News and information

Defence in space

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has committed £30 million to fast-track the launch of a small demonstrator satellite.  The satellite will be supported by a new transatlantic team of UK and US defence personnel, named Team ARTEMIS, and will sit alongside other programmes demonstrating the UK’s future role in space.

The Secretary of State also announced the transformation of Joint Forces Command to Strategic Command, to tackle evolving ‘grey zone’ threats.  Strategic Command will take on a greater role, leading integration across the five war-fighting domains of Air, Land, Sea, Cyber and Space.

More here.

HMS Shoreham in Gulf update

HMS Shoreham features in the latest Gulf update from MoD.  The SANO-affiliated Mine Counter Measures Vessel is 1 of 7 RN and RFA ships maintaining a presence there as part of Op KIPION.  The 1200 UK personnel involved include Royal Marines embarked for force protection.

More here.

Marines at Spean Bridge commemorations

The first weekend of July saw Royal Marines in commemorations at the iconic Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, near Fort William. 

The marines, of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group based at HMNB Clyde, turned out in support of the annual Royal Marines Association parade at the memorial.   

They also conducted a seven-mile speed march the day before, following the original route of their World War II predecessors when starting commando training.  The route ran from Spean Bridge station to Achnacarry, home to the wartime Commando Training Depot.  Volunteers would arrive by train at Spean Bridge, jump down to the track and clamber up the opposite platform, with kit, then march the seven miles to Achnacarry.  Training took place over large parts of Lochaber, which came to be known as “Commando Country”; it was highly intensive, often using live ammunition.  Anyone failing any part of the course caught the next train south, returned to his unit – “RTU’d”.

The service at the Commando Memorial; Marines of today and veterans (Crown Copyright 2019).  Speed march 2018

More here and here.  There are Commando museum exhibitions at the Spean Bridge Hotel and Fort William’s West Highland Museum.

RN Photographic competition

Pictures ranging from emotional homecoming scenes to fiery explosions are among those featured in the Navy’s annual photographic competition, the Peregrine Trophy Awards.

The images of operations, training, equipment and sport are the work of RN and RM photographers.  They are charged with telling the stories of sailors and Marines around the world through still imagery and video, taking them on deployments with warships and commando units wherever they go.  This year’s Peregrine Trophy Awards go to Leading Photographer Sam Seeley, as Photographer of the Year, and Fleet Regional Photographic Unit West, based at Plymouth, as the team submitting the best portfolio.

Two of this year’s entries are below (Crown Copyright 2019).

More here and here.