Former commando lands Navy combat training role
Newly commissioned Lieutenant Ian Boddy is using his previous experience as a Royal Marines’ commando to shape Navy land combat training.
The former colour sergeant in the British Armed Forces transferred to the Royal Australian Navy as a chief petty officer in 2013 and was recently commissioned as a lieutenant in Sydney.
Born in west London, Lieutenant Boddy joined the Royal Navy in 1983 and served as an able seaman missileman, deploying to the Persian Gulf in HMS Falmouth and working alongside the Royal Marines.
That deployment sparked his interest in amphibious operations.
“After Falmouth, I deployed to Norway with 45 Commando in HMS Ark Royal and spent a lot of time ashore working with them, carrying a weapon, conducting section attacks and completing their winter survival training,” Lieutenant Boddy said.
“This experience prompted me to apply to become a Royal Marines’ commando.”
Lieutenant Boddy successfully completed his commando training in 1989 and, in January 1990, deployed to Iraq on Operation Haven as a vehicle mechanic.
“Eventually I wanted to apply my vehicle mechanic training to water craft and use the seamanship skills I’d already developed as a sailor, so I applied to re-skill as a landing craftsman in 1996,” Lieutenant Boddy said.
“I deployed to Sierra Leone on Operation Silkman, followed by another rotation to Northern Ireland.
“After that, I was ready to become an instructor in 10 Training Squadron.”
Lieutenant Boddy deployed again to Sierra Leone on Operation Velor in HMS Albion, followed by a deployment to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick in 2009.
His last deployment as a Royal Marines’ commando was to Libya in HMS Ocean on Operation Ellamy in 2010.
“In 2013, I was preparing for a likely second deployment to Afghanistan when I received an email asking if I was interested in moving to Sydney to help develop Australia’s amphibious capability,” Lieutenant Boddy said.
“At the time I arrived, Navy was very effective at sea combat, but was still building its amphibious operations know-how when it came to operating landing craft.
“The Royal Marines have a lot of experience to share about how landing craft are more than just ship-to-shore connectors, and how to use them for fire support and how their crews could think more tactically about the land combat domain when they arrive ashore.”
After a posting to the Amphibious Landing Craft Faculty where he helped design and deliver landing craft training, Lieutenant Boddy joined the Fleet Force Generation Directorate working in the Littoral Combat Cell to design exercises.
“I try to include tactical elements for landing craft crews into our exercise designs so they’re thinking about moving ashore in formation and entering areas where they don’t have to defend themselves,” Lieutenant Boddy said.
“I also encourage thinking around how the logistics’ supply chain can hinge on amphibious operations, and the follow-on effects for the land forces who depend on the supply of food, ammunition and vehicles to fight effectively.
“The success or failure of a landing craft — crewed by junior sailors — can have a huge impact on how a land combat element of 120 soldiers reaches the shore and moves onward to its objective.
“I find using my experience to shape their training very rewarding.”