What is the Royal Marines Boarding Course?

What Is It?

The Royal Marines Boarding Course aids the commandos to be ready to respond to emergency tasks at high readiness to deploy on missions of national interest anywhere in the world.

How Long Is It?

It is eight (8) weeks of high-level training.

Where Does It Take Place?

The final exercise takes place at the Bovington Training Area in Dorset.

What Does the Course Involve?

The course prepares the commandos for boarding vessels to counter illegal trafficking, piracy and terrorism, developing close-quarters battle skills, practising fighting in small teams in enclosed spaces and the methods used to covertly enter battle, plus getting them ready for life on Royal Navy warships.

“The final exercise at Bovington brought together weeks of hard work, using the skills developed to take down two isolated compounds suspected of being used as narcotics laboratories and having close ties with terrorist organisations.” (Navy News, 2020, p.17).

During the eight-week course trainees will develop and rehearse their ability to conduct level two and level three ship’s boarding operations and the final exercise is a culmination of that, bringing together tactics and techniques.

The Future

Prior to 2020, Juliet Company (42 Commando) held all of the unit’s Royal Marines boarding teams, but those roles and 42 Commando’s others, including Joint Personnel Recovery (the rescuing of isolated personnel), Force Protection, and contingency tasks, will be rotated between their four companies, Juliet, Kilo, Lima and Mike.

Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOPS) will be undertaken by all of the companies, as 42 Commando is now rotating the responsibilities of each company.


Navy News. (2020) Board Yet? Navy News. November 2020, pp.16-17.


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