IT is set to be a special Bournemouth Air Festival for the Royal Marines.
The elite soldiers, who take part in each festival, notably when they carry out an assault on the beach, are celebrating their 350th anniversary this year.
Events to mark RM350 have been taking place around the country.
Lt Col Simon O’Herlihy, from Poole, of the Royal Marine Reserve, told the Daily Echo: “It’s run all year. The actual anniversary is October 28, but there’s been events running throughout.
“With the amount of people at the Bournemouth Air Festival it’s good that the organisers are showcasing it as part of the air show.
“The Royal Marines have been in every conflict going over our 350 years and it’s pretty amazing to highlight.
“The average person on the street thinks we’re part of the Army, but if you think how long the Navy has been in being, we have developed as the Navy’s soldiers.
“Considering the hundreds of thousands of people that will be here at the end of the month it’s a great way to highlight how old we are.”
At the air festival, the crowds will again be treated to a dramatic demonstration of how the Royal Marines carry out a beach assault, including helicopters and landing craft.
Lt Col O’Herlihy added: “We’ve been doing it for a number of years now and what’s good about our amphibious demonstration is it shows that this is what we are specialists in.
“We’re showcasing soldiers coming from the sea on to the land.
“The key thing from my perspective is that the majority of troops are from the Royal Marine Reserve, which is my unit, and we have a detachment in Poole.
“These are normal people with normal lives and normal jobs and families.
“They’re showcasing their skills and a lot of them are Poole and Bournemouth based, so for them to be able to show their training is amazing for them.”
THE air festival brochure is now on sale and is available from Daily Echo offices, shops around the area and the Bournemouth Tourism Information Centre in advance and around the festival site over the event, between August 28-31.
The Daily Echo’s book celebrating the first five years of the festival is also still on sale.
Visit bournemouthecho.co. uk/books and follow the links, or call the subscriptions department on 01305 830924 to order by credit or debit card.
Read lots more in our air festival section online at bit.ly/bmthair.