- Royal Marines Armoured Support Group
The Royal Marines Armoured Support Group [ [http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/upload/pdf/Royal_Marines_Armoured_Support_Group.pdf Royal Marines Armoured Support Group] ] is an element of the
Royal Marines[ [http://www.royalmarines.mod.uk/server/show/nav.6612 Royal Marines Home] ] which operates the Viking BvS10, All Terrain Vehicle. The Armoured Support Group is under the operational command of 3 Commando Brigadeand is based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton [ [http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.00h001008001004 Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton] ] in southern England.
Role and equipment
The Viking [ [http://www.royalmarines.mod.uk/server/show/nav.6914 Weapons & Equipment: Royal Marines Home] ]
BvS10All Terrain Vehicle, is a protected tracked vehicle which can be configured for troop transport, command and control and other tasks. Viking is equipped with the 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun and some crewmen are armed with the L22 carbine version of the British SA-80 rifle. [http://bp1.blogger.com/_rqH4fUbko2U/RsWmVGuWVvI/AAAAAAAADfQ/CS8tuzGlObY/s320/POL+-+Drayson+003.jpg]
Viking has been deployed operationally with British Forces in southern Afghanistan [ [http://www.royalmarines.mod.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.12981 Royal Marine Viking Operators Home from Afghanistan] ] , supporting both 3 Cdo Bde and other roulements.
On 12 June 2008 the British Ministry of Defence publicly issued a notice stating that "There is a requirement under consideration for an All Terrain Military vehicle that is armoured, amphibious and fitted with (or fitted for but not with) weapon systems, in a supporting role to VIKING, to replace the existing BV206" [ [http://www.contracts.mod.uk/cgi-bin/contract_search_demo/search_contracts.cgi?rm=next;next=10;search_id=118709;page=2;recs=10;fromyear=] ATV(S)Procurement and Support] . The new system will be known as the All Terrain Vehicle Support (ATV(S)) and be capable of high mobility operation in a variety of terrains and threat environments as well as being amphibious. A need for between 47 and 212 ATV(S) is foreseen at an estimated cost of between £100 million to £250 million. [ [http://www.eda.europa.eu/ebbweb/Default.aspx] European Defence Agency Electronic Bulletin Board EDA-1783]
The original Royal Marines Armoured Support Group was formed in World War II and took part in the
Invasion of Normandy[ [http://www.seayourhistory.org.uk/content/view/472/628/ World War Two: Royal Marines on land] ] giving fire support. It was equipped primarily with Centaur IV tanks (equipped with a 95mm howitzer) as well as smaller numbers of the Sherman tankused as Observation Post/ command vehicles. Organisationally the Group comprised of 2 Armoured Support Regiments [The Royal Marines 1939-93 By Nicholas van der Bijl and Lee Johnson, Page 15, Osprey Publishing, 1995, ISBN:1855323885 [http://books.google.com/books?id=j8KbXwc_dygC] ] , plus an independent Armoured Support Battery. Each Regiment consisted of two Armoured Support Batteries, thus in total, the group consisted of 5 Armoured Support Batteries.
Each Battery was further subdivided into four Troops, with each Troop equipped with four Centaur IV and one Sherman tank, giving a total of 80 Centaur and 20 Sherman tanks in the entire Group. The Group did not fight as a single military formation but rather was divided between the British & Commonwealth
D-Daybeaches as follows [ [http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24202 Royal marines support group on D-DAY and afterwards] ] :
* "1st Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment" at
Gold Beachcomprising the "1st Battery" (A, B, C, and D Troops) and the "2nd Battery" (E, F, G and H Troops).
* "2nd Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment" at
Juno Beachcomprising the 3rd "Battery" (J, K, L and M Troops) and the "4th Battery" (N, O, P and Q Troops).
* "5th Royal Marine Independent Armoured Support Battery" at
Sword Beachcomprising R, S, T and V Troops.
The World War II unit was disbanded [ [http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/22565-centaur-what-else-did-they-do.html Centaur, what else did they do? – WWII Forums] ] two weeks after D-Day (D+14). The present day Royal Marines Armoured Support Group was formed on 10 December 2007.
Marine Dale Gostick, of 3 Troop Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 25 May 2008 [cite web|url=http://www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/defencenews/militaryoperations/marinedalegostickkilledinafghanistan.htm|title=Marine Dale Gostick killed in Afghanistan|publisher=MoD]
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