US Navy Exercise Blue Raptor

The US Marine Corps (USMC) and the UK Royal Marines have successfully completed Exercise Blue Raptor, which has been designed to enable them to enhance their capabilities during joint operations.

The US marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Forceand Arbroath-based 45 Commando Royal Marines conducted a simulated beach assault in Corsica.

Representing the latest phase in the US Allied Maritime Basing Initiative, Exercise Blue Raptor aims to improve the integration of US forces with allies while operating in the Mediterranean.

HMS Ocean amphibious operations officer lieutenant colonel Chris Gosney 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.

"Working so closely alongside the US Marine Corps has been a huge success on many levels."

"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 USMC MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft detachment was based on the Royal Navy flagship for several weeks to transport US and Royal Marines from ship to shore.

Image: The assault group made use of the USMC Osprey aircraft during Exercise Blue Raptor. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.