Unit History: Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles (from 2008), and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando Qualified Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen.
3 Commando Brigade can trace its origins back to World War II, when it was formed as the 3rd Special Service Brigade. The Commandos were formed as forces to perform raids on occupied Europe. Many of these raids were relatively small affairs, but some were very large, such as the 1942 Dieppe Raid, and the attack on St Nazaire to cripple the dry dock there.
3 Commando Brigade was at the forefront of many actions over the next 25 years, acting as a strategic reserve for the Far East and Mediterranean areas. Its most high profile operation during this time was the Suez Crisis, when it took part in the amphibious assault against Egyptian targets. During Operation Musketeer, units of the Brigade made the first British helicopter borne assault in history.
1971 saw the withdrawal of British forces from the Far East and Persian Gulf. The Brigade returned to the UK with other British units. It moved to Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth, where it remains to this day.
The Brigade is commanded by a Royal Marines Brigadier and contains Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Brigade headquarters staff are located at Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth, Devon with the majority of the subordinate formations in South West England.