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Tuesday, 16 April, 2002, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Brigadier in military hot seat
The commander of the Royal Marines expected to go into action in Afghanistan has said his troops are not ready.
Brigadier Roger Lane took up his current post earlier this year
BBC News Online profiles Brigadier Roger Lane OBE, the commander of the Royal Marines hunting al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters in Afghanistan.

Few in the British armed forces can have better credentials for tracking down the remnants of Osama Bin Laden's fighters in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

Brigadier Lane has spent 30 years as a marine, including seven winters in the barren north of Norway, training in Arctic warfare.

He also has vast experience of battling terror and operating in politically-complicated theatres, tours in Northern Ireland coming after his first deployment at the age of 18 in Cyprus.

Brigadier Lane joined the Royal Marines in September 1972 and was soon deployed to the Mediterranean island, following the invasion by Turkey.

He became a troop commander for a recruit troop at the Commando Training Centre in 1975, before specialising as a weapon training officer.

HMS Zulu

This was followed by command of the Royal Marine detachment on HMS Zulu, where he was also a flight deck officer and gained his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate.

In 1978 he returned to the Commando Training Centre briefly before volunteering for special duties, for which he was awarded a mention in despatch.

He then commanded the Platoon Weapons Troop and qualified as a sniper.

Falklands War

Brigadier Lane joined 42 Commando on its return from the Falklands war in 1982 as a company second-in-command.

He became a staff officer in Headquarters 3 Commando Brigade in 1984, responsible for operational issues and courts martial.

Brigadier Lane attended the Canadian Command and Staff College in Toronto in 1985, before returning to Headquarters Commando Forces the following year.

He rejoined 42 Commando in 1988 as an operations officer and then as a rifle company commander, which included an operational tour in Belfast, for which he was awarded a second mention in despatches.


He was appointed to the Ministry of Defence, responsible for Northern Ireland operational policy and was awarded an OBE in the December 1993 honours list.

He became the Royal Marines representative at the US Marine Corps Combat Development Command in 1994, lecturing on counter-terrorism and multinational amphibious operations, as well as being employed in wargaming, concept development and "operational requirements tasks".

He rejoined 42 Commando as commanding officer in 1996, deploying in the Caribbean and Belize, as well as Norway, France and Spain for Exercise Strong Resolve 98.

He was promoted to brigadier in December 1999.

He was a member of Royal College Defence Studies 2000 and attended the Higher Command and Staff College at Shrivenham in Wiltshire in 2001, before assuming his current appointment.

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