3 Commando Brigade
The Royal Marines' 3 Commando Brigade is the Royal Navy's amphibious infantry on permanent readiness to deploy across the globe, and is a core component of the UK's Joint Rapid Reaction Force. Together the Royal Navy's amphibious ships and the Brigade represent a highly mobile, self-sustained and versatile organisation, with a strategic power projection capability that is unique among the British armed services.
Since the end of the Cold War, the outbreak of crises is usually less predictable, and needs to be met by forces that are flexible, highly mobile and capable of a broad spectrum of operations, and which must be capable of contributing to Alliance and multi-lateral commitments as well as national needs.
Based mainly in the south-west of England, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines stands in constant readiness to move anywhere in the world to meet emergencies which threaten Britain's vital security interests, and those of its allies. As the landing force of the nation's amphibious force, it provides a unique national capability: independently or as an integrated part of a maritime contribution to a joint force. It has utility in all phases of a campaign, from benign presence to the conduct of forced theatre entry combat operations.
Whilst amphibious forces provide a wide range of options at the tactical level, they also have distinct roles at the strategic and operational levels. They can sail early in a developing crisis, and with the use of complementary information operations demonstrate the will and capability of the nation, alliance or coalition. They can, in common with all naval forces, transit international waters without infringement of territorial boundaries or the need for basing and overfly rights, cross-border authority and host nation support. They can be kept ready offshore ('poised') almost indefinitely, offering presence without occupation and deterrence without commitment of forces ashore. An uncommitted amphibious task force is a significant factor in the estimate of any enemy commander, and requires him to retain coastal defence forces and a counter balancing reserve as a contingency against the threat of an amphibious raid or assault.