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good to go!
“WELCOME to America!” head to Scotland in June 2009.
Using Marine Corps Base
With those words, shouted And towards the end of last
Quantico in Virginia – covering
by a young US Marine as his year almost 90 members of Fleet
almost 100 square miles – as
British counterparts climbed off Protection Group RM (FPGRM)
their temporary home, the Royals
the school bus which picked them jetted across the Atlantic to meet up
quickly got stuck in.
up at the airport, Exercise Tartan with the 2nd Fleet Antiterrorism
In the words of our FPGRM
Eagle Part II was under way. Security Team Company, who
correspondents: “To paint a
The annual exercise sees units have a similar role to that of their
picture of Quantico, it is basically
from the States travel to the UK British guests.
made up of bomb shelters and
for a lively exchange of cultural According to a joint report by
pig pens surrounded by red mud.
and tactical views, with the Brits Mne Richard McDonald and
Hoofing accommodation!
making the return journey on a L/Cpl ‘Taff’ Owen (9 Tp, R Sqn,
“Shortly after arrival it was
separate occasion. FPGRM), as they stepped off
straight on to the USMC’s version
The most recent Tartan Eagle their transport “we all knew it was
of the Endurance Course.
saw US Marine Corps personnel going to be a good two weeks.”
“This consisted of an obstacle
course followed by a five-mile
run, so with an MRE (aka ration
pack) in our bellies we were ‘good ● Royal Marines tackle one of the many ‘interesting’ challenges provided by Quantico US Marine Corps
to go!’ base obstacle courses
Pictures: LA(Phot) Pepe Hogan
“Under test conditions the
Americans would usually wear took the football and cricket.
The base’s CQB house was After rehearsals the instructors
body armour and helmet plus rifle The tiebreaker – ten spins
also regarded as “hoofing” by the upped the ante by allowing
(less than 21lbs) but today was around the pole with a race to the green berets – interchangeable FPGRM to pick a 12-man dream
just light order and there was no line – also went to the visitors. walls, doors and furniture, team to take on four of them in
way that Royal was going to lose! After a couple of “hoofing” allowing for any scenario you the house; if the Brits managed
“The fastest time of 45 mins runs ashore in the local Yorktown wanted “providing you had a drill to clear the whole house with
went to Cpl ‘Ads’ Fowler PTI; area and at Virginia Beach, the and some nails. two men left standing, they would
RM 1, USMC 0.” second week of Exercise Tartan “Mega basic but a massive buy the first round of drinks at
The following day saw a visit Eagle began. learning tool, and it seemed cheap Hooters that night.
to the USMC museum, another More CQB and Initiative Based
as chips to build – wink-wink The Bud Lites were on the
test of their initiative, then a Tactics (IBT) – or what bootnecks
nudge-nudge...” Yanks that evening.
Hummer acquaint to prepare for would call the ability to think and
As they grew in confidence they The final day saw drills on how
the following day, when they were act for yourself under pressure.
moved on to ‘simmunition’ rounds to take a vessel, using a building
promised they would get their They learned some “mega
– essentially paintballs (although set up like a ship, including steep
hands on “a Gucci piece of kit”... Gucci” ninja and martial arts
as they hurt like hell when you ladders and cramped corridors.
“The Gucci bit of kit turned moves during phys sessions, and
got hit it added to the sense of And with that FPGRM headed
out to be Hummer in a room with also had a crack at the USMC
realism). home, officially ‘Good to Go’.
a 360º screen; this was linked up O-Course, which they had to
to another three buildings with complete five times as part of the
identical Hummers in identical phys session.
rooms. “The O-Course consists of
“It was the biggest multiplayer some strange obstacles, and a rope
computer game I have ever seen! climb at the end; easy enough!
“The control room created “We were shown the proper
different scenarios that were techniques to tackle the obstacles
designed to test our reactions and when it came down to it, it
and so that we could apply the was just a case of getting yourself
skills and drills that we had been over the things.
taught. “The O-Course achieved its
“At the end of the week we put aim, as we were all blowing out
our training into action in a Close by the end.”
Quarters Battle (CQB) village. It wasn’t all brute force – there
“This evolution saw us driving were lectures on handling the
round in Hummers disposing of M9A1 (M9) Beretta and the M4
the enemy and IEDs. Carbine, followed by shooting
“After that the US Marines serials on the ranges, with
remained in the village to play American instructors bellowing in
enemy, and Royal went off to their ears the whole time.
formulate a battle plan. “They are very good instructors
“We formulated our diversion, and definitely experts when it
our gun line position and our plan comes to CQB – we all learnt a
of attack. lot throughout the week,” said our
“Needless to say the Americans correspondents.
didn’t know what hit them; RM 2, Lectures became more in-depth
USMC 0.” and covered the fundamentals
A weekend of sport provided a and principles of IBT, door
break from military training; the
procedures, stacking, methods of
results went according to form;
entry and much more, each demo
the Americans won at American
being followed by an obligatory ● Shooting practice on the Camp Upshur range at Quantico – with
football and baseball (“but
“Good to go!” American experts bellowing encouragement into British ears
● Fleet Protection Group RM personnel carry out Close Quarters
Battle (CQB) drills in a specially-designed facility at Quantico US
who wants to win at rounders
Marine Corps base in Virginia
anyway?”) while the Brits easily
HMS Kent, London, Devonshire, Hampshire
Also available modified with Exocet: HMS Glamorgan, Antrim, Fife, Norfolk
Replica model, hand cast in white metal, painted and mounted on a wooden plinth with
brass nameplate. Model measures approx. 9” long
+ £8.00 p&p
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To order your model send your name, address and daytime telephone number,
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Skytrex Ltd, Unit 1 Charnwood Business Park, North Road, Loughborough,
Leicestershire LE11 1LE Tel: 01509 213789 Fax: 01509 230874
● A member of FPGRM fi res a machine gun from a USMC Humvee watched by an American instructor
0008_NN_mar.indd 108_NN_mar.indd 1 118/2/10 11:46:008/2/10 11:46:00
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