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Warm welcome for Carlyon Bay invaders

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

  • BOYS' TOYS: Fynn, Cameron, Daniel and Maya, relax beside the hovercraft.

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VISITORS to Carlyon Bay beach could have been forgiven for thinking they had been transported to a war-torn country on the weekend.

More than 3,000 sailors and marines stormed the sands in a variety of training exercises from Thursday until Sunday.

The long weekend was to prepare them for a three-month deployment to the Mediterranean later this month.

"We were pleased to be of assistance in providing a different training venue for them to use this year," said Michelle Salmons, spokesperson for the Carlyon Bay development.

"It also proved very popular with the public who came down in droves and were able to watch the exciting boat and helicopter drills from close quarters on the beach.

"The Royal Marines were also great with the children, taking the time to talk to them and allowing them to board the hovercraft which was obviously the ultimate of treats."

The weekend was part of Exercise Cougar, involving 12 Royal Naval warships, Royal Marine Commandos and Naval airpower, which make up the Response Force Task Group (RFTG).

The RFTG is a rapid reaction force that deals with unexpected world events that require military intervention.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "This deployment will see it work with our allies at a time when international co-operation and joint operations are more important than ever before.

"The same taskforce conducted a number of exercises and visits around the world last year and proved itself to be invaluable during the NATO campaign in Libya."

The RFTG will oversee two key exercises: Corsican Lion, working hand-in-hand with the French; and later this autumn it will shift to the Adriatic to work with the Albanian military.

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