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  1. #1
    Dohville Dohville is offline

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    The Irish Naval Service: In the Fight Against Ireland's No.1 Enemy — The Deficit

    The Irish Naval Service: In the Fight Against Ireland's No.1 Enemy
    The difficult times that Ireland has found itself in as a result of the recession have required a great deal of belt-tightening, with every citizen required to do his or her part towards reviving the ailing economy.


    As well as protecting Ireland’s interests on the seas, the Irish Naval service is aiming to add to its public service by turning itself into a “knowledge institution” and engaging in maritime research through the MERC³ initiative, which will research ways in which Ireland can harness the huge potential offered by its marine resources.

    The Marine and Energy Research Campus and Commercial Cluster, a joint venture between the Naval Service, University College Cork, and Cork Institute of Technology, is a new campus for research into the marine and ocean energy sectors, located in Ringaskiddy, adjacent to the National Maritime College of Ireland and the Irish Naval Service headquarters.


    The initiative came about when Commodore Mark Mellett, now Flag Officer in Command of the Naval Service, the head of the Irish Naval Service, alongside partners in UCC and CIT, began looking at, “a number of niche areas that were important in the context the national interest; technology in the maritime domain, the whole opportunity in terms of renewable energy, and issues such as maritime security, shipping and transport."

    They came to the conclusion that there were, “quite a few strands of potentially important research areas that the state wasn’t quite pursuing in a coherent manner," according to Commodore Mellett.

    After, “joining all the dots together,” the concept of a creation, initially of a campus and then of a cluster was born, and MERC³ was launched in March 2011.

    In joining up with the two academic institutions, the Naval Service brings a wealth of experience as the largest professional maritime institution in the State to the consortium.

    “I could see clearly that I would never be able to compete in the context of large aircraft carriers or large submarines or Tomahawk missile deploying ships, but what I could compete with was the common resource which is most critical to every organisation and every navy and that’s people.

    "We could actually transform the people of the navy in terms of their smartness and the key to that is education and training.

    “By pursuing this concept we are first of all satisfying the agenda of developing the navy into a knowledge institution, but also we have the added benefit in terms of relevance to society, of serving as a stimulant for the maritime economy."

    Part of the work done in the MERC³ campus is the provision of resources to small and medium enterprises in the maritime sector. Among the companies collaborating with the Naval Service are SEFtec, who deal in maritime safety and firefighting safety, and Cathx Ocean, who develop specialist underwater lighting.

    A major focus point for the MERC³ campus will be renewable energies like wave and tidal power and also offshore wind power. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland has predicted that up to 52,000 jobs could be created in Ireland in the area of wave power by 2030, and Cdre. Mellett is quick to stress the role that could be played by the Naval Service in achieving this target.

    “Ireland sits just approximate to the richest source of wave energy in the world, and already we have six of the top renewable energy device companies [such as Wavebob.] Their prototypes are most likely to drive the first generation of productive wave energy devices.

    “The whole knowledge in the domain in terms of the anchoring arrangements, the siting, the marine spatial planning, the governance aspects, the legal aspects, the security aspects, they’re all areas in which the navy has competence and expertise.

    “By working with the companies who are actually going to be involved in the placement of these wave farms, there is a huge opportunity for the navy to act as a public good in terms of future
    renewable energy infrastructure.”

    Although the Irish Naval Service will never lay claim to the largest warships or the greatest arsenal, Cdre. Mellett is determined that in developing it as a “knowledge institution”, the Irish
    Navy will use its human capital to provide the greatest benefit to Ireland’s people through aiding its economy.

    “The national recovery plan has put an onus on us all to actually be innovative and smart in terms of how we use resources that are becoming difficult to fund. In the navy, we’ve clearly
    identified the centre of gravity of the enemy is the economic deficit. So any way we can attack the economic deficit, and one way to attack that is to create jobs.

    “I’m confident that in the very near future the first foreign direct investment client will be announcing jobs as part of the MERC³ initiative, and that’s proof that the concept is right because that will actually start creating real jobs from a concept that is being driven by education and public sector institutions.

    “The navy’s ultimate vision is to be the smartest, most innovative and responsive naval service provider in the world. We don’t want to be the second smartest or the third smartest, and
    it goes back to the original point, the key piece of the navy in terms of it’s future is its people, so if we can have smart people who are actually doing smart things with technology, we can do a lot
    more with less.”

