View Full Version : How, EXACTLY, are the Royal Marine battalions organized under Commando 21 -

08-28-06, 06:34 AM
Royal Marines and Commando 21
Sabre 8/27/2006 12:57:37 PM
Strategy Page
How, EXACTLY, are the Royal Marine battalions organized under Commando 21 - including exact numbers of men down to the section/squad level?

Since the topic of "Reorganizing light infantry" has generated such great discussion, I became curious about the Royal Marines recent reorg, given that it is a departure from the conventional.

What I can't find is detail.
Royal Marine battalions now have 6 companies:
1 HQ
1 Combat Support
2 Close Combat Companies with 102 or 103 men
each with 3 Close Troops (Platoons), each with ???
each troop/platoon has 3 sections (squads) of eight men,
one Maneuver Support Section of 5 men, with 1 sniper rifle,
1 GPMG, and 1 51mm mortar
and, presumably, a Platoon Commander, Platoon Sergeant, and a...
runner/batman/radio operator/etc...

doing a little bit of math, if platoons/troops have 32 men, then the company HQ is... 6 or 7 men... Which is usually the bare minimum in most armies - but is this correct?

2 Stand Off Companies
I have seen these described as having as many as 120 or as few as 92 men, in 3 platoons: Close, MG/AT, and Mortar...

What are the actual numbers for these company and platoon (troop) sized units???


09-09-06, 08:01 PM
Couldn't give you an answer, even though I spent years working with them lol

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/ca/RoyalMarineBadge.png/100px-RoyalMarineBadge.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:RoyalMarineBadge.png)

Take 42 Co.

There will always be a section at Bickleigh, even with operations. One task goes out another comes in sort of thing. The units are big, compared that they are sectioned to certain ships also. When a ship deploys they will take 7-10 RM's with them, so take 5 ships deployed, average of 38 men gone just for that.

On completion of his training, a Royal Marines Commando will normally join a Commando unit of 3 Commando Brigade. There are 3 Commando units in the Brigade; 40 Commando located at Norton Manor near Taunton in Somerset, 42 Commando at Bickleigh, near Plymouth, Devon and 45 Commando at Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland.

The Headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade is based in Plymouth.

Considering they are on a constant operation in N.ireland, afghan, irag, bosnia etc they will need a little over average of what the USMC's gain.

With the SBS based lot in poole, fleet protection group at helensburgh, clyde, argyll and bute. The Co. Logistic lot down in chivenor in devon. UK landing forces base at Stone House in Plymouth.

I'm not a brain box but you may want to pop over to http://www.rumration.co.uk and ask them. An unofficial RN/RM site, tell them J_D forced you to go (that would be me) lol.

09-11-06, 08:02 AM
According to the Royal Navy:

The Royal Navy's own amphibious infantry are the Royal Marines, acknowledged as one of the world's elite fighting forces.

3 Commando Brigade is on permanent operational readiness and is a core component of the UK's Joint Rapid Reaction Force.

When combined with the Royal Navy's amphibious ships, 3 Commando Brigade is a highly mobile, self-sustained and versatile force with a strategic power projection capability which is unique among the British armed forces.

The brigade can deploy anywhere in the world, at short notice, either to mount an amphibious assault or else to be poised offshore in a strategic demonstration of military force in order to deter an aggressor’s hostile intent. Capable of operating ashore as a light brigade in any terrain or climate, their particular is in expertise in mountain and cold weather operations.

The brigade comprises three commando units, combat support and combat service support units. In transition to war it would be enhanced by Royal Marine Reservists as well as Territorial Army units.

The commando units each number around 700 men and are based in Taunton (40 Commando), Plymouth (42 Commando) and Arbroath (45 Commando). These units are the equivalent of light infantry battalions and each can deploy either independently or as an operational group with combat support units.

The latter bring additional capability which can be deployed to tie down or fix enemy forces while the commando units manoeuvre to strike them. This comes from units such as 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery.

Offloading an amphibious force and its equipment quickly and efficiently is a key operational step. Some landing craft will be based on the amphibious ships but extra support is afforded by 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, and airlift support is provided by the Joint Helicopter Command.

The Commando Logistic Regiment provides the organised control, distribution and availability of material which has a direct bearing on a commander's ability to achieve his objective. In this, it is a key enabling component of the Brigade.

At the top of everything, the brigade staff and the Command Support Group are responsible for command, control and communications, all vital functions in the complex world of amphibious operations.

According to other sources (official RM sources):

The Royal Marines number somewhere between 6,000 and 7,500 personnel.

The following link briefly explains the RM's organizational structure.


Hope this helps.


09-12-06, 09:23 AM
Again, from the RM's website, some background on Commando 21 restructuring project. Sadly no headcounts but interesting nevertheless. Send me a PM if you want me to give them a call - I live in the UK so there's no timezone problems like having to call in the middle of the night!

Commando Restructuring

The Royal Marines now have a range of new equipment coming into service that is increasing the firepower and mobility of our units today and, by 2010, will have converged to provide a comprehensive, modern and highly effective range of capabilities that will take the UK Amphibious Force through to 2020 and beyond. The challenges now facing the Royal Marines are to organise the Landing Force to make best use of this equipment, to maximise the effectiveness of the Amphibious Force to deal with Defence Tasks assigned to it, and to evolve National and NATO operational concepts. The first part of this process is a programme for restructuring our 3 Commandos, which has been given the project title of "Commando 21".

Why do we need to change the way we do our business?

To answer this question, we have to look first at the wider international arena and then look at the way British armed forces have adapted to the changing international scene. Since the end of the Cold War, a number of changes in general global security and Government policy have led to the frequent use of British forces on operations for which they had not originally been designed. Light infantry units, including the 3 RM Commandos, were intended to seize and hold key terrain by static defence, whilst armoured units or tactical air power manoeuvred to strike the decisive blow. However recent developments in doctrine, the increasing involvement of British Forces in Peace Support type operations, and an increased emphasis on Force Protection, have placed growing demands upon us.

In response to these changes the Naval Service developed a new concept, known as the "Maritime Contribution to Joint Operations' (MCJO). This concept seeks to harness the characteristics and capabilities of Maritime Forces to support a land campaign and so, in consequence, amphibious forces sit at the centre of the maritime contribution to Britain's defence policy. For example a forward deployed Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), capable of expeditionary operations, is a consequence of this new thinking and since its first deployment last year, the ARG has established itself as part of the lexicon of British defence diplomacy. Another consequence is an examination of the structure of Commandos to allow them to increase their operational tempo - getting them to hit harder, faster and more accurately.

This shift in the concept of operations has been matched by the introduction of new equipment to fit amphibious forces more closely to their new role. We are currently in the happy position that a convergence of equipment Programmes will see the UK Amphibious Force with a suite of modern ships, aircraft, weapons, vehicles and Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) assets that will set the way we do our business until at least 2020. A key capability, the LPH HMS OCEAN, is already in service and has successfully proved its worth. Other assets have been introduced into Commandos, and more are about to be introduced. These include new weapons such as the Long-Range Rifle (LRR), the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) and the Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (LFATGW) and new vehicles, notably the Wolf Land Rover replacement and most importantly, an armoured all terrain vehicle that will provide units with a degree of protected mobility, known as the Viking.

Essentially, Commando 21 sees the re-organisation of the Commando unit into a command, a logistics, a close combat, and a fire support element. It is a major departure from the traditional platoon and company organisation, which has been the structure of infantry units since the end of the Second World War.