143 Troop Diary – Week 16
Our first exercise into phase 2 had us taking on First Base, our first insight into tactical training. We set off from CTCRM in the usual format of a coach ride to Woodbury Common. A small yomp from being dropped off took us to the training teams location where we were to set up the team tents ready for the exercise. We then got straight into it having a lecture and practical session on capturing and detaining POW’s (prisoners of war) from there we moved on to building model pits, a crucial part of RECCE patrols giving a 3D image of the terrain you are going to cover showing elevation, woodblocks, rivers, roads and tracks. We would eventually make our own model pits which would be used when being given our orders for our RECCE patrols.
We were all equipped with our own radio and headset so we could communicate with each other when on patrols and the section IC’s were given a larger radio for communicating with the HQ another first for the troop which was a welcomed addition.
We were given lectures and shown break contact drills by the training team and spent a lot of time practicing these drills so that they became second nature, keeping our eyes pealed and our ears open for any signs of contact and dealing with that contact efficiently and effectively laying down heavy rates of fire, working as a team and pealing back until finding suitable cover. We were also shown different formations depending on the types of ground you were patrolling, this decision was given by both the point man and the IC.
The harbour routines changed slightly, having us conduct clearance patrols, set up perimeter wire and comms cord to the sentry positions. We also had a section monitoring the radio at all times throughout the night to ensure that we had comms with HQ at all times.
Before setting out for our RECCE patrols we made our model pits and made our route cards which gave us an in depth description of the ground we would be covering on approach to each of our RV’s. We were given orders by our section commanders detailing again, the ground we would cover, details on the enemy we would be observing such as weapons they use, morale status, the way they dress and details as to what we should do if we are seen or contacted during the night. The latter did happen at 4am where we were to only grab mission essential kit. This consisted of our grab bag, which contained the OP log and all of the optics. Along with this we were to take our weapon and our webbing and extract to the ERV where we will make radio contact to the HQ explaining our situation. We did this and were joined by the other fire team in our section then made our way back through our RV system to the team location.
Our next detail was to conduct our personal admin and to take down and pack away the team tents and stores, once this had been done we were to fill our webbing with 21 lbs of weight ready for our 5 mile speed march back to CTCRM. I’m pleased to say that everyone completed the run successfully and this was a good end to what had been an enjoyable and educational exercise. 143 troop have made a good impression on phase 2 and the tactical side of training, 16 weeks until kings squad. Out!