british special forces
UKSF SAS SBS SRR 14 Int SFSG E Sqn 18 (UKSF) Sigs Royal Marines Paras Pathfinders Aviation RAF Regt Gurkhas Artillery BRF EOD Intel Police
british special forces » royal marines » 3 Commando Brigade
▼ share this page

3 Commando Brigade

3 Commando Brigade is the UK's commando force. It provides an amphibious contigency capability and can deploy over 5000 personnel. It is manned by men from the Royal Marines, Royal Navy and British Army. 3 Commando Brigade consists of the following elements:

Attached Army Units

3 Commando Brigade includes elements from the British Army. Most of these men go through extensive Commando training which enables them to operate alongside the Royal Marines.

With the addition of the attached Army units, 3 Commando Brigade can operate as a self-contained expeditionary force.

Command Helicopter Force

Merlin and Wildcat helicopter support is provided by the Commando Helicopter Force

Amphibious Task Group (ATG)

The Amphibious Task Group (ATG) is a scalable contingency force made up of various 3 Commando Brigade elements, Royal Fleet Auxillary vessels, Royal Navy warships, and associated helicopter assets.

The ATG is held at high readiness to respond to a crisis anywhere in the world. It frequently forward deploys to regions such as the Mediterannean or Persian Gulf for extended periods as a demonstration of capability and commitment.

The landing force (LF) element of the ATG is the Lead Commando Group (LCG) which is built around 40 or 45 Commando. The LCG is on 5-days notice to move with one company - designated the Lead Commando Company (LCC) - on 2 days notice.

40 and 45 Commando cycle through the Lead Commando Group and Force Generation (training) roles on a 6 monthly basis.

The LF is usually embarked on a Landing Platform Dock such as HMS Albion or HMS Bulwark. For cost saving reasons, either Albion or Bulwark is held in reserve, while the other is operational as the Fleet Amphibious Flagship.

HMS Bulwark
3 Commando Brigade carry out amphibious operations from HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark (pictured here) as well as various auxiliary landing ships such as RFA Mount's Bay.
photo: US DoD

Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier
As it enters service and devlops full operating capability, the Navy's new The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier may play an important role in the ATG. Its air wing of F-35B Lighning II jets will be on hand to provide air cover and close air support during, an amphibious assault. The carrier has an organic force of Royal Marines from Lima Company 42 Commando on board, obstensibly for Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR), but could host a larger force. Its rotary air wing includes Merlin MK2 helicopters, some fitted with Crowsnest radars, and Merlin Mk4 and Wildchat AH1 from from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF). Apache Gunships and Chinooks could be added to bolster the carrier's air wing.
Image by LPhot Kyle Heller © UK MOD / Crown Copyright 2018 | used under open government licence

The Amphibious Task Group is the UK component of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) (JEF(M)), a multinational Naval formation.

« royal marines

facebook facebook youtube
RM Green Team
Green Team
Royal Marines Boarding Team
view: RM Green Team
42 Commando Vikings
SFSG Marksman
SFSG soldier armed with HK417 rifle
view: SFSG Marksman
Squadron Reconnaissance Team (SRT)
view: 539 ASRM SRT


Share this page:

not endorsed by or affiliated with the ministry of defence | all information is non-classified & sourced from public domain |

all images are for educational purposes and sourced from the public domain where possible - image policy | privacy policy