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NAVY NEWS, MARCH 2010 19
● Board and search training ● Formation training in boat driving in Nigerian waters
alongside a tanker
● The newly-acquired RIBs are taken out in Lagos Harbour
Driving schoo
L
A
ROYAL Marines an alternative course of action – Royal Marines and Royal Navy it cools the place dodown by about wn wn by y aboouut
team of boat experts
it was not surprising then that in a remembrance ceremony at 15 degrees and with the ceremonithtthe ceremonnyyy
headed out to Nigeria
the STTT found themselves the Commonwealth War Grave being held with no shade, it was
late last year to sharpen up
driving the wrong way down a Cemetery in Lagos, where Sgt well received.”
the training for the Nigerian
dual carriageway weaving around ‘Mac’ McDonald read out the 23 The last week saw the Nigerians
oncoming fuel tankers...” names from the 2009 RM Roll of put through their paces in board
Armed Forces that will
Fortunately things were a little Honour. and search techniques using a
operate in the oil-rich Niger
different on the water. And coxswain instructor Mne Nigerian Navy fast patrol craft
Delta region. The marine team were there to Paul Mayfield headed to Kano and an amenable tanker in Lagos
The team – seven Royal run a ‘train the trainer’ package. in the north of Nigeria for a Harbour.
Marines and one Royal Navy Their first week in Lagos was remembrance ceremony. It seems Nineteen instructors qualified
engineer – from 1 Assault Group spent recceing the training area, that the characteristics of Nigerian and will form the initial staff at the
Royal Marines (1AGRM) and meeting the key Nigerians who driving are infectious, as in Mne Joint Maritime Security Training
9 Assault Squadron Royal Marines would keep the course running, Mayfield’s words: “We began the Centre, which is due to begin to
(9ASRM) spent seven weeks in and going through the necessary five-hour car journey up to Kano run courses this year.
the African nation. preliminary procedures. during which the defence attaché’s The last act for the Nigerians
They arrived for a UK-led Although some of the driving was almost as unnerving as was a graduation ceremony,
training package, coinciding with reconnaissance was a little more pacing drills with the course.” described by Maj Churchward as
the procurement of six rigid in-depth than perhaps necessary... “With the temperature rising up “particularly interesting”.
inflatable boats (RIBs) and the “The first week involved a to 40 degrees we were very grateful Or in Sgt Middleton’s words:
construction of a Joint Maritime recce of the jetty where the RIBs for the ice cold beer on arrival.” “At the end of the course the
Security Training Centre in Lagos, would be launched,” said Sgt Other compensations for the Nigerians held a barbecue which
all coordinated by the resident Middleton. Marine included a game of golf involved an entire goat, intestines
British Military Advisory and “The Boss was leading from the during his northern visit for the and all, a famous Nigerian rapper
Training team (BMATT). front when the jetty gave way and memorial ceremony. Zule-Zoo, and some rather
The short-term training team he ended up checking the depth He added: “The Harmattan interesting dancers.
(STTT), under the command of of water in an area where a 75kg arrived on the day of the parade, “Overall the team had a hoofi ng
Maj Matt Churchward, left behind crocodile was pulled out the day a condition where the dust of the time and are looking forward to
the cold and wet UK to arrive before.” Sahara desert blows into the city. returning to assist with the running
in the warm and wet Nigeria. As well as training coxswains “It does not sound pleasant but of the fi rst JMSTC course.”
However it became clear early on and ground combat teams for
that the humid weather was not the security patrols, CPO Russell
● A perfect pacing drill demonstrated to the Nigerians by Royal
the only thing to which they had Wilson was on hand to make
Marine Cpl Mick Newton
to adjust. sure that there were engineering
Sgt ‘Mids’ Middleton, the instructors who could train people
second in charge of the training to maintain the six RIBs.
team, said: “The team had an eye- In total 32 potential instructors
opening experience into Nigerian from the Nigerian Army and Navy
driving styles with associated off- came under the watchful eye of the
road procedures and numerous British maritime team.
games of chicken.” Their days began with an early
He added: “The working day morning PT session – not greeted
started and finished with more with universal enthusiasm.
exposure to Nigerian drivers, Training swiftly progressed
who when confronted by broken- through the basics of rules of the
down vehicles will simply seek road and map reading, then on
to basic boat handling, engine
servicing and navigation.
● RIB training past the tankers in Lagos Harbour Once the basic knowledge
had been drilled into the willing
participants, the Royal Marines
started to bring in their specialist
skills of amphibious and riverine
operations.
The Nigerians tackled beaching
drills, close-quarter battle,
ambushes and break contact drills
– during day and night hours.
Training wasn’t all on the move
however – the rules of engagement
and international humanitarian
law were also covered.
And it wasn’t all work, work,
work – the Royal Marines held a
Corps birthday dinner to which
they invited Col Telfer and WO1
Clarke from the British Military
Advisory and Training Team and
two civilians from the boatmaker
Ribcraft.
The evening saw the traditional
speeches and port fines – and one
guest, who remains nameless, had
to make a quiet exit feeling slightly
the worse for wear.
On a more sombre note, the
British boat team represented the
Background image: Niger Delta; Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. “The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.”
<http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/EFS/images.pl?photo=STS61C-42-72>
0019_NN_Mar10 1AGRM.indd 119_NN_Mar10 1AGRM.indd 1 119/2/10 10:15:579/2/10 10:15:57
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