Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Marines hit beach for exercises

Royal marine with machine gun
The marines will carry out security operations and training exercises

Royal Marines have been training on a beach in Cornwall in preparation for a naval deployment.

Marines from 40 Commando, 539 Commando Royal Marines from Plymouth, and 9 Assault Squadron based on HMS Ocean took part in an amphibious exercise.

They were landing on Pentewan Beach, near Mevagissy, from helicopter carrier HMS Ocean for the Taurus 09 deployment.

The aim was to practise the capability of HMS Ocean and the marines to get troops ashore at short notice.

Troop 'rehearsal'

The marines were in personnel landing craft and had helicopter support.

They were preparing for deployment to the Far East, which is due to get under way later this month.

Lt Col Paul James, the commanding officer of 40 Commando, said the exercise provided a chance "to rehearse".

Marines on Pentewan Beach
Troops landed on the beach with sea and helicopter support

He said: "It's a great opportunity for us to work together with a ship that's building up its capability with a 40 Commando that hasn't done this for a long time.

"It's a great opportunity for us to return to our core business and also work with the helicopters and aviation."

During the deployment, troops and vessels - including four Royal Navy ships, four Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels ad two submarines - will carry out maritime security operations and training in amphibious and anti-submarine warfare.

They are due to return in August.

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