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Maldivian Marine Corp (MMC) Ground Forces

The Marine Corp constitutes the bulk of the ground forces. It should be both ambitious and professional given the geographical conditions of the country and its smaller size. It is structured into Marine Deployment Units (MDUs) which is centered on an infantry organization and acts as force projection elements of the MNDF by closely working with the Coast Guard. MDUs are currently being deployed in all the Area Commands of the MNDF.

Under a plan developed by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which governed from 2008 to 2012, the MDP would examine the feasibility of having 2 Infantry battalions (1080 personnel) as a fighting force, excluding staff for Administration, Logistics, Communication, Training, Engineering, and Transport. These 2 battalions will be divided and deployed in three regions of the country : North, South and Central. The main reason for the declassification of the battalions into 3 regions is due to any potential regional development policies which the government may pursue, and to assist and train the community in areas of the Total Defence Strategy. Priority for recruitment would be given from these regions, considering the employment and livelihoods of potential recruits.

Furthermore a Special Force Unit of (50 personnel) specialised in counterterrorism would be established, coming under the command of the Marines. This unit would be given the task of protecting the International Airports from a terrorist threat and would perform independently from the Marine Command.

The role of the Maldivian Marine Corps:

  • To analyze and asses all external threats to the nation and to take all preempt measures.
  • To protect the people, their property and the country from external threats and aggressions.
  • To respond to all natural disasters and conduct disaster relief operations.
  • To provide protection to all International and National Airports.
  • To conduct and assist in national development and community building
  • To take part in International Peace Keeping Operations
  • To train its personals and guard its own installations.

The Marines hold an annual exercise with the Indian Army, Shatrujeet (The Conqueror), which focuses on amphibious operations.

A joint exercise of the Indian and Maldivian troops named Ekuverin, or the 'lightening strike', was conducted in December 2009 at the Rohideshwar Camp off Belgaum city. The Maldivian Defence Minister, Mr Ameen Faisal, who was present to witness the mock drill on the final day, said that this was a major step towards intensifying the defence cooperation between India and Maldives. The Maldives being a small island nation does not have the variety of terrain and training facilities that India has and the Maldivian defence Minister thanked the Indian Government for conducting such an exercise. Mr Faisal said that this was the first time that the Maldives National Defence Force troops had come out of their country for a joint exercise and such international exposure and training would greatly help the Maldives National Defence Force.

Fourth joint military training exercise between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) EKUVERIN 2012 was held in Belgaum from November 12 to 25, 2012. A total of 45 personnel from the MNDF are taking part in the exercises along with the personnel from the Indian Army. The bilateral annual exercises, which commenced in 2009 in Belgaum, are alternately held in India and Maldives.

After 10 training days, Exercise Coconut Grove a bilateral training event conducted bi-annually between the US Marine Corps and Marine Deployment Unit 5 of the Maldivian National Defense Force came to an end. The closing ceremony was hosted at the Equatorial Convention Center 17 October 2012, just north of Gan Island, where Coconut Grove was conducted.

The exercise focused on basic infantry skills training, to include small-unit tactics, casualty evacuation drills, weapons familiarization classes, military operations on urban terrain (MOUT) and leadership development. American and Maldivian Marines learned to work together seamlessly, applying everything they learned to successfully execute a joint-force raid, which served as the exercises culminating event.

Stealthy U.S. and Maldivian Marines in full camouflage and dull face paint crept through the thick Maldivian vegetation, stalking their objectives deep in enemy territory. The partner nations extensive training included casualty evacuation drills, troop accountability procedures, and military operations on urban terrain (MOUT). Throughout the exercise, they became familiar with each others weapons, as well as one anothers capabilities and limitations.

In early 2000 the National Security Service of the Republic of Maldives e took delivery of a new Hamilton Jet powered landing craft. Twin Model HM422 jets directly driven by MAN diesel engines push the aluminium craft to speeds over 20 knots when fully laden.

To be used for transporting troops and vehicles between the various islands in the Republic, the prime requirement of the vessel was the ability to easily beach and pull away again. With the waterjet intakes flush with the hull bottom there are no vulnerable appendages to impede beaching operations. The Hamilton Jet pump design, with its high resistance to cavitation, allows full power to be applied at low boat speeds, ensuring a powerful astern thrust is available for backing off the beach.

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