Royal Marines based on the deployed Plymouth warship HMS Monmouth have been practising their ship-boarding skills to combat pirates and smugglers.
Among the crew of HMS Monmouth is a detachment of the amphibious force of Royal Marines, vital for HMS Monmouth’s tasking at sea. One of the major roles of the Marines is conducting boarding missions against suspected pirates and smugglers. To hone these skills they used their time on land to visit a specialist ‘Ship in a Box’ facility owned by the US Coast Guard in Bahrain.
The idea of the Ship in a Box recreates a realistic section of a ship in which ‘room clearance’ drills may be practiced and perfected with a dramatic sense of realism. High powered air soft simulation weapons are used in the facility, which range from rifles, shotguns and pistols to claymore mines. They really pack a punch, so much so that Personal Protective Equipment must be worn when magazines are fitted and rounds are flying.
“ My Marines really benefited from the training provided by the US Coast Guard at their facility in Bahrain.” said Capt Will Hall RM, Officer Commanding the Royal Marines, ”The instructors were incredibly hospitable and approachable, whilst the use of air soft weapons added a level of realism to the scenarios that is difficult to achieve in the training environment. The team is now prepared and ready put their skills to use during boarding operations in the Gulf”.
The team of Marines are on detachment from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines based at HMNB Clyde, Faslane.
The Marines exercise comes after a busy time at sea over Christmas. This has given the crew, other than the Marines, time to recharge batteries and ready themselves for the challenges of the New Year in the Gulf.
HMS Monmouth continue her 7 month deployment of the region, conducting Maritime Security patrols the Arabian sea, the northern Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. Whilst deployed, Monmouth will also be carrying out security patrols and exercises with coalition forces in the region to strengthen ties with foreign allies.
Consent held by the photographer.