138 Troop Diary – Week 25
Week 25 of training started with mixed emotions for the troop as we were nervous and also anxious. Nervous as we are heading to two different camps, HMS Collingwood and HMS Excellent.
On leaving early Monday morning we arrived nearly 3 hour after we had left CTC which was some much needed sleep after the weekend which we all should have rested more than what we did. On arriving we had a SBS brief by the recruiting officer who looked like a normal man until we heard some of his story which had everyone in amazement. The brief was about how to get into the SBS and what you need to achieve to pass selection which is pretty ninja. After the brief we headed to the dock to do the capsize drill. This is done by seven men but can be done by three. After the boat has capsized by everyone six men will stand on one side and the number one man will go under the boat and on my run through I had the pleasure of going under the boat. Once it is filled round everyone will enter the boat and number off and say if they are alright. After you had done the drill and completed it successfully there was a bit of a swim back the shore in full rig so weak swimmers suffered which was good moral for the troop. Once everyone had done the drill we went back to stay on an army base which has good scran so we were happy with that.
Tuesday we headed back to the docks to learn paddling drills and how to paddle with stealth to get closer to the enemy. Whilst one and two section were doing the paddling drills three and four sections were getting shown some of the equipment in the harbour, then once both had finished we changed. After lunch the troop did cross decking drills, this is probably one of the most exciting things in training. Once everyone had a few goes crossing decks we went into assaulting a beach head once we cracked this we then had to do this in the dark and it was about 2’oclock at this point so a very long wait, but when you’re with all the lads and everyone was excited about what we were doing it ended up being a proper good laugh.
Wednesday was a early start as we had another long coach ride to Plymouth to go to HMS Excellent where we had breakfast which was nothing special. At HMS Excellent we did sea survival training which was definitely good to hear about. After we had done this we headed to HMS Collingwood which is a nice camp and proper scran and we also got to train here which was nice to blow off some steam and the weather was nice at this point. After some decent scran most of the troop sat in the pub area to watch the football. his was a good laugh because you’re spending time with people that think the same as you and that get you and by now everyone knows each other pretty well and they know all about their sisters and girlfriends which is usually the topic of choice to speak about.
Thursday was back on HMS Excellent doing fire fighting drills. This was a massive insight into what fire-fighters do and what they are exposed to and I personally respect them more after this. Whilst we were there we learnt about the use of a fire extinguisher and got to use them against live fires. During this we had lunch there which I’m glad to say was a lot better than breakfast. Once we had finished all this we headed back to CTC
The Friday was the highlight of the week for me as we were shooting the LMG, we all shot of 50 rounds and people that needed it fired of a few more rounds to boost their confidence on the gun. One person that needed it is RCT Strange that had a bit of an epic loading the gun which has been the centre of any banter and I’m sure he will not live that down.