A group of Royal Marines refined specialist skills to combat pirates and terrorists during intensive training as they ready for security operations across the globe.
The Royal Marines Boarding Course, which reached its fiery end at the Bovington Training Area in Dorset, is eight weeks of high-level training that keeps the commandos ready to respond to emergency tasks anywhere in the world.
The marines from Mike Company of Plymouth-based 42 Commando completed the training in preparation to begin maritime interdiction operations (MIOPS), which will see them held at high readiness to deploy worldwide on missions of national interest.
The course prepares the commandos for boarding missions to counter illegal trafficking, piracy and terrorism, developing close-quarters battle skills, practicing fighting in small teams in enclosed spaces and the methods used to covertly enter battle, plus getting them ready for life on Royal Navy warships.
“The Royal Marines boarding course is designed to push our commandos and prepare them for the most challenging missions around the globe,” said Lieutenant Colonel Doug Pennefather, Commanding Officer of 42 Commando.
“As we look to upskill across the Corps to deliver a Future Commando Force, the techniques Mike Company have mastered will prove indispensable.”
The final exercise at Bovington brought together weeks of hard work, using the skills developed to take down two isolated compounds suspected of being used as narcotics laboratories and having close ties with terrorist organizations.
This mission was designed to test a range of commando skills, with the fictional scenario seeing the marines dropped by helicopter from a Royal Navy warship charged with taking down the terrorists.
The opening phases saw the marines dispatched into the undergrowth in Future Commando Force formations – small teams with each commando taking on a specialization to deliver the specific mission.
Moving with stealth and precision, the marines moved to the target location to link up with fire support elements, before making their move.
The specialist forces used ladders to quickly enter the first compound, establishing a foothold before conducting a clearance of the complex, scouring for evidence, the injured and any threats within.
“The commandos made this look effortless with every man explicitly understanding his individual and team role,” said Sergeant Adam Sperry.
“The troop then moved off to strike the second narcotics cell, which they did with control and precision throughout, professionally dealing with captured and injured personnel as a matter of course.”
During the eight-week course the troop have developed and rehearsed their ability to conduct level two and level three ship’s boarding operations and this exercise was a culmination of that, bringing together tactics and techniques.
Mike Company worked with Covid-19 guidelines in mind throughout this training and are in a secure bubble to ensure the safety of this vital training for key operations.