Royal Marines storm Browndown Beach

Scores of Royal Marines have stormed Browndown Beach, Gosport, as part of an exercise demonstrating their amphibious capability.

More than 80 Royal Marines from 40 Commando based in Taunton, supported by troops and hardware from 29 Commando Royal Artillery, 24 Commando Royal Engineers, King’s Royal Hussars and Royal Dragoon Guards, came ashore in a dramatic display that attracted the attention of dogwalkers and beachgoers alike.

The exercise – Browndown Battle II – started nearly 24 hours earlier in the waters south of the Isle of Wight with Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark at the helm, supported by HMS Argyll an RFA Black Rover.

Ships were attacked by ‘enemy’ aircraft and bombarded their coastline with high explosive shells from HMS Argyll’s 4.5” gun before the Task Group moved closer to the Hampshire coastline.

We were extremely pleased with the way Browndown Battle II played out

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Coomber RM

From an anchorage in the Solent, Royal Marine Commandos made swift use of Bulwark’s 8 landing craft to go ashore in Viking amphibious vehicles and a Challenger II tank, supported by Merlin helicopters from 28 Squadron RAF to neutralise the ‘enemy’.

Browndown Battle II was staged as part of the Advanced Command and Staff Course for over 350 UK and international military students, for them to experience and evaluate the breadth of the Royal Navy’s capabilities within a joint operational environment.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Coomber RM, HMS Bulwark’s Amphibious Operations Officer, explained: “These manoeuvres and exercises were staged for the Staff Course students so they could see how Maritime Task Groups knit together, and how the Royal Navy is able to project itself ashore.

“For many of the land and air students this exercise will possibly be their only exposure to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines during the course of their careers.”

“We were extremely pleased with the way Browndown Battle II played out and welcomed the interest expressed by the many members of the public who came to watch the exercise unfold.”

Supporting HMS Bulwark with the exercise were personnel from, Commando Logistics Regiment, Commander Amphibious Task Group, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines as well as 1 Assault Group Royal Marines.

LA(Phot) Dan Rosenbaum