Former Royal Marine lands Navy combat training role

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), ABIS Benjamin Ricketts (photographer)

Topic(s): Training

Newly commissioned Lieutenant Ian Boddy, at HMAS Kuttabul, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Benjamin Ricketts)
Newly commissioned Lieutenant Ian Boddy, at HMAS Kuttabul, Sydney.

For newly commissioned Lieutenant Ian Boddy, his previous service career as a Royal Marine Commando has been invaluable in shaping littoral combat training for the Royal Australian Navy.

The former Colour Sergeant in the British Armed Forces transferred to the Royal Australian Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in 2013, and was recently commissioned as a Lieutenant in Sydney.

Born in west London, Lieutenant Boddy joined the Royal Navy in 1983 and served as an Able Seaman Missileman, deploying to the Persian Gulf in HMS Falmouth and working alongside Royal Marines which sparked his interest in amphibious operations.

“After Falmouth I deployed to Norway with 45 Commando in HMS Ark Royal and spent a lot of time ashore working with them, carrying a weapon, conducting section attacks and completing their winter survival training. This experience prompted me to apply to become a Royal Marine Commando,” Lieutenant Boddy said.

Lieutenant Boddy successfully completed his Royal Marine Commando training 1989 and in January 1990 deployed to Iraq on Operation HAVEN as a vehicle mechanic.

“Eventually I wanted to apply my vehicle mechanic training to watercraft and use the seamanship skills I had already developed as a sailor, so I applied to re-skill as a Landing Craftsman in 1996,” Lieutenant Boddy said.

“I deployed to Sierra Leone on Operation SILKMAN, followed by another rotation to Northern Ireland. After that I was ready to become an instructor 10 Training Squadron.”

Lieutenant Boddy deployed again to Sierra Leone on Operation VELOR in HMS Albion, followed by Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK in 2009, and to Libya in HMS Ocean on Operation ELLAMY in 2010 - his last deployment as a Royal Marine Commando.

“In 2013 I was preparing for a likely second deployment to Afghanistan when I received an email asking if I was interested in moving to Sydney to help develop Australia’s amphibious capability,” Lieutenant Boddy said.

“At the time I arrived, Navy was very effective at sea combat but was still building its amphibious operations know-how when it came to operating landing craft.

“The Royal Marines had a lot of experience to share around how landing craft are more than just ship-to-shore connectors, how to use them for fire support and how their sailor crews could think more tactically about the land combat domain when they arrive ashore.”

After a posting to the Amphibious Landing Craft Faculty where he helped design and deliver Landing Craft training, Lieutenant Boddy joined the Fleet Force Generation Directorate working in the Littoral Combat Cell to design exercises.

“I try to include tactical elements for landing craft crews into our exercise designs so they’re thinking about moving ashore in formation and entering areas where they have to defend themselves,” Lieutenant Boddy said.

“I also encourage thinking around how the logistics supply chain can hinge on amphibious operations and the follow-on effects for the land forces who depend on the supply of food, ammunition and vehicles to fight effectively.

“The success or failure of a landing craft - crewed by junior sailors - can have a huge impact on how a land combat element of 120 soldiers reaches the shore and moves onward to its objective. I find using my experience to shape their training very rewarding.”