Tag Archives: Seebataillon

NATO’s From the Sea Option

NATO recently released a decent little 10-minute sizzle reel highlighting the alliance’s sea soldiers. It includes Dutch Korps Mariniers and the newly-reformed German Seebataillon Marines in Scotland, the Portuguese Corpo de Fuzileiros on the rivers of Lithuania (still keeping it old school with HK G3 battle rifles and Zodiacs), Royal Marine Commandos training in Norway with their interesting 32-foot ORC (Offshore Raiding Craft) jetboats, and the U.S. Marine Corps, which exercises across the European continent.

So whether you call them Devil Dogs, Bootnecks, Schwarzen Teufel, or Fuzos, odds are, some of your favorite guys who operate from 10 fathoms inward are covered.

And, in a companion piece, the USMC themselves just put out a 10-minute hype video on the future Fleet Marine Force.



Schneller Adler, Guest Starring the Kings!

Last week some 200 German marines from the Seebataillon were on maneuvers for a major non-combatant evacuation exercise, Schneller Adler, or Swift Eagle. Together with the Dutch Corps Mariniers, Feldjäger, and an electronic warfare specialist team, they operated from aboard the Dutch Navy dock landing ship Rotterdam (L800). At the same time, the German and Dutch armies trained on land, supported by the Luftwaffe.

Bundeswehr/Nico Theska

In all, a total of around 2,000 soldiers and other participants took part in the regular exercise this year.

Of note to observers on this side of the pond is a familiar old girl in the form of SH-3 Sea Kings on deck and still in front line service.

Bundeswehr/Nico Theska

Bundeswehr/Nico Theska

Bundeswehr/Nico Theska

The German Navy’s Marinefliegerkommando unoffically traces it origins to the old Kaiserliche Marine’s Zeppelins and rascals like Kapitän Gunther Plüschow. More officially, they date to 1956 when West Germany’s Bundesmarine Federal Navy was founded. During the Cold War, the Marineflieger consisted of not only P-3 Orions and two whole wings of anti-ship capable Tornado strike aircraft, but a sea-going force of Sea Lynx and Sea Kings.

The old West German Navy had no less than 112 Tornado IDS models for anti-shipping and marine reconnaissance roles, carrying AS.34 Kormoran anti-ship missiles. Here one is seen at NAS Fallon at 1989.

Built on license from Sikorsky by Westland in the UK, Germany ordered 22 Mk 41 Sea Kings with an enlarged cabin arrangement similar to the Westland HC4 Commando in 1969 to replace Grumman HU-16 Albatross flying boats in a SAR/transport role. Lacking ASW gear or the capability to drop torpedos, they were later fitted with a Ferranti Seaspray radar in a nose radome (which they still have) to aid them in carrying up to four British Sea Skua AShMs (which have since been retired).

Bundeswehr/Nico Theska

These days, 19 German Kings are left, flying operationally for Marinefliegergeschwader 5 out of Nordholz. Showing their age, they are set to be replaced by 18 NHI NH90 Sea Lions within the coming decade.

Besides the Germans, Egypt, India, Norway, and Pakistan still fly the old bird, an aircraft that ended production in 1995.

Speaking of which, India just test-fired a new helicopter-launched anti-ship missile from a Sea King this week. The missile is known as the “Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Short Range” or NASM-SR.

Go, Kings!