Board (and search) games for HMS Lancaster’s Royal Marines in Angola

Royal Marines show how to take down pirates – as they’ve done repeatedly over the past decade – as they share their expertise with local troops in Angola.

The specialist boarding team from HMS Lancaster took advantage of the frigate’s visit to the port of Lobito to join US Marines in providing a three-day package of training for the Angolan military.

The Lancaster green berets are drawn from 43 Commando, the Royal Marines’ experts in board and search tactics; the Faslane-based unit provides destroyers and frigates with experts who’ve trained together as a tight-knit team for several months before joining ships to do the business for real.

In Lobito, around 250 miles down the coast from the country’s capital Luanda, they found the men of the Angolan Fusiliers and Special Operations Squadron eager to learn – in particular about boarding tactics, saving lives in combat and formations used on patrol.

With a six-man training team from the US Marine Corps, the Brits gave hands-on instruction in boardings, close-quarter battle, patrols, and providing medical assistance – the latter led by the Americans.

It was a pleasure to work alongside the Angolan Military and to share our collective knowledge and experiences of maritime operations and tactics,

Capt Harry Mallalieu RM

“It was a pleasure to work alongside the Angolan Military and to share our collective knowledge and experiences of maritime operations and tactics,” said Capt Harry Mallalieu RM, in charge of Lancaster’s boarding team.

The joint training with the US Marines raised the curtain on a month of the two Corps working side-by-side, as the Americans have joined Lancaster for a month on the latest leg of her Atlantic patrol.

“Training alongside fellow marines was a pleasure as always and we look forward to conducting future training engagements as we move along the West Coast of Africa,” said Lt Kristan Volk USMC.

“The US Marine Corps and Royal Marines have a great history of working together in a wide variety of environments and this was a great opportunity to renew those ties.”