royalnavy.mod.ukTop Class Employer with Top Class People
Royal NavyRoyal Navy

Marines conducting a raid as part of Exercise Cyprus Wader
members of 40 Commando RM,marching through Casemate Square in the rain, at the freedom of Gibraltar Parade
Pictured are members of Mortar Troop, 40 Commando RM deployed on RFA Mounts Bay

Welcome to the 40 Commando Unit Diary for the Royal Navy’s Taurus 09 deployment. We are one of the UK’s three Commando Units, with our colleagues at 42 and 45 Commandos currently on operations in Afghanistan with 3 Commando Brigade. The Unit is structured around its fighting companies, composed of around 100 Royal Marines each, supported by Logistics and Command Companies who look after all the supply, support and command functions. We deploy as a Commando Group, with attached ranks from the likes of the Ghurkha Royal Engineers and the Royal Navy. The chance to undertake amphibious operations, which is really the core business of Royal Marines even though we have spent much of our time recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a great opportunity, not to mention the challenge of the jungle to come later on as we make our way to the Far East.

For 40 Commando, the deployment is going to be a complex one. Most of us will be involved in two phases. In the first, we sail to the Mediterranean and engage in amphibious operations with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, as well as coalition partners like the Dutch, Americans and Turks. We then sail back to the UK for a short break over Easter to get some time at home with family and friends, before flying out to Brunei to begin the second phase, which involves jungle training. We finish off with a long, multinational exercise in Brunei to bring everything together – not just Royal Marines and the testing of our own skills but also working with the ships, aircraft, submarines and other assets that make up the deployment. With all this ongoing, we will be maintaining a Deployed Company Group throughout the Taurus 09 deployment, which means up to 200 Royal Marines and attached ranks remaining with the Royal Navy Amphibious Task Group as it moves through the Suez Canal and into the Indian Ocean. This is because the Amphibious Task Group has to be ready to act in the event of any crisis in the region, whether we need to engage in combat or, more likely, humanitarian aid or disaster relief. This task rests with Charlie Company for the majority of the deployment before Delta Company relieve them and return to the UK by sea with the Amphibious Task Group.

The deployment promises to be a busy and interesting one, with the chance to work in an amphibious context and fully integrated with our parent Royal Navy. If you want to follow 40 Commando’s progress and find out what we are doing or what it is like to do this job, this is the place to keep up to date. After the first few entries set the scene, hopefully you will also get to know a little more about the Commando ethos and meet some of the colourful characters that give Commando Units their elite reputation and unique identity.

  • Exercise EGEMEN in Turkey
    The culmination of the first phase of the Taurus 09 deployment was to be a huge multinational exercise on and around the coast of Turkey called EGEMEN.
  • Commando Medics
    Marine Jon Ratcliffe, Alpha Company
  • On Safari
    Marine John Leonard, Alpha Company
  • Cyprus Wading
    Marine Mitchell Rose, Alpha Company
  • Ashore in Kuşadası
    When the Wader exercise finished, we sailed to the port of Kuşadası for a few days of “operational stand-down” to recharge the batteries.
  • Wading Ashore In Cyprus
    The pace of the deployment started to pick up as soon as we left Gibraltar, with everyone aware that we would link up with the rest of the Amphibious Task Group off Cyprus and begin amphibious operations.
  • The Freedom of Gibraltar and the "Rock Run"
    While some of the Marines were enjoying a lie in, Alpha Company and Recce Troop were up early on Saturday and getting ready to exercise the Freedom of Gibraltar on behalf of the Royal Marines..
  • A Look at Gibraltar
    Arriving in Gibraltar took a lot longer than we expected. We made our way towards the harbour on Thursday as planned, with the Marines lining the upper deck ceremonially in what the Royal Navy calls “procedure Alpha”.
  • Training at Sea
    As the ship nears Gibraltar, the lads have been keeping busy with training and exercise. Some of the Marines have been getting up before 6am to do yet more phys, with many managing three sessions a day as part of “Op Massive”.
  • Getting Used To Life At Sea
    The majority of the Unit set off on TAURUS 09 onboard Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay on the evening of Saturday the 21st, after a brief pause to box up 40 Commando’s mascot..