Royal Marines show firepower in the heart of London

Royal Marines have powered up the River Thames and invaded the centre of London in an impressive show of firepower.

Alongside allied Royal Netherlands Marines Corp comrades, the 42 Commando and 1 Assault Group marines sped up the Thames and under Tower Bridge to conduct waterborne attacks from high-speed raiding craft.

The high-octane demonstration was part of a welcome for King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

The Dutch state visit marks 45 years of joint work on the UK-Netherlands Amphibious Force, a long-standing agreement that both countries’ marines will work together.

The Dutch royals and the Duke of Kent watched the assault – which used blank bullets – from Dutch offshore patrol ship HNLMS Zeeland anchored alongside HMS Belfast.

Before the assault, Commanding Officer of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, Colonel Simon Scott, said: “The display will be a short, sharp, clear demonstration of the joint amphibious capability provided by both 1 AGRM and the commandos from the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps.

“We train and operate extremely closely with our Dutch counterparts and are well practised in our collaboration.”

The display will be a short, sharp, clear demonstration of the joint amphibious capability provided by both 1 AGRM and the commandos from the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps.

Colonel Simon Scott

The Royal Marines and their Dutch counterparts have a long history of serving together on operations across the globe.

The Netherlands are also planning to send Royal Dutch Navy warships to sail alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth when the aircraft carrier becomes fully operational.

The UK’s newest carrier has been testing F-35 fighter jets on her flight deck off the east coast of the United States and is set to reach full power in 2020 to bring a whole new dimension to the Royal Navy’s capability.

When the carrier reaches full operation, she will be the thumping heart of task groups surrounded by support warships.

The Dutch navy are among those committed to be involved in HMS Queen Elizabeth’s future missions at the centre of a Carrier Strike Group, one of the cornerstones of NATO’s defence capacity.

The Netherlands intend to send ships to work alongside the carrier, continuing to demonstrate the two navies’ historic relationship.

It is a bond which has stood the test of time and the cooperation between the two navies has grown, working together on exercise programmes in Plymouth and across the world.