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● Cross-decking on to a dredger ● Formation training in boats


Back to schoo L

● Sgt Mids Middleton runs pacing drills

driving training.

The officer heading up the six- man team, Maj Matt Churchward of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, praised the Nigerians for grasping the lessons from the previous

hard work in developing their capability to operational levels. He

● Training in boat handling

made to the proposed training programmes and lesson preparations were completed in order to allow the Nigerian instructors to become capable of delivering the courses with minimal external support.” He went on to describe how in some of the more complex training areas, he and his RM team were able to offer tips on instructional techniques. He added: “The infrastucture at the site had advanced rapidly and seemed on track to allow the new staff to move into the training centre.” The officer highlighted the demands on the fledgling Nigerian boat crews: “Board and search is an essential capability that the Nigerian armed forces will employ to provide security in the volatile Niger Delta region.” Trainees that have passed

said: “Tweaks were visit and their

THIS spring, the Royal Marine experts in boat- handling headed back to Lagos in Nigeria to see how the Nigerian military had fared since their initial

“It would test the most patient of men, both teaching new things and testing the old. “First thing was to test the basics, simple handling of the RIBs, coming alongside, man overboard drills etc. “Once the cobwebs had been brushed off, it was time to assess their more advanced skills such as board and search – this entailed gaining permission from the Lagos Harbour Master, finding vessels, then gaining further authority to board them. “It was a timely activity but

out of

all the skills we were brushing them up on, it was the most improved.”

He explained: “The skill of board and search is very applicable to Nigeria – there has been a piracy threat with several attempts being made to illegally board ships in the coastal region.” Our last report from Lagos mentioned

(March 2010)

idiosyncratic driving style of the Nigerians, and once again the excitements of the roads did not


pass without comment by the green berets.

L/Cpl Liam Starbuck, 4 Assault Squadron RM, admitted to a few preconceptions before arrival: “I had imagined a Third- World country on its knees, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“The country has quite a bit of infrastructure, however there is still a lot of chaos within the towns and the streets, which we witnessed ourselves within hours of landing...

“The training revision

was enhanced through the availability of numerous vessels in Lagos Harbour, ranging from medium-sized pilot craft, through to large dredgers and tankers,” said Maj Churchward.

“Coming face to face with a jack-knifed fuel tanker travelling towards us on a packed dual carriageway remains quite a ‘vivid’ memory to put it short!” He went on to say: “The Nigerians we worked alongside have been a great bunch – friendly, very proud, and able to comprehend our bootneck sense of humour.

“It will be good to see how they continue with the foundations that have been laid to improve security in the volatile Delta region.”

“The UK training team were particularly impressed with the progress made in this important area, with the Nigerians demonstrating good craft- handling skills and boarding techniques.”

As a final note, Mne Nick Smart summed up his experiences as part of the team: “I feel happy that we have left the Nigerians with the right amount of knowledge and taught them the correct way to pass that information on to others, without us leaning over their shoulder 24/7. “The future looks bright for all the Nigerians we have trained and I wish them good luck for the up-and-coming courses later this year.”


a faculty of

southampton solent university

through the Joint Maritime Security Training Centre at Lagos will be able to conduct maritime interdiction operations, reducing smuggling and cutting the lines of supply to criminal elements.

Squadron was one of the instructors who headed out to the African nation.

Training Squadron (the raiding instructional

small boat handling in Nigeria in the same way as I do back in Britain seemed like a very straightforward task – but from the outset it was easy to see it was going to be very different.

● The Royal Marines team, which featured Maj Matt Churchward, Sgt ‘Mids’ Middleton, CPO Russ Wilson, Mne Nick Smart, Cpl ‘Mick’ Newton and L/Cpl Liam Starbuck, with the JMSTC instructors

He admitted: “Coming from 10 team),




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Background image: Niger Delta; Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. “The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.” <>;

Mne Nick Smart of 10 Training


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