Military personnel at HM Naval Base Clyde gathered to bid a poignant farewell to one of their force protection units.
For the past three years P Squadron has worked alongside Royal Marine colleagues from 43 Commando helping to protect vessels in some of the most dangerous waters in the world.
Pictures: CPO(Phot) Tam McDonald and LA(Phot) Will Haigh
THE short – but extremely useful and busy – life of one of the Navy’s force protection squadrons drew to an end with a parade through the heart of their home base.
Since 2010 the men and women of P Squadron have helped to safeguard the vessels of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary in some of the most dangerous waters in the world, working alongside their colleagues from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group (hence the cap tally worn by junior ratings).
Men and women from the 167-strong squadron – many of whom are reservists – took part in a final ceremonial divisions at HM Naval Base Clyde to mark the passing of P, whose force protection duties will officially end on December 31.
Those 167 personnel are drawn from all branches and specialisations of the Naval service.
The squadron was established in April 2010, its formation driven by a number of different aspects, including the need to protect ships from piracy.
Since then, the squadron has had personnel deployed on operations for a total of 1,095 days – one of the longest periods of any unit within the Armed Forces.
The squadron’s force protection duties will now be fulfilled by Royal Marines from the standing tasks commando unit, currently 45 Commando based in Arbroath.
The commandos will take over where P Squadron left off, protecting Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, minehunters, strategic roll-on / roll-off vessels and survey ships.