Exercises

Royal Marines Practise Early Hours Amphibious Assault In Omani Desert

Having spent the night aboard their landing craft, 40 Commando boarded dinghies for a final approach towards the beach.

Royal Marines have been practising an amphibious assault as part of Exercise Saif Sareea 3 in Oman.

More than 5,000 personnel from all three of Britain’s armed services are working alongside 60,000 Omanis during the exercise.

Saif Sareea 3 is testing British troops ability to deploy in the Middle East, as well as strengthening the links between the two nations’ militaries.

Corporal Ben Wiegand talks us through how to cater for thousands of hungry British troops on exercise in the Omani desert.

Amphibious assaults rely on the ability of troops to strike anywhere, anytime and personnel used the early hours of the morning to practise.

Having spent the night aboard their landing craft, 40 Commando boarded dinghies for a final approach towards the beach.

"It’s now zero four in the morning," Major James Smith told Forces News.

Saif Sareea night time exercise

“We’re about 200 metres from Blue Beach which is where we’re going to land.

"We’ve got numerous small craft inserting Royal Marine commandos under cover of darkness and we’re now ready to land on the beach."

Once ashore they had a six-mile march through the Omani desert ahead of them, before they reached their position.

"The attack looks like we’re doing a dogleg round," said Marine Stefan Maddoch.

“Then we’re pushing them back towards the sea, which doesn’t really give them much of an escape.

"But it also means we’re on the quickest way out because it is a raid."

	A Royal Marine on Exercise Saif Sareea 3 takes part in an amphibious assault 311018 CREDIT BFBS
Exercise Saif Sareea 3 officially began on October 5 and will involve around 5,500 British personnel and 65,000 of their Omani counterparts.

It was sunrise before they reached the enemy position.

Personnel spent hours crossing treacherous terrain in almost complete silence to maintain the element of surprise, holding their position and waiting for the right moment to strike.

In the scenario the enemy defended from fortified positions, meaning the Royal Marines had to take their time in eliminating them one by one.

The objective was to reach a communication tower coordinating the movements of the hostile forces.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Maynard took part in the last Saif Sareea in 2001.

Troops from the Omani forces joined with the final raid.

“We’re probably taking from them that we still are able to work with and integrate successfully with different cultures and different nations,” said Captain Matt Ireland.

“I think this attack has been a success and in terms of what they’re learning from us, probably taking something away from our tactics, techniques procedures.

"Hopefully that will feed up their chain of command and that will inform similar operations and missions as we’ve done today."

Omani Soldier during Exercise Saif Sareea 3 311018 CREDIT BFBS
An Omani soldier takes aim as part of the amphibious assault.