Royal Marines train Ugandan military in maritime operations


Royal Marines and their Reservist counterparts have spent four weeks training the Uganda People’s Defence Force in maritime operations.

1 Assault Group Marines (1AGRM) travelled to Entebbe, Uganda, to pass on their specialist knowledge of amphibious assaults, the Royal Navy said on 6 August.

The Plymouth-based commandos and Royal Marines Reserves Merseyside worked as a Short-Term Training Team showing the Ugandan forces how to assault beaches and board and search vessels.

Their work was on behalf of the tri-service British Peace Support Team (Africa) which provides support on the request from different nations.

Reservist Sam Dwyer, of RMR Merseyside, said: “We have been training the 10th Marine Battalion of the Uganda’s People Defence Force for mission-specific pre-deployment training before they go to Somalia.

“The training has been split between ground combat and working with their coxswains as their tasking in Mogadishu, Somalia, will see them patrol the fisheries and the sea.

“We trained them in boat skills, assaulting beaches and board-and-search.”

The Royal Marines took to the water with the Uganda’s People Defence Force, using Lake Victoria to practise boarding. They also gave advice on handling the boats and how to conduct raids along the shoreline.

“This is one of the best opportunities I have had. It has showcased the Royal Marines to the rest of the world and shows what the reserves can do and how we can seamlessly fit in with the regulars,” Dwyer said.

Meanwhile, the Green Berets also showed them how to carry out patrols, man checkpoints and what to do in scenarios such as trafficking.

The marines have been completing the training in humid and muggy conditions with forces who have English as their second language.

“The language barrier has been one of the biggest challenges as they mainly speak Swahili,” Dwyer said.

“Trying to convey our normal instructions, lectures and lessons in what is a second language to them can make it difficult.”

As well as working with the Ugandan forces, the Royal Marines took time to organise a sports day for a primary school which included relay races and a full-school tug-of-war, the Royal Navy said.