Military Wiki
17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC
Active 1949 - Present
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Role Logistics
Size 584 personnel
Part of 104 Logistic Support Brigade
Garrison (Regional Command) Solent Station (11 Infantry Brigade)
Mascot(s) Seahorse
Corps Rlcbadge.jpg Royal Logistic Corps
Tactical recognition flash RLC TRF.svg

17 Port and Maritime Regiment is a regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps in the British Army.[1] The unit is the Army's only regular Port & Maritime capability, though is twinned with 165 Port Regiment RLC, of the Army Reserves. More recently, the unit now also encompasses the Army's only Vehicle Support Specialist, Operational Hygiene, and Mortuary Affairs capabilities; the later two tasks / roles having been assigned to the Regiment on disbandment of 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC in 2014. It also operates the only military Dive Team in the RLC.

Its primary role is to conduct military logistical operations using ports (either well founded or bare base) or over beaches, worldwide, in support of the British Armed Forces. The Regiment is based out of McMullen Barracks in the village of Marchwood, on the west bank of Southampton Water, on the fringe of the New Forest. The barracks sits immediately adjacent to the Marchwood Military Port, the MoD's Sea Mounting Centre (SMC) - 17 P&M Regt manage a number of facilities in the SMC, and garage all of their vehicles and vessels there, though they are two distinct military units and sites. However, 17 P&M Regt do provide personnel to support the operation of the SMC (primarily movement control and stevedore support), which serves to provide regular on-the-job training opportunities for the Regiment, whilst minimising the SMC's requirement for contractor support.


The Regiment was first formed as 17 Port Training Regiment Royal Engineers, at the existing Marchwood Military Port (near Southampton), Hampshire in 1949.[2] At that time it was also responsible for training all ranks in Port and Inland Water Transport trades.

The Regiment initially comprised 51 and 52 Port Squadrons RE. It was later was joined by 53 Port Maintenance Squadron RE. These former Royal Engineers Squadron numbers are still used in the Regiment to this day. On 15 July 1965 the Regiment transferred to the Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) and the 17 Port Regiment Workshop REME (Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers) was formed at that time.

The Regiment was originally accommodated in a war time Nissen hut type of camp in the field that is just beyond the northern boundary of Byams House, which became the Officers Mess. Traces of the concrete bases of the huts can still be found in the grounds of the current barracks. Entrance to the camp and the Guard Room were in Byams Lane. McMullen Barracks was built in 1956, named after Major General Sir Donald McMullen CBE, who was the Director of Transportation (RE) in World War 2.

In 1993 the Regiment was transferred to the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), on amalgamation of the RCT with four other Corps. It kept its role and organisation, but shortly afterwards took 79 Railway Squadron RLC (a former RE Squadron) under command, which then became a Port Clearance (later Port Enabling) Squadron RLC, keeping one Rail Troop. In 2005, 54 Port Squadron RLC was formed but was disbanded in 2014.



Since its formation 17 Regiment has operated in virtually all those zones in which the British Army has fought or been concerned. These include Korea, Christmas Island, Suez, Tobruk, Borneo, Belize, the Falkland Islands, the Gulf War, Angola, The Balkan crisis of the 1990s, the Kosovo crisis, Operation Telic in Iraq and Kuwait in 2003, and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan (primarily with personnel operating out of Pakistan, but with a number of specialist trades operating in key bases in Afghanistan itself).

In 2011 and 2012, the Regimental Headquarters and elements from the Squadrons deployed as the Theatre Logistic Regiment in Camp Bastion. Later in 2012, the regiment was required at short notice to set up and run the accommodation camp at Tobacco Docks on the river Thames in London, in support of the military personnel who were in turn supporting the 2012 London Olympics. Lastly, in 2013, the Regiment deployed on a United Nations Peace-keeping tour to Cyprus (Operation TOSCA).

Maritime Operations

Post World War 2, military vessels have operated in support of many major operations, such as in the Suez crisis, Belize, Borneo and especially in the Falklands campaign, where over 90% of all stores were landed by Mexeflote Rafts, which is now the principal craft in service today with the Regiment, following the recent retirment of the Ramped Craft Logistics (RCLs).

Rail Operations

The latest military rail operations were in the Kosovo crisis, when 79 Railway Squadron RLC operated the line between Thessalonica in Greece to Kosovo in Serbia. During Operation Telic in Iraq in 2003, Rail Troop of 79 Port Clearance Squadron RLC opened up the rail link between Basra and Baghdad, in cooperation with a Royal Engineers Specialist Team.



  • 51 (Port) Squadron RLC
  • 52 (Port) Squadron RLC
  • 53 (HQ & Enabling) Squadron RLC
  • Workshops REME


  • 79 (Port Enabling) Squadron RLC
  • 54 (Port) Squadron RLC (Disbanded in May 2014).

Associated units


  • 165 Port Regiment RLC
  • Headquarters Sea Mounting Centre (HQ SMC), Navy Command
  • 73 Squadron ("The Port & Maritime School"), 25 Training Regiment RLC
  • 460 Port Troop, East Cove Military Port, Joint Force Logistics Unit (JFLU), British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI)


  • 20 Maritime Regiment, Royal Corps of Transport (RCT).
  • 417 Maritime Troop, British Forces Cyprus (BFC)



It operates a wide variety of vehicles, plant, and vessels.[3]


Current vessels in use are:

  • Army Workboats (AWB)
  • Combat Support Boats (CSB)
  • MEXEFLOTE rafts
  • Rigid Raider Craft.



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