Royal Marines recently trained with their Bahraini counterparts during a three-week amphibious exercise in the Persian Gulf.
The marines stormed the beaches under the cover of air power as Exercise Pearl Dagger 16 came to an explosive conclusion, played out before British and Bahraini VIPs.
Rewind three weeks and the commandos were dropped off in the kingdom to conduct desert training with marines of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force, working their way up from the absolute basics to a combined live-firing shoot on the Bahraini ranges where, even in December, temperatures are in the mid-20s Celsius.
Once they were happy with their desert combat skills, both groups of marines joined HMS Ocean at sea for ‘operation dryout’ – to wash the sand out of them, their equipment and their clothes, tuck into freshly-prepared hot food and relax ahead of the final assault, which was carried out by small fast raiding craft as well as slower landing craft.
“The lads have coped really well in the heat,” said Sergeant Sam Vanner, 7 Troop Sergeant, from Lima Company.
“The levels of fitness these boys have is the key to their success during this exercise. From my perspective the exercise went really well and all the jigsaw pieces from the various elements of training we conducted dropped into place for this finale.”
Pearl Dagger is an annual workout for Bahraini and Royal Navy forces which was this year joined by Britain’s flagship HMS Ocean, her helicopters and the Royal Marines of 42 Commando.