bung if you don't want to suffer terminal cynicism.
 
I thought that the decision was made by Brown to secure votes in Labour held constituencies. Why did the navy need an input?

Fixed that for you.
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It seems strange to a non civil servant that failure never leads to demotion or sacking. In much of the City, failure leads to an inability to log on and someone from HR or security delivering a large cardboard box to the desk
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Waiting to see if the Committee follow this up by asking the previous 1SL.
 
[cynicism on]

jim30 would know, but I thought a civil servant was present at all important meetings with the duty of taking minutes. In which case those minutes would record who decided what.

Generally Service personnel in the single-Service HQ's, can be either in Town.
 
It seems strange to a non civil servant that failure never leads to demotion or sacking. In much of the City, failure leads to an inability to log on and someone from HR or security delivering a large cardboard box to the desk
That's why the incompetent join the civil service.
 

S0I

LE
STOVL was decided after a lot of analysis and modelling (both capability and cost) back in 2002-3 or thereabouts. The SDSR10 decision to switch to CATOBAR was... well, frankly, it seems it was done on the cuff, without any detailed investigation of what the costs, risks and capabilities would be, which is why it all came unravelled.

That said, there's an infuriating tendency (by no means confined to defence) for bad decisions to be made and for the person responsible to be safely in their next post by the time the problems emerge.


The primary driver in the switch to CTOL was Cameron who had this strange idea he could share a carrier with the French and flog off PoW when he was having his 'Entente saving money by joining up with the Frogs' fantasy.
However, financial and political reality but when he found it was expensive and the Americans told him to FRO at any idea of sharing US Tier 1 technology with the French.
 
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