Royal Marines

Royal Marines Practise Abseiling From Helicopters At RAF Gibraltar

The Royal Marines are in Gibraltar as part of the Littoral Response Group Experimentation.

Royal Marines have been practising abseiling from a helicopter at RAF Gibraltar. 

The skill - which is not for the faint-hearted - is used for deploying troops in places where the aircraft cannot land.

The marines also practised the similar skill of fast-roping.

"Once you get over the initial nerves of swinging out the helicopter for the first time, it's really enjoyable to do it," said Major Andrew Lacy, Officer Commanding, Support Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

42 Commando are in Gibraltar as part of the Littoral Response Group Experimentation - a three-month mission around the Mediterranean, Black Sea and North Africa.

"It’s always good to come to Gibraltar. It’s a key staging post for us and it offers us excellent training facilities which we’ll be moving on to using later, as well as the airfield here," Major Lacy added.

The deployment includes 1,000 Royal Marines and sailors from the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxillary.  

The Ministry of Defence said the purpose of the deployment is to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to security in the region, as well as test new technologies and ways of working.

Major Lacy said this involves "autonomous and unmanned systems both on the water and in the air".

Royal Marines from 42 Commando practise abseiling at RAF Gibraltar.

It comes amid the development of the Future Commando Force - described by the Royal Navy as the most significant transformation and rebranding programme since the Second World War.

Due to COVID-19, special measures were put in place ahead of the deployment. 

Major Lacy said: "We went through a strict regime before we left in terms of quarantine and testing before we embarked on the shipping.

"We are adhering to and following the host nation and the local guidance in terms of COVID-19."

During the deployment, 42 Commando will also support NATO's security operation in the Mediterranean and carry out exercises in Cyprus.