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Photos: 42 Commando Ship Boarding Training

22.02.2019

Royal Marines (RM) and Royal Navy (RN) sailors have conducted Visit, Board, Search and Seize (VBSS) training aboard a U.S. vessel in the South China Sea.

During the exercise a team of Royal Marine Commandos from 42 Commando and a team of sailors from Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montrose, boarded and searched the USNS Guadalupe, a Kaiser-class replenishment oiler. A Royal Marine Boarding Team (RMBT) boarded the Guadalupe from a rigid inflatable boat (RIB), securing the ship before a second RIB brought in the team of sailors to search it. [1]

Juliet Company of 42 Commando are the Royal Marines' experts in Maritime Assault i.e. ship boarding. The task may also be carried out by M Company, 42 Commando's force protection specialists, who recently trained for the role in Bahrain. [2] 42 Commando is configured as a Maritime Operations Commando.

42 Commando securing vessel
The Royal Marines boarding party secure the deck. In a joint RM/RN board and search op, the RM contingent is known as 'Green Team' and the RN as 'Blue Team'.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


42 Commando Royal Marines
Cropped shot of the first image. Note how the magazine pouches for this Royal Marine's L119A1 carbine are attached 'upside down' to his webbing - some find this arrangement to be quicker during reloads.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


Royal Marines with fire fly strobe light
A Royal Marine Commando trains his L119A1 carbine towards the vessel's interior. He appears to be wearing a Fire Fly strobe on his Team Wendy bump helmet. The Fire Fly MS2000 is an identification friend or foe (IFF) device that produces a flashing white light (used as a distress marker) or, when an infrared filter is used, a light visible only through night vision devices.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


42 Commando securing vessel
The RMBT progress through the vessel. A ship is a challenging environment made up of a maze of decks, stairways, gantries, doors, corridors and interior spaces, with possible threats coming from all directions. Standards of close quarters battle (CQB) training have to be very high for this demanding task.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


Royal Marines with 42 Commando secure a ship
Royal Marines move to secure the bridge. Note the Glock 17 9mm pistol carried as the standard sidearm.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


Royal Marines search a crew member during an exercise.
During the exercise, US personnel role-played as the crew of a suspect vessel.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


42 Commando Royal Marines
A Royal Marine body-searches a US Civilian Mariner Deck Cadet during VBSS training aboard USNS Guadalupe. Note the Surefire Scout light attached to the Royal Marine's Team Wendy helmet.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


Royal Navy sailors
The Blue Team of sailors from HMS Montrose pull alongside the vessel in a Pacific 24 RIB and prepare to board via a ladder. The sailors are mostly only armed with Glock 9mm pistols.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors
A Royal Marine (middle) and two Royal Navy sailors move down a stairway. The leftmost sailor is armed with a L22A2 carbine, a compact variant of the SA80 rifle.
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth


42 Commando Royal Marines
With HMS Montrose;'s two Pacific 24 sea boats in the background, a member of the Royal Marines Boarding Team negotiates a set of stairs. Juliet Company's standard loadout includes the L119A1 carbine, typically with a 10.5 inch upper/barrel configuration. The scope is a Trijicon ACOG augmented with a Shield CQB red dot. This Marine's gun is also fitted with a Laser Light Module (LLM3).
[click image for fullsize version]
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth

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