Slideshow: 45 Commando take part in joint operation

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Working side by side, Royal and US Marines have simulated a dramatic beach assault and rounded off Exercise Blue Raptor.

The men from Arbroath based 45 Commando Royal Marines have been working with their US colleagues for the past few months, training and improving their already impressive track record of joint operations.

To round off the training Green Berets from Whiskey Company 45 Commando stormed ashore in Corsica with their US Marine Corps counterparts from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (A).

They made use of USMC Osprey aircraft in the last movement of Exercise Blue Raptor which saw them re-taking a stronghold from an enemy force.

The assault group took off from the Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean, where the USMC aircraft and US Marines have been embarked for the past few weeks, with Exercise Blue Raptor representing the latest phase in the US Allied Maritime Basing Initiative which has sought to improve the integration of US forces with allies while operating in the Mediterranean.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Gosney RM, HMS Ocean’s Amphibious Operations Officer, said: “Working with the French armed forces to plan and develop a US-UK combined exercise in Corsica has been an invaluable opportunity to strengthen the relationship with our allies.

“In particular working so closely alongside the US Marine Corps has been a huge success on many levels; from the basics of understanding different terminology and operating procedures at the planning stage, to conducting aviation raids, side by side, during the execution phase.”

The Osprey have been embarked on HMS Ocean for the past few weeks while the Royal Navy flagship is deployed on Cougar 15.

USMC Osprey returned to HMS Ocean – for the first time in five years – in early October and then used it as a ‘lily-pad’ throughout NATO’s Exercise Trident Juncture late in the month.

The MV-22 Osprey is the primary assault support aircraft for the US Marine Corps and can fly further, faster and higher than a helicopter.