Working alongside the Omani Armed Forces in the mountainous and arid desert environment has been fantastic, but extremely challenging under such austere conditions.

Captain Chris Stevens, Royal Marine

This involves using vehicles such as Viking in the water to get on and off ships as it functions both in the water and on land.

Juliet Company, of 42 Commando, finished the six-day exercise by holding a huge ground assault with two targets they had to reach using live firing and tactical manoeuvres.

Around 120 men fought their way through eight kilometres of desert terrain as temperatures edged towards 30 degrees centigrade during the dawn attack.

Captain Chris Stevens, Second in Command of Juliet Company, said: “Working alongside the Omani Armed Forces in the mountainous and arid desert environment has been fantastic, but extremely challenging under such austere conditions.

“We have also had the opportunity to practise live firing whilst integrated with Viking and Amphibious Task Group.

“It has added to the realism and will prepare us for any likely future taskings as part of the RFTG.”

“The VIP demonstration, which we held at the end of the exercise for UK and Omani dignitaries, was a particular highlight.

"It included a naval sail past, an amphibious and aviation assault followed by a company level attack using Viking personnel carriers.”

The RFTG is the United Kingdom’s high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, survey vessels, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, which stands at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking if required by government.

Each year the RFTG deploys for four months to practise their skills as a group – with the Lead Commando Group Royal Marines embarked for their amphibious warfighting capability. The LCG in this case is 42 Commando.

The Cougar 13 deployment, which left in August, has so far worked in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, the Gulf, and Horn of Africa.

It involves exercising with partner nations, and will show the UK Armed Forces’ capacity to project an effective maritime component anywhere in the world.

Image by LA(Phot) Jason Ballard