Royal Marines from 42 Commando have begun specialist training to test for COVID-19.
The Marines, based at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth, are the first elements of the unit to receive the training. They will support testing teams across Devon and Cornwall, as well as the wider South West region, in the coming weeks.
The Commando Unit is normally responsible for global maritime operations for the Royal Navy. Their duties range from training overseas forces to catching drug smugglers in the Caribbean.
Now they find themselves joining the UK's battle against the coronavirus.
Lieutenant Colonel Doug Pennefather, 42 Commando’s Commanding Officer, said they pride themselves “on being a rapidly deployable, adaptable force”.
He added: "The men and women within the unit are of exceptional quality and extremely motivated to help the country fight COVID-19. These are unprecedented times, but we are ready to help the local authorities in any way we can."
The military have been involved in the coronavirus response in a number of ways, including in the construction of NHS Nightingale hospitals around the country.
Cover image: Royal Navy.