142 Troop Diary – Week 16
Week 16 brought around a positive change to the Troop, a long weekend off gave the Troop a chance to recover and reflect on passing Phase one of training and to size up the new green belts we can now don! The week looked promising from the outset, with a day on camp and then out into the field on the first Exercise of Phase Two.
Monday morning started off with a recap, and then further development of our skills at signals, using the Personal Role Radio (PRR). We were based in a classroom to confirm the correct procedures while using the radios in preparation of the remainder of the week. As usual moral was high with the signals lectures with a ‘stand easy’ period where the Troop topped itself up on tea and coffee from the Church! The afternoon was then dedicated to Exercise orders and final preparation of kit for deployment into the field the following day.
In true 142 fashion the morning of an exercise also brings with it the downpour of what seems like an everlasting raincloud! This is something that the lads have had to deal with… well actually its something we don’t have a say in!
The exercise itself (Ex FIRST BASE) looked a promising step towards the real thing; tactical patrolling, recce patrols and observation posts were awaiting the Troop. Upon arrival the task on all our minds was to slip into our not so waterproofs in an attempt to keep dry