Royal Marines based on the deployed warship HMS Monmouth have been practising their ship-boarding skills to combat pirates and smugglers.

Among the ship’s company of HMS Monmouth is a detachment of Royal Marines from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, based at HM Naval Base Clyde, Faslane. The Marines are vital for HMS Monmouth’s tasking at sea, and one of their major roles 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Royal Marines during a walkthrough of the ‘Ship-in-a-Box’ facility in Bahrain
 

The ‘Ship-in-a-Box’ recreates a realistic section of a ship in which ‘room clearance’ drills may be practised and perfected with a dramatic sense of realism.  Airsoft weapons, ranging from rifles, shotguns and pistols to claymore mines, are used in the facility in order to provide a safe, effective and realistic training environment.

Marine Ryan Billington goes low while Marine Jack Brent goes high during the walk-through before the firing exercise.  (Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2013)

Captain Will Hall, Officer Commanding HMS Monmouth’s Royal Marines detachment, said:

“My Marines really benefited from the training provided by the US Coast Guard at their facility in Bahrain – the instructors were incredibly hospitable and approachable, whilst the use of Airsoft weapons added a level of realism to the scenarios that is difficult to achieve in the training environment.”

Captain Will Hall RM debriefs members of the team before the firing exercise.  (Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2013)

HMS Monmouth continues her 7-month deployment of the region, conducting maritime security patrols the Arabian Sea, the northern Indian Ocean and the 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.

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Source:  MoD News, Crown Copyright 2013