Arbroath’s Royal Marines 45 Commando have been training in the Mojave Desert in California.
The troops from the Angus base have been training along with American and Dutch counterparts in the annual Black Alligator exercise, battling intense desert heat and arduous conditions.
Sergeant Paul McShannon said: “Black Alligator is an annual exercise that the Royal Marines use to hone their basic section level tactics all the way up to a live firing exercise and then the final exercise, during which everything they have worked on is put to the test.”
Training includes a late-night 12km (7-mile) “yomp”, practice assaults and a Combined Arms Live Firing Exercise.
This allows the marines to practise and experience live firing alongside artillery and mortar support and American Abrams tanks and F16 fighter jets.
The commandos have been living out of accommodation similar to air raid shelters while taking part in the annual exercises.
The 7 Battery of 29 Commando, who are based at RM Condor in Arbroath, have been shelling the Californian desert with their 105mm howitzers, while snipers and Yankee company have also been practising combined arms combat.
The final part of the marines’ six-week exercise will see them making use of the 400 million Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Centre at 29 Palms in California, where they will practise close combat and urban fighting scenarios.
Sergeant McShannon said: “It has been a long and arduous trip, with temperatures reaching nearly 40 degrees.
“It is good to see the young marines stepping up to these challenges and performing the skills that they learned in basic training in a real-life scenario.”