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Snow patrol as Royal Marines Commandos transport NHS staff

7 March 2018
Scottish-based Royal Marines helped transport National Health Service (NHS) staff to their patients over the weekend, as ‘the Beast from the East’ resulted in treacherous conditions on Scotland’s roads.

Royal Marines from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group RM in Faslane, joined forces with Arbroath-based 45 Commando to support their Army colleagues shuttling 61 NHS Scotland staff on 35 trips around Fife within a 60 hour window.

The assistance meant that medical staff were able to get to and from work in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Glenrothes hospitals, as well as being transported to patients’ homes for outpatient appointments.

Travel conditions were difficult so making sure doctors and nurses were able to provide care to patients made it a worthwhile task to be asked to do

Marine Johnson, 45 Commando, Arbroath

The marines form 43 Commando had just returned to their Clyde base from a training exercise in England on Wednesday, ahead of the red weather warning. 

They were then tasked to remain on standby with 12 hours’ notice to move on Thursday, as transport was disrupted throughout Scotland, affecting the ability of NHS staff to get to their patients.

45 Commando’s X-Ray unit have recently returned from a multi-national exercise in Norway where, where they trained with other Commando units and the United States Marine Corps in sub-zero conditions to hone and share their winter warfare skills.

Speaking about being able to offer help to the medical staff, Marine Johnson said: “Travel conditions were difficult so making sure doctors and nurses were able to provide care to patients made it a worthwhile task to be asked to do”.

The Clyde Commandos, along with their colleagues from Arbroath-based 45 Commando, were part of a team of 23 marines based out of the Army Reserve Centre in Dunfermline. 

The team were called to provide assistance from midnight Friday and were stood down at midday on Monday once the snow started to thaw.

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