Liberating Lochranza ... but it’s all friendly fire
Armed commandos on the streets of Lochranza is not something seen every day.
But early last Thursday villagers were awoken to the sounds of bangs and flares as Royal Marine Commandos ‘liberated’ Lochranza. Exercise Final Nail was actually the final assessed operation for potential young officers undertaking a gruelling 15-month course.
The 27 trainee commando officers, who set up camp at the Ormidale Pavilion in Brodick, staged a number of simulated scenarios around the island, such as capturing strategic locations, commando raids and destroying bridges to beach landings at Imacher, Sliddery and Whiting Bay before
finishing in Lochranza.
The final hours of training saw a simulated attack on Lochranza Spit and at various locations throughout the village before sunrise.
This large scale exercise saw intense activity involving blanks being fired, smoke bombs and flares being set off and a number of strategic locations throughout the village being attacked and guarded by commandos.
Major Peter Williams RN, Officer In Command of Royal Marines initial officer training, said: ‘Thanks to the support from the Arran community, from planning to delivery, we have been able to provide a challenging and rewarding experience for the potential young officers which we would have been unable to undertake elsewhere.’
Trainers and commandos pause for a group photograph with smoke and Lochranza castle as the dramatic backdrop.
Commando communication – recruits share intelligence and operational strategy at an impromptu meeting.
At the ready, two commandos set up a defensive position at a strategic location.
Military Combat Vehicles make an unusual sight on the Lochranza Spit.
Armed commandos secure the main road and keep a lookout for any potential attackers.
Aiming towards the sea the commandos check that their weapons are unloaded after the mission is complete.
Major Peter Williams RN, Officer In Command of Royal Marines Initial Officer Training, stands in front of a CTCRM military vehicle at the Ormidale Sports Pavilion in Brodick.
Commandos make their way onto the Lochranza Spit to fortify the area.
Recruits retrieve one of their two boats used during the exercise.
Commandos remain concealed behind bushes while keeping a lookout for potential invaders.