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.

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42 Commando deliver a combination of capabilities including: high threat capacity-building and training of overseas partnered forces; Ships Force Protection Teams; training to indigenous forces; maritime interdiction and boarding operations; UK resilience and support to the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.

Based in Bickleigh, just outside of Plymouth, 42 Commando is made up of specialist teams ready to deploy around the world to deliver Maritime Security, Support and Training to foreign nations and specialist amphibious support across Defence.

Dragons wildcat helicopter with the Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors showing the £9 million drugs haul

HMS Dragon in fifth Middle East drugs haul


42 Commando Latest News

42 Commando hone Maritime Boarding tactics

The ship's company of HMS Dragon with drug haul

HMS Dragon seizes £75 million of narcotics

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Current operation Westlant 18

Britain's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is deployed to the east coast of the United States for her maiden F-35 Lightning flying trials. Joined by her task group, including HMS Monmouth, it marks the first time F-35 stealth jets have flown from the carrier's flight deck. As well as the vital deck trials, the deployment also involves exercises to prove the ship's ability to operate with other nations’ ships and aircraft.

  • Operation Patwin

    Operation Patwin is the military component of the UK’s humanitarian aid mission to the Philippines after the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan.

  • Winter Deployment

    Cold Weather training brings together ships, aircraft and marines in the Arctic

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

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 Marines come in: we train to go where we’re needed – by sea, land or air – and deploy our forces with the aim of restoring peace.

Location USA

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Unit History


The Commandos were formed during the darkest days of the Second World War and as the war progressed, more men were needed for this very specialist role. In 1942 two Royal Marines Commandos were formed;

42 Commando1943

Soon even more men were needed and No.42 (Royal Marine) Commando was raised in August 1943. After arduous training at Achnacarry, the unit was assigned to the 3rd Special Service Brigade and served in India and Burma taking part in operations in the Arakan and Assam, including a series of amphibious landings down the Burmese coastline.

Hong Kong1945

At the end of the war ‘42’ was moved to Hong Kong. The unit was involved in operations during the confrontation with Indonesia (Borneo). It was during this tour that the audacious Limbang Raid was conducted by Lima Company. Throughout the following decade it was based in Singapore at HMS Simbang.

Northern Ireland1971

After returning to the UK, the Commando was deployed to Northern Ireland, the New Hebrides and exercised regularly overseas.


In 1982 the unit deployed as part of the Falklands Task Force and played it’s part in the recapture of the Islands, gaining the unit’s memorable date for the assault on Mount Harriet. More recently the Commando has seen operational service in South Georgia, Montserrat, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Operation TELIC2003

The new millennium saw ‘42’ deploy on Operation TELIC for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Operation HERRICK2006

They served on three tours of Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan, 2006/2007, 2008/2009 and HERRICK 14 in 2011 when the unit carried out it’s last operational tour of Afghanistan.

Commanding Officer Ben Halsted RM MBE

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Royal Marines Commando

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