    The Irish Naval Service: In the Fight Against Ireland's No.1 Enemy
    Yet again the most useful, and smaller wing of the defence forces demonstrates its cost effectiveness.
    Surprising to see a member of the defence forces encouraging creating jobs other than those in the defence sector.
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  2. #2
    gijoe gijoe is online now
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    I am not a Navy man but even I would acknowledge they are the most effective branch of the Defence Forces. The most useless branch are the Aer Corps. I reckon we can just scrap it really to be honest. The government jet can be got rid of and hours can be purchased from private operators and the helicopter contingent can be folded into the army - we really do not need a fixed wing training element unless we are going to deploy actual jet fighters. As regards the Army I think it can be cut from its present circa 8500 to 6000 without much difficulty with the RDF beefed up to compensate and giving unemployed RDF members some work like with the money escorts.

    All the above could cut maybe €200million+ from the budget.
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  3. #3
    OwenM OwenM is offline

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    The budget is small and smaller in GDP terms than it has ever been.

    The RDF need employment protection if they are to become effective, the PDF need a mentality change if the RDF are to be used effectively.

    The one exception is the NS reserve which has been contributing for years now to the lower ranks.
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  4. #4
    Thekinghasnoclothes Thekinghasnoclothes is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
    I am not a Navy man but even I would acknowledge they are the most effective branch of the Defence Forces. The most useless branch are the Aer Corps. I reckon we can just scrap it really to be honest. The government jet can be got rid of and hours can be purchased from private operators and the helicopter contingent can be folded into the army - we really do not need a fixed wing training element unless we are going to deploy actual jet fighters. As regards the Army I think it can be cut from its present circa 8500 to 6000 without much difficulty with the RDF beefed up to compensate and giving unemployed RDF members some work like with the money escorts.

    All the above could cut maybe €200million+ from the budget.
    Get Michael O Leary to take over the running of Government Air Travel
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  5. #5
    former wesleyan former wesleyan is offline
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    LIKE. Off topic Dohville, but I've been wondering if the Naval Service has the capacity for rapid reaction to events such as the Norwegian massacre ? I mean in terms of fast RIBS to move armed men to coastal or island locations ?

    I'm also suprised, in the light of recent events , to find people still talking about downsizing the DF. " Doing more with less " is a crappy translantic management expression which rarely does what it says on the tin.
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  6. #6
    Diawlbach Diawlbach is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by former wesleyan View Post
    LIKE. Off topic Dohville, but I've been wondering if the Naval Service has the capacity for rapid reaction to events such as the Norwegian massacre ? I mean in terms of fast RIBS to move armed men to coastal or island locations ?

    I'm also suprised, in the light of recent events , to find people still talking about downsizing the DF. " Doing more with less " is a crappy translantic management expression which rarely does what it says on the tin.
    Pretty certain they do; sfaik, they've a load of RIBs in Haulbowline, and the Army have some too.

    The College in Ringaskiddy is bloody amazing, btw; I think even the RN sends deck officers there to train on the simulator. The penny has definitely dropped in Cork that we're an island, and, just like NZ showed, there's money in boats.
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    DeputyEdo DeputyEdo is offline
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    Wouldn't it be great if health and education were fully funded and the defense forces had to have cake sales etc to raise money for new equipment?

    Have to say thought, fair play to the navy.
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  8. #8
    Dohville Dohville is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    The budget is small and smaller in GDP terms than it has ever been.

    The RDF need employment protection if they are to become effective, the PDF need a mentality change if the RDF are to be used effectively.

    The one exception is the NS reserve which has been contributing for years now to the lower ranks.
    Did you read any of the article above?
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  9. #9
    Dohville Dohville is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
    I am not a Navy man but even I would acknowledge they are the most effective branch of the Defence Forces. The most useless branch are the Aer Corps. I reckon we can just scrap it really to be honest. The government jet can be got rid of and hours can be purchased from private operators and the helicopter contingent can be folded into the army - we really do not need a fixed wing training element unless we are going to deploy actual jet fighters. As regards the Army I think it can be cut from its present circa 8500 to 6000 without much difficulty with the RDF beefed up to compensate and giving unemployed RDF members some work like with the money escorts.

    All the above could cut maybe €200million+ from the budget.
    Can you spare the jet fighter discussion for elsewhere? I was hoping to start a discussion on the Naval service and MERC3
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  10. #10
    Thekinghasnoclothes Thekinghasnoclothes is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohville View Post
    The Irish Naval Service: In the Fight Against Ireland's No.1 Enemy


    Yet again the most useful, and smaller wing of the defence forces demonstrates its cost effectiveness.
    Surprising to see a member of the defence forces encouraging creating jobs other than those in the defence sector.
    The Navy has very little expertise and should stay away from expanding its role into areas it knows nothing about
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