42 Commando

42 Commando

42 Commando Royal Marines are one of three elite battalion-sized units which make up the global punch of 3 Commando Brigade.  During Cougar 14 they deployed to the Mediterranean which saw them working with partner nations on a series of demanding exercises.

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Based in Bickleigh, just outside Plymouth, 42 Commando (pronounced Four-Two, not forty-two) are currently Lead Commando Group which means that they will be the first unit called upon in case of short-notice operations anywhere around the world.

1,500 UK maritime forces take part in exercise with Albania


42 Commando Latest News

HMS Ocean lands helicopters


Royal Navy Amphibious Task Group in Gibraltar

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Current operation Training

The Unit is currently training in preparation for their next major deployment

  • Operation Gritrock

    he MOD is providing aviation support ship RFA Argus, Merlin helicopters from 820 NAS and military personnel to support efforts to tackle Ebola.

Ready to fight

When diplomacy fails, the UK has to be ready to protect its interests and its allies. What’s more, as a member of NATO and the UN, the UK also acts to support the enforcement of UN resolutions and come to the aid of our allies. This is where the Royal Navy comes in: we train to go where we’re needed – by sea, land or air – and deploy our forces with the aim of restoring peace.

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as a deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Location UK

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Unit History

Unit Formation1942

Formed in 1942, from A Commando, 40 Commando was the first RM Commando Unit. It saw early action during the raid on Dieppe in August of that year.

Italy - Yugoslavia1943

From 1943 to 1945 the Commando was involved in the Italian Campaign, at Termoli, Lake Comacchio and Yugoslavia. 


Following the second world war the Commando was deeply involved in Palestine acting as the rearguard in the Protectorate, leaving in 1948.


40 Commando moved to Singapore in 1961, where it was involved in operations during the confrontation with Indonesia throughout the following decade

Northern Ireland1971

Over the next decade the Commando found itself deployed to Northern Ireland four times. They also undertook an unexpected two month tour in Cyprus after the invasion by the Turkish Army.

Falkland islands1982

40 Commando deployed on Operation Corporate. On 21 May the Commando were among the first troops ashore and secured the beachhead at San Carlos.

A New Home1983

40 Commando relocated from Seaton Barracks, Plymouth to Norton Manor Camp near Taunton, Somerset

The Eighties1983

The Eighties saw two tours in Northern Ireland to South Armagh, a six-month Peace-Keeping tour in Cyprus and a six month operational tour in Belize. 

1991 - 19981991

In 1991 the Unit deployed to Northern Iraq to ensure the security of Kurdish refugees, followed by Northern Ireland tours, Norway winter deployments and a major Asia-Pacific Exercise.


In 1998 a substantial part of the Commando deployed to the Congo to ensure the safe evacuation of UK nationals from Kinshasa City.

THE New Millenium2000

The new millennium saw the Commando deploy to Northern Ireland and on their return they were the first Commando to reorganise under a new structural concept called Commando 21

operation Telic2003

On 20 March the unit mounted an amphibious helicopter assault on the Al Faw peninsula. As the first conventional troops on the ground, the strategic significance of the operation was immense.

Naval Task Group 20032003

The Unit deployed in its entirety in January 2003 in HMS Ocean, Ark Royal and RFAs Sir Galahad and Tristram. The group sailed through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal bound for the Gulf.


In 2004 the Unit returned to Iraq as part of a multi-national division peace-support operation maintaining the security of the country's infrastructure .


The Unit conducted a series of amphibious deployments including large joint exercises in both Senegal in autumn 2005 and Sierra Leone in 2006. 

Operation Herrick2012

40 Commando deployed to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan where it continued the work of British forces and our multi-national partners to stabilise the country.

Royal Marines 350

In 2014 the Royal Marines celebrated their 350th anniversary. 350 years of unbroken service, of protecting the Nation's security. 350 years of timeless distinction. 

350 years of the Royal Marines

Commanding Officer Mark Totten

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Totten joined the Royal Marines in 1998, he assumed command of 42 Commando in January 2016.

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Bickleigh barracks

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