Fleet Protection Group Royal Marine CS95 Shirt

Tonight we are looking at an interesting CS95 shirt in DPM fabric:imageAs we have already covered this shirt, albeit in desert DPM, here; I will not repeat myself on the basic design of the shirt and instead focus on what makes this shirt particularly different and interesting. This shirt is not actually an army issued example, but rather one for a member of the Royal Navy as can be seen from the large ‘Royal Navy’ flash over one of the breast pockets:imageA tactical recognition flash is sewn onto the sleeve for the ‘FPGRM’:imageThis stands for ‘Fleet Protection Group Royal Marine’, hence the commando knife badge. FPGRM (now 43 Commando) was a Royal Marine unit responsible for guarding ships and Royal Naval bases. It might appear odd that a Royal Navy shirt has a Royal marine flash on the sleeve, but Royal Naval Reserve personnel were attached to this group on a regular basis to supplement it, as described in this news piece from Liverpool’s HMS Eaglet:

A female Royal Naval Reservist (RNR) from Liverpool has deployed with the elite Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines.

Bootle’s Able Seaman Carly Conroy is part of a 10-strong team from Brunswick Dock’s HMS Eaglet that have joined other reservists from across the UK at Fleet Protection Group’s headquarters at HM Naval Base Clyde in Scotland for the next six months.

The reservists will serve alongside the Royal Marines protecting Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships at home and abroad.

This is the first time that a RNR force protection team has been on permanent stand by to be deployed in support of the Royal Navy Fleet on operations at anytime and anywhere in the world.

The Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines usually guard Royal Navy warships and are the only force able to conduct armed boardings of suspect vessels. None of the reservists board vessels, however, as this is solely a Royal Marine and not Royal Naval task.

With Carly and her colleagues now undertaking the force protection element of this role, this frees up Royal Marines for a range of other duties across the world.

As members of the Above Water Force Protection (AWFP) branch of the RNR, the reservists train throughout the year in weapons and combat techniques, allowing them to provide a deterrent force capable of guarding ships in times of heightened threat levels.

This particular shirt has the word ‘Devonport’ inked onto the label on the inside:imageI suspect that this means it was once part of ‘pool clothing’ held at Devonport Dockyard rather than a rating’s name. Since the run down in Afghanistan and Iraq more Royal Marines have become available for Fleet Protection duties so the RNR has been less involved and with the change over the MTP this old CS95 shirt is now obsolete- nevertheless it is an interesting and unusual addition to my more modern part of the collection.

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