Royal Marines 'invade' the Netherlands during dramatic military drill ahead of autumn Mediterranean mission

A STRIKE force of Royal Marines ‘invaded’ the Netherlands as part of the final chapter in a crucial set of drills to prepare them for operations in the autumn.

By Tom Cotterill
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 5:45 pm

About 90 of the Royal Navy’s elite green berets from 47 Commando took part in the three-month work up in the UK, before then heading to the Dutch island of Texel to put their skills into practice.

The island, which was the scene of some of the final fighting in the Second World War, was stormed by Commandos using amphibious landing craft.

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Marines carried out reconnaissance on ‘enemy’ positions before then assaulting and capturing them.

But as well as the training on land, the five-day drill – titled ‘Exercise Green Tulip – was also a test of the new Marine coxswain, whose job it is to navigate the waters to get the Commandos to the shore.

‘They’ve got a huge amount to think about,’ said Captain Alec Trigger, landing craft training officer at 47 Commando. ‘It’s inherently quite dangerous on the water, so they’re thinking about that aspect but then they’re also thinking about the tactical exercise and the enemy scenario and then supporting the landing forces as best they can.

‘The kind of areas that we’ll be landing strike teams are going to be contested. You need a craft operator that can fulfil every role. They are a commando first and a coxswain second. You don’t leave those commando skills behind when you become a landing craftsman.’

Royal Marines pictured on a beach during the military drills in the Netherlands

The Marines will be deploying across the Mediterranean this autumn.

A Royal Marine gunner pictured using a general purpose machine gun during the five-day drill
Commandos patrolling the coast line on the Dutch island of Texel
About 90 Commandos were involved in the training drill