UK

King reminisces about taking on infamous Royal Marines ‘sheep dip’

The King views the guard of honour during a ceremonial welcome at Mtongwe Naval Base (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA)
The King views the guard of honour during a ceremonial welcome at Mtongwe Naval Base (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA) The King views the guard of honour during a ceremonial welcome at Mtongwe Naval Base (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA)

The King has reminisced about taking on the infamous Royal Marines “sheep dip” exercise obstacle when he watched Kenyan Marines being put through their paces.

The marines, who are being trained by the Royal Marines and US Marine Corps, are part of a five-year programme to create a marine corps which can help combat the al Qaida-inspired al-Shabab on the Somali border.

The King and Queen watched as 18 Kenyan Marines in inflatable boats landed on a beach at Mtongwe Naval Base near Mombasa and laid down a barrage of fire – blanks only – from their M4 carbines after coming under attack from a defensive position on the beach.

Kenyan Marines demonstrate a covert beach landing, showing defence collaboration in action, during a visit by the King, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, and Queen Camilla to Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa
Kenyan Marines demonstrate a covert beach landing, showing defence collaboration in action, during a visit by the King, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, and Queen Camilla to Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa Kenyan Marines demonstrate a covert beach landing during a visit by the King and Queen Camilla to Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA)

A 10-strong specialist training team from the Royal Marines’ 40 Commando put 26 Kenyan Marines through 12 weeks of intensive training, and the first cohort of the newly created Kenyan Marine Commando Unit (KMCU) completed the course on May 5.

The aim is for the KMCU to become an elite fighting force that can conduct specialised amphibious operations to weaken and disrupt threats in the region.

Captain Sam Powell, of 40 Commando, who spoke to the King after the training exercise, said: “We talked about Lympstone and the all arms course.

“The King’s done part of that course before. He was reminiscing about the sheep dip, which is part of the endurance course.

The King, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, views the guard of honour as he and Queen Camilla receive a ceremonial welcome during a visit to Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa
The King, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, views the guard of honour as he and Queen Camilla receive a ceremonial welcome during a visit to Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa The King views the guard of honour during a ceremonial welcome at Mtongwe Naval Base (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA)

“It is essentially a submerged tunnel that you dive through and underneath and then come out the other side. So you have to hold your breath as you go underneath it.”