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Prince Harry opens new Royal Navy centre

2nd August 2013

Prince Harry meets servicemen during a visit to the Royal Marines Tamar centre at the HM Naval Base, Plymouth.

Prince Harry meets servicemen during a visit to the Royal Marines Tamar centre at the HM Naval Base, Plymouth.

Prince Harry has officially opened a new £30 million Royal Navy centre that will boost Britain's amphibious fighting capabilities.

The Prince travelled to Devonport naval base at Plymouth to launch Royal Marines Tamar, where servicemen are taught a range of skills from handling hovercrafts to staging beach landings.

The new base is home to 1 Assault Group Royal Marines, which oversees amphibious warfare and Royal Navy board search and training.

Colonel Garth Manger, the military unit's commanding officer, said bringing facilities and personnel together at Tamar would help deliver amphibious capabilities.

Col Manger said: "It's the Royal Navy's amphibious centre of excellence which means a great deal to the navy and defence - it means all the Navy's assets for amphibious warfare will all be located in one place.

"I will be able to deliver that capability to the front-line in a far better and streamlined manner than I've been able to do so far."

He added: "With Prince Harry as a professional soldier himself he will see this capability and understand exactly what it means."

New facilities at Tamar include waterfront training rooms, a marina, a jetty, maintenance and engineering sheds and workshops, and a slipway.

Prince Harry salutes as members of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines parade past a plaque he unveiled during a visit to the Royal Marines Tamar centre at the HM Naval Base, Plymouth.

Prince Harry salutes as members of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines parade past a plaque he unveiled during a visit to the Royal Marines Tamar centre at the HM Naval Base, Plymouth.

Prince Harry, an Apache helicopter pilot serving with the Army Air Corps (AAC), stood on a dais to take the royal salute of 1 Assault Squadron Royal Marines and review the servicemen.

The Prince wore military uniform, the service dress of the Household Cavalry and his AAC beret, and when he first arrived he joked with a group of dignitaries who had patiently waited in blustery conditions to greet him, saying: "Typical British, we complain when it's too hot and we complain when it's too cold."

In the shadow of the amphibious landing vessel HMS Bulwark, the servicemen saluted The Prince and after a few bars of the National Anthem were played by HM Band of the Royal Marines, Prince Harry walked on to the parade ground to inspect the troops.

The Prince walked past lines of servicemen, stopping to talk to some of them as he went.