Good for the 'COUGAR Team'. The Pongos have a 'one-in-five' rule for operational deployments but, in line with the rest of the Naval Service, the Booties appear to be much better value for money:
...The task force has already been at sea for more than three months, and they're still not certain when they'll be home. The Royal Marines on board, from 40 Commando, only returned from Afghanistan at the end of last year. They were involved in some of the fiercest fighting in Sangin. After this deployment they'll be preparing to go back to Helmand again...
The Commanding Officer of 40 Commando, Lt Colonel Matt Jackson, tells me: "This is proving what we still can do, as opposed to what we might not be able to do". He says that's a key message when the Strategic Defence and Security Review is "biting hard".
His marines put it even more bluntly. "We're all fighting for our survival," says Corporal Luke Wilson, sweat dripping off his face after taking part in a dawn raid on a remote UAE island in sweltering heat. Cpl Wilson admits that the Royal Marines are stretched "not beyond our capabilities", he says, "but to the limit of our capabilities".