Deploying so soon has given me the ability to put the skills I learned at the Commando Training Centre into practice and a chance to get to know and mix with the guys.

Marine Enoch Cheung

Marine Cheung, 24, a rifleman in Delta Company, added: "I left training at the Commando Training Centre (CTC), joined 40 Commando and deployed on exercise in the space of a week.

"Deploying so soon has given me the ability to put the skills I learned at CTC into practice and a chance to get to know and mix with the guys."

Delta Company’s primary role is protecting mobility, so Marine Cheung worked closely with the amphibious all-terrain vehicles of Viking Squadron.

The exercise actually began at Royal Marines Base Chivenor in North Devon and culminated in a full battlefield exercise involving elements of 3 Commando Brigade, 24 Commando Royal Engineers, 29 Commando Royal Artillery and Joint Helicopter Force attacking enemy pockets of resistance on Salisbury Plain.

Not to be forgotten, personnel from Commando Logistics Regiment, made sure the exercise ran like clockwork and everyone was fed.

CHF (Commando Helicopter Force), the wings of the Royal Marines, deployed a Merlin Mk3 from 845 NAS, a Wildcat from 847 NAS, Chinooks from 18 Sqn RAF and Apache attack helicopters from 656 Sqn ACC. The aircrew were joined by personnel from CHF HQ, CHF Combat Supply Squadron

Throughout Wessex Storm, commandos used TES – Tactical Engagement System – eqiupment, which enables force-on-force warfighting and provides realistic and accurate information on the effect of battle on personnel, vehicles and even buildings.

The system is invaluable to commanders as it allows them to assess and review tactics, troop movements and identify key areas for improvement.

Wessex Storm, which involved more than 1,500 personnel, was overseen by the British Army’s Field Training Unit.

Also being put to the test were soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and Reserve elements from 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh and 104 Regiment Royal Artillery.

The Welsh Guards Battlegroup was honing its operational effectiveness and it was the first time in living memory that the Battlegroup comprised three Welsh regiments.

"Our final battle exercise was ten days long and involved pushing out to complete four missions, pushing forward to make contact with the enemy as well as stabilisation in an urban environment,” said Capt James Marsden, Welsh Guards Adjutant.

WO2 Dan Cope added: "This training is about being ready to deploy anywhere in the world – we have to be prepared in defence and attack and be capable in the urban environment.”

40 Commando now take on the role as Lead Commando Group, ready to deploy at five days’ notice anywhere in the world to deal with a crisis.

RM Chivenor

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