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London Royal Marines unveil new £200k urban combat and climbing training facility
3 March 2017

Royal Marines Reservists based in the capital now have a unique climbing/urban combat tactical trainer to prepare them for battle.

The £200,000 facility at RMR City of London in Wandsworth can also be used by other military and the emergency services.

Pictures: PO(Phot) Owen Cooban, MOD

THIS is the Royal Marines’ – and emergency services’ – latest weapon in the war against urban terrorists.

The £200,000 Centre for Urban Tactics And Climbing – CUTAC – will prepare commandos for climbing up, abseiling down and storming buildings in towns and cities.

The four-storey facility, unveiled by Vice Chief of Defence Staff – and Royal Marine – General Sir Gordon Messenger, has been designed, built and installed at RMR City of London’s HQ in Wandsworth in under ten months.

A Metropolitan Police firearms specialist abseils down the outside of the climbing trainer

Although specifically aimed at honing the urban combat skills of commando reservists, plus any other military units which wish to use it, the facility has been designed from the outset with all three of the capital’s emergency services in mind to practise rescues in multi-storey buildings.

“This facility is a fantastic addition to our London base - without it we would travel for several hours to get the value of similar training," said Lt Col Ed Moorehouse RM, Commanding Officer of RMR City of London.

“It’ll prove to be an essential tool not just for Royal Marines but for all our military colleagues in and around London. Moreover, and just as importantly, the Blue Light services – giving us all a chance to train together, cross-pollinate and swap skills together as well as develop new tactics by sharing this facility.”

Gen Messenger observes Royal Marines clearing their way through the new facility

Among the RM reservists who’s been instrumental in the project from the outset is C/Sgt Dave Hill – he’s a London firefighter by day and, as a commando, a climbing instructor.

“So between rescuing people and a mountain leader in the Royal Marines, I’ve combined those skill-sets and helped produce what we have here today,” he explained.                                   

“I very impressed what has been built here, I had no idea it would be like this to be honest from what it looked like on a piece of paper.”