Troops to storm the beaches
ROYAL Naval warships, Marine commandos and naval air power will combine forces for a massive training exercise on a Cornish beach next week.
The assault comes in advance of a three-month Royal Marine training deployment to the Mediterranean.
Exercise Cougar 12 will see a number of vessels and service personnel make up the (RFTG) Response Force Task Group which will train alongside the French and Albanians.
The RFTG was created under the 2010 defence review and is a rapid reaction force that deals with unexpected world events that require military intervention.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Cougar 12 will start in spectacular style with an assault by the Royal Marines on a beach near St Austell running from Monday to October 9 before the entire force meets up in the Med later in the month.
As part of the exercise four warships, one amphibious support ship, a giant transport ship, three commando units and helicopters and personnel from eight Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Army Air Corps squadrons will be committed to the three-month deployment – in all more than 3,000 sailors, Royal Marines, soldiers and airmen.
The deployment will be the second test for the RFTG which was called upon in anger last year to support operations off Libya: HMS Ocean launched repeated Apache gunship strikes from her flight deck while HMS Liverpool spent seven months enforcing the no-fly zone and preventing arms from reaching pro-Gaddafi forces by sea.
HMS Illustrious will be taking Ocean's place as the helicopter carrier assigned to the task group.
She will be joined by the nation's flagship HMS Bulwark, from where Commodore Paddy McAlpine, Commander UK Task Group, and 3 Commando Brigade's Brigadier Martin Smith will direct Cougar.
They will oversee two key exercises: Corsican Lion, working hand-in-hand with the French, and later this autumn the force will shift to the Adriatic to work with the Albanian military.
There will also be planned exercises with the US and Algerian forces and visits to Algeria and Malta – particularly poignant for Illustrious as she has ties with the island going back to her predecessor and the dark days of World War 2.
Cdre McAlpine said: "Cougar 12 provides us with a superb opportunity to rekindle our amphibious capability after a prolonged period when our focus has been on operations elsewhere."
HMS Bulwark will leave Devonport naval base on Monday, sailing past Devil's Point at 6.45pm en-route to the exercise, while HMS Montrose will sail past Devil's Point on Tuesday at 10.30am.