Royal Marines boarding experts test marksmanship

Royal Marines boarding operations specialists have been testing their expert marksmanship to ensure they are ready for combat in the tight and difficult environment of a ship.

The marines from Juliet Company of Plymouth-based 42 Commando are the Green Berets who are at the forefront of the boarding missions specialism.

They are called upon to carry out such tasks – which includes counter piracy and counter narcotics – but also play a role in training allies in their expert area, called maritime interdiction operations (MIOPS). 

The commandos are embarked on Royal Navy warships in small elite teams – very much in keeping with how the Royal Marines want to continue to work as they evolve into the Future Commando Force, which puts their amphibious commando skills at the forefront of their work. 

This latest training makes sure the marines are up to scratch, ready to carry out operations and maintain their expertise in combat in the often cramped surroundings of ships or smaller craft. 

The ranges element of the training package took place during the day but also under the cover of darkness, testing elements of J Company using their Glock pistol and the C8 rifle – used by the commandos because of its advantage in closed quarters combat. 

This all took place at Lydd Ranges in Kent and was the perfect chance to lay down some lead. 

“The live fire training needs to be done in all conditions, day and night,” said Major John Middleton, Officer Commanding of J Company. 

 

Royal Marines boarding operators are also trained to a high enough level to instruct Close Quarter Marksmanship and Close Quarter Battle Techniques to partner forces overseas.

Major John Middleton

“Royal Marines boarding operators are also trained to a high enough level to instruct Close Quarter Marksmanship and Close Quarter Battle Techniques to partner forces overseas.”

The Maritime Operations specialists 42 Commando are deployed from their Bickleigh Barracks home all over the world right now. 

Lima Company are currently on Westlant 19 and are testing themselves in rescuing downed pilots as part of the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group. 

They fought their way through a replica developing world village, developing the tactics they would use to locate, if necessary liberate and finally escort or carry injured or trapped personnel back to either of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers. 

“It’s great to be back in Quantico to further our skills – the training facilities and terrain here provide a great environment for doing just that,” said Warrant Officer 2nd Class Neil Smith.

It marks a busy time for the Royal Marines as they build up to the Winter Deployment in the Arctic. A 40 Commando Battle Group have been in the California desert while 45 Commando have been Exercise Curry Trail in the jungles of Belize.