Admiral offers glimpse of the future at dinner event

Rear Admiral SUS-151026-100841001
Rear Admiral SUS-151026-100841001

The Bexhillian charged with drafting the report behind the Government’s forthcoming Defence Review spoke about the challenges facing the world in years to come.

Rear Admiral John Kingwell explored the subject when he was guest speaker at the Maritime Volunteer Service’s Trafalgar Night Supper at Bexhill Sailing Club on Saturday evening..

He proposed the toast to the “immortal memory” of Admiral Lord Nelson, skilfully weaving projections about the challenges of the future with an appreciation of Nelson’s immense influence on both navy and nation.

Rear Admiral John Kingwell is the Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre.

He joined the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 1984 and has had four previous commands the last being the assault ship HMS Albion when as Commander United Kingdom Task Group he commanded the Response Force Task Group off Libya in 2011.

Speaking, at the dinner, about the future in 2045, he envisioned that another two billion mouths will have to be fed and added that seventy per cent of population growth will be in the world’s 24 poorest countries.

He claimed Nigeria’s population will equal the USA’s. Seventy per cent of the world’s population will live in coastal cities yet if global warming, leading to sea level rise, is not checked, between 50 million and two billion people could be at risk of flooding.

He went on to say technological advancement meant that by 2045 robots would be as commonplace as computers are today. By 2023 they would be operating 40 times as efficiently as humans and by 2045 100,000 times more accurately. Cyber attack would be a major threat.

He told the audience that thankfully, this year’s Defence Review was ring-fenced against cuts.

Listing the Royal Navy’s assets, the Rear Admiral said it was still respected as the finest in the world.

The MVS Sovereign Harbour Unit began as the Bexhill Unit, formed when the Bexhill Royal Naval Auxiliary Unit was axed in the 1994 defence cuts. It is now based at Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour,

Members train weekly in seamanship, engineering and marine operations. Welcoming guests, Head of Unit, Volunteer Officer Keith Johnson, outlined a year of activity which has included training Sea Scouts, escorting the Dunkirk Little Ships convoy over to France and off-shore duty at Shoreham Airshow.

Deputy Head of Unit, Chief Volunteer Greg Darby, master of ceremonies for an evening steeped in tradition in the flag-bedecked Sailing Club, read Nelson’s Prayer - penned on the eve of battle.

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