Duncan King - Head of Amphibious Trials & Development, Royal Marines

Duncan has an Engineering background working in many different companies and sectors including Automotive, Aerospace, Communications and Fabrication, where continued development work remains a passion both inside and outside work.

Prominently working in production and manufacturing for test systems, manufacturing techniques and product improvements, from fine tuning production activities to developing manufacturing facilities and sites before joining the MoD in 2004 to develop support solutions for in-service equipment across a multitude of platforms for all the services.

Duncan joined 11(ATT)Sqn in 2015 to manage a small team conducting craft and equipment trials for the Royal Marines. Since taking this role on the department has evolved and expanded its remit covering craft, vehicles and training to fit with the ever changing and challenging demands brought in from legislation, policy and doctrine in a bid to enhance the capability delivery in the Land Littoral domain.


Challenges of Trialling Boats and Equipment in a Changing World

Looking at the challenges of trialling craft to demanding and specific roles to cover a long in-service life where capabilities are ever evolving. Multi-role craft for differing services and functionality while conforming to legislation and policy. Constraints of time and environmental conditions and operations/activities.

ATD - Amphibious Trials and Development is part of the 11 Amphibious Trials and Training (ATT) Squadron which is part of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines (1AGRM). A small unit situated at Instow in North Devon due to the beaches and terrain where trials can be conducted covering all conditions with the exception of coral, mangrove swamp and ice. The site was selected as the beaches closely reflect those at Normandy with a particularly shallow gradient as this poses the greatest difficulty for landing troops and equipment due to water depth and gap to cross. The location also has sheltered, steep, pebble and surf beaches as well as riverine and mud flat environments. Along with access to the Braunton Burrows Training area giving off road driving.

ATD conduct trials of vehicles, craft and equipment, waterproofing and amphibious beach operations training covering all aspects of crossing the water gap in the land littoral manoeuvre environment. As well as our own training the sites and facilities are utilised by other Squadron for landing craftsman, drivers, maintainers, hovercraft and surf training.