Member of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group on Ex Serpent Rock Gibraltar flies drone during exercise DATE UNKNOWN nov 2020 used on 131120 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
Royal Marines

Royal Marines Use New Kit During Exercises In Gibraltar

The new tech was introduced to the training as part of Future Commando Force modernisation.

Member of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group on Ex Serpent Rock Gibraltar flies drone during exercise DATE UNKNOWN nov 2020 used on 131120 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg

Royal Marines have been using their latest kit during exercises in Gibraltar.

More than 80 marines from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group spent two weeks on Exercise Serpent Rock.

The exercise saw the marines scale cliff faces and battle through the island’s tunnels as they honed skills essential to protecting the UK’s nuclear assets, the Royal Navy said.

The new tech was introduced to the exercise as part of the Future Commando Force (FCF) modernisation programme.

The marines used drones and robots as they conducted amphibious operations, cliff assaults and close-quarters battle in the tunnels beneath the Rock.

Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) and ground-based robots known as 'Throwbots', fed live data to commandos on the battlefield during the training, enabling them to make crucial decisions, the Navy added.

"The RPAS were put to good use, with the marines flying them at night and then scaling cliffs to assault the objective," said Major Tom Baybutt, Officer Commanding P-Squadron of 43 Commando.

He added: "Using the drones allowed us to work out the best method of entry to the target and the number of adversaries on the ground."

Maj Baybutt added the Throwbot can be steered remotely and can help "to understand the shape and size of confined spaces" as well as “identify any threats”.

The Royal Marines also made use of new situational awareness tools such as the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) and specialist protective equipment.

“It’s a system that allows us to track everyone and manage the battlespace more effectively," Maj Baybutt said.

The Future Commando Force is designed to modernise the way Royal Marines operate.

It has been described by the Royal Navy as the most significant transformation and rebranding programme since the Second World War.

It has seen the foundation of the new Vanguard Strike Company and the launch of a new uniform.

Cover image: Royal Marine flies a drone (Picture: Royal Navy).