THEY are known as the force so elite that 99.9 per cent need not even apply.

Now visitors to this week’s Bournemouth Air Festival, which starts on Thursday, have a chance to see just how the Royal Marine Commandos have managed to earn their fearsome reputation.

The Royal Marines will be taking part in adrenaline-charged beach assaults on Saturday and Sunday. Similar to a stunt shown on BBC’s Top Gear, this will see them rescue a hostage in spectacular style, complete with assault craft and vivid explosions.

The Commando Display Team will also be demonstrating their weapon handling skills in Bournemouth Gardens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

And visitors will get the chance to meet the display team members, ask them all about life on the front line and get a closer look at the weapons they use in combat.

The Band of HM Royal Marines will be performing the Beat Retreat on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and will also be entertaining the crowds on Sunday afternoon.

The Royal Navy will be bringing a number of other interactive attractions to the air festival, which is all the more special this year because it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of naval aviation. These will include the ship RFA Mounts Bay, which will be moored in Bournemouth Bay and a 32ft climbing wall, located in the Royal Navy village.

As well as proving the perfect place to showcase their skills, the Bournemouth Air Festival is also an important recruiting ground for the Royal Navy and members will be willing to chat to anyone about the range of opportunities on offer.

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