13 Sqn visit to RM Instow
On 31st May 17, 9 cadets and 2 members of staff from 13 (City of Exeter) Sqn ATC visited Arromanches Camp (RM Instow) in North Devon to “Meet the Marines” of 11 Amphibious Trials and Training Unit Royal Marines (11ATTURM), part of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines (1 AGRM). The unit carries out training for operations, which include disembarking from landing craft and it also trials new equipment and tactics. Upon arrival, we were given a comprehensive brief including safety and being told about the history and background of the camp and the Royal Marines (RM) serving there. The RM are the only European marine force capable of conducting amphibious operations at Brigade level.
After being introduced to the many vehicles housed at the base, we were promptly ‘suited and booted’ in dry-suits and got the chance to experience three of the boats the RM use on operations; the Landing Craft Utility (LCU), the traditional landing craft of the D-Day type, the Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC) and the Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC), aka the Zodiac; an inflatable speedboat with incredible speed. We had to hold on tight as we went over the bumps at up to 20 knots!
Following this the Squadron was given a tour around the workshops and garages which house all the equipment and then some of the Cadets were given the chance to drive a Land Rover through the ‘dip tank’, a 1.5 metre deep tank filled with water, with a sharp incline at either end…and nobody stalled! We had a fantastic day and it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Thanks to the Marines of RM Instow for taking the time out to show us around their base and to give us an insight into what they do and also the 13 (City of Exeter) Squadron staff for organising this brilliant day out.
Cdt Flt Sgt A Jordan/ photos by Flt Lt K Pritchard