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Intelligence unit deployed to Afghanistan as movie about WWII predecessor hits the screens

May 22, 2011

A new film about a World War Two mission by Royal Marines from 30 Commando to capture Nazi secrets is released in UK cinemas today as 30 Commando embark on their first operational tour since then.

30 Commando Support Squadron who are the Brigade Reconnaissance Force take part in an operation in Helmand province Afghanistan. Picture: PO (PHOT) Hamish Burke. Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

In 1943, 30 Commando, an offensive naval intelligence unit, ventured into Norway to capture vital Nazi technology that helped the Allies win the Second World War. ‘Age of Heroes’, the new movie based on this true story and starring Sean Bean and Danny Dyer, is released in UK cinemas today, Friday 20 May 2011.

Despite their successes in World War Two, 30 Commando were disbanded during post-war demobilisation. But last December the auspicious title was reintroduced when it was adopted by the United Kingdom Landing Force Command Support Group to better reflect the unit’s role and continued use of the skills, techniques and methodology learnt by their forebears during the Second World War.

And six weeks ago, 30 Commando deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 14, as part of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. The unit, made up predominantly of Royal Marines, also includes Royal Navy, RAF and Army personnel.

30 Commando Support Squadron who are the Brigade Reconnaissance Force take part in an operation in Helmand province Afghanistan. Picture: PO (PHOT) Hamish Burke. Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

Their main job is to find information and understand the information to derive intelligence from it and thus enable operational decisions.

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Stovin-Bradford RM is the Commanding Officer of 30 Commando. He explained the significant role his men and women are playing in the fight against the insurgents:

“30 Commando’s mission in Afghanistan is to gain information superiority on the battlefield and gain intelligence from the enemy to ensure the future success of British and Afghan forces. While 30 Commando aren’t the only intelligence unit in Afghanistan, they are among the few who can trace their lineage back to World War Two, applying many of the same covert principles but with the most modern technology.”

The modern day 30 Commando comprises four squadrons (Communications, Support, Logistics and Y Squadron), who are each at the forefront of obtaining and processing intelligence.

30 Commando Support Squadron who are the Brigade Reconnaissance Force take part in an operation in Helmand province Afghanistan. Picture: PO (PHOT) Hamish Burke. Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

They have been augmented in Afghanistan by two Royal Artillery batteries who provide intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) assets and surveillance expertise.

On HERRICK 14, 30 Commando Support Squadron is the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) – an agile and flexible force able to go deep into enemy territory unsupported and for protracted periods of time.

To read the rest of this story on the MOD Defence News website, click HERE or on any of the images above.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2011 05:48

    In April I published a “Dari/Pashto Phrasebook for Military Personnel” which could be extremely useful to members of 30 Commando. If interested, please contact me for details or visit my website.

    Good luck to you all!

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