Somerset's Royal Marines exercise in Cornwall

The men of Bravo Company, 40 Commando, swarm ashore from Offshore Raiding Craft at picture-postcard Cawsand Beach Credit: The Royal Navy
700 Royal Marines are involved in Exercise South-West Sword. Credit: The Royal Navy

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The exercise comes as the Royal Marines prepare to celebrate the Corps 350 birthdaythis year and was a demonstration of 40 Commando returning to their amphibiousroots.

40 Commando have most recently been helping out with flood relief efforts in Somerset. Credit: The Royal Navy

The troops have most recently been in action in their native Somerset, helping out with the flood relief efforts in communities inundated during the winter storms.

They will take over as the UK’s Lead Commando Group in May which means they will be on-call to respond to world events, should the government require an instant military reaction.

Their transport for such an action would be Bulwark, flagship of the Fleet – and also the UK’s Response Force Task Group which, like the lead commando group, is also on standby for a quick response.

But before they can deploy they must understand the fundamentals of amphibious warfare and South-West Sword provided the necessary training. **

40 Commando will be transported by HMS Bulwark when they take over as the UK's Lead Commando Group in May. Credit: The Royal Navy

The exercise is an important warm-up for the next stage of the Unit’s training ahead of assuming the on-call role as Lead Commando Group._

The commandos came ashore by air and sea, as 40 Commando’s headquarters staff choreographed everything from Bulwark’s operations and planning room._

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– Major Chris Payne, 40 Commando’s Operations Officer

Next week 40 Commando will re-join Bulwark, amongst other amphibious Ships, to take part in Joint Warrior, the twice-yearly exercise involving all three Armed Forces off Western Scotland which begins next week.