Viking Squadron at Castlemartin

On Exercise With The Royal Marines' Viking Squadron

The Royal Marines Viking Squadron are conducting live firing trials on Castlemartin, as part of Exercise Iron Fist.

Viking Squadron at Castlemartin

The Royal Marines' Viking Squadron are conducting live firing trials on Castlemartin as part of Exercise Iron Fist.

The amphibious tracked Viking all-terrain vehicle has long been a part of the Commandos' armoured protection arsenal.

Marine Ben Jones, Viking Squadron explained how they're using the terrain to enhance their skills:

"At the moment we've got a three-lane section attack going.

"The vehicles are going up and coming under contact and we're just running through what would happen in real time." 

Bovington-based Viking Squadron is made up of three troops and has two troops at five days notice to deploy anywhere in the world.

They are the armoured support for 3 Commando Brigade - they operate the Swedish-made Hägglund in all terrain from the desert to the jungle and even the Arctic.

Acting Corporal Jack Pitts-Caton, said: "Last week was mainly dismounted shooting, so it was working with the vehicle but using a more personal weapon, like the carbine and the Glock 17 pistol. 

"This week is more vehicle-orientated, so going into our individual vehicle shoot for section attacks and high angle chutes."

He added: "We've also trialled a few new sites for the weapon system on top of the vehicle.

Viking Squadron at Castlemartin
The terrain at Castlemartin offers a large expanse of field firing with lots of different shoots.

Major Olly Osborne, Officer Commanding says the terrain helps them practice in urban settings. 

"So the other range is a high angle shoot - so it's slightly unrealistic in that you wouldn't put yourself in such a vulnerable position.

"But it gives us a really good understanding of how to use the vehicle in an urban environment - where you're channelled to particular routes, parts of Afghanistan were similar to that."

They have most recently been operating with the US Marines in northern Norway and will return to the region in the new year with 3 Commando Brigade.