16 March 2016
King's Partnership with Norton Manor Camp and 40 Commando Royal Marines
In 2013 Major General EGM Davis CBE, the then Commandant General of the Royal Marines, outlined in his paper, Harnessing the Corps Family, how the Royal Marines Association and Royal Marines Cadets would be tightly integrated into the wider Corps family, as they represent, in many cases, the 'before' and 'after' state of individual Royal Marines.
Each Cadet detachment has been allocated a parent unit which will provide training, mentoring and logistical support. For the RM Cadets at King's College this unit is 40 Commando Royal Marines (40 Cdo RM).
As part of this unique partnership we have been sending our RM Cadets regularly to the home of 40 Cdo RM, Norton Manor Camp on the outskirts of Taunton. Directed by the Operations Officer, the unit Provost Sergeant has led a team of Royal Marines from 'Tremoli Troop' to deliver training to our Cadets, with the main emphasis being on experiencing how Royal Marines operate on the modern battlefield.
Week one began with basic weapons training and an introduction to the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (DCCT) which is, in essence, a very large, indoor computer simulation. The Cadets were able to fire gas powered (projectile-less) rifles at a large screen where simulated scenarios, such as rifle ranges and hostage rescue were played out.
Week two saw an introduction to support weapons – the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and the 81mm mortar. The Cadets were given a classroom lecture on these powerful systems, and afterwards a specialist team from the unit showed them how to operate each platform and demonstrated how they had been deployed in recent conflicts such as Afghanistan.
Week three focused on MUC (Modern Urban
Combat) training, which is essentially clearing buildings of enemy personnel. After
receiving a lecture on the theory of MUC, the Cadets led through two, three and
six man room clearance drills by MUC instructors using modified SA80 rifles.
Week four will be the culmination of this term’s training. There is a bespoke training facility at Norton Manor – a series of buildings and security compounds that represents a small village located in dense woodland. Furnished with rifles and blank ammunition the Cadets will observe, recce and infiltrate this cluster, while at the same time clearing it of any enemy personnel.
The whole experience of working alongside 40 Cdo RM has been incredibly worthwhile for our Cadets – they have learned a great many new skills and at the same time have been exposed to the day-to-day life of a Commando unit.