Royal Marines undergo biggest change since WW2 with lethal unit to tackle new threat–PICS
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The Royal Navy has confirmed it is changing the way the elite commandoes will be deployed in combat roles around the world as well as their iconic uniform. Major General Matthew Holmes, the Commandant General of the Royal Marines (CGRM), said the elite fighting force will be more “lethal, survivable and sustained”.
As part of the Future Commando Force programme a team of two Littoral Response Groups (LRG), will be strategically based to respond to humanitarian and war atrocities.
It is understood each unit containing more than 100 commandoes will be based permanently east of Suez with the second team focused on NATO’s northern flank – working closely with Norwegian forces and allies in the Mediterranean.
Major General Homes added the persistent forward presence in the seas offers global access and “pose greater dilemmas to our adversaries”.
Colonel Mark Totten, Programme Director of the Future Commando Force, said the change was needed due to the advancement in defence weapons and artificial intelligence.
Colonel Totten added the Commando forces can no longer “wait for something to happen” before deploying.
The concept of the project bears similarities to that being conducted by the US Marine Corps through its Force Design 2030 programme.
On the project, General David Berger said: “The Marine Corps must be able to fight at sea, from the sea, and from the land to the sea; operate and persist within range of adversary long-range fires.
“Achieving this end state requires a force that can create the virtues of mass without the vulnerabilities of concentration, thanks to mobile and low-signature sensors and weapons.”
In addition to a change in strategy, the famous Green Berets will be equipped with a new state-of-the-art uniform.
In the week that saw the 80th anniversary of Operation Collar – the first commando raid of World War Two – the Marines have returned to the design first worn by commandos when they launched daring mission into Nazi-occupied Europe.
The NATO procured uniform – which is been procured from US-based firm Crye Precision – is lighter in weight, has higher tear-strength, is faster-drying and is more breathable than the typical cotton and nylon kit.
The camouflage design to be used from the autumn will also feature red writing and navy-blue background as commandos evolve to conduct more raids from the sea.
For the first time, the White Ensign features on one sleeve in order to align the Royal Marines with the Royal Navy.
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Reynolds said: “The Royal Marines are integral to the Royal Navy and an extremely versatile elite force, able to operate from mountain and Arctic wastes to jungle and littorals.
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“The Royal Marines’ Commando Uniform 2020 reflects our distinctiveness and the unique capabilities we bring to defence, in addition to the Royal Navy’s eagerness to invest in our development towards the Future Commando Force.
“The practical benefits of this uniform shouldn’t be underestimated.
“It has been specifically selected to serve commandos as they carry out operations all around the globe in the most extreme environments.”
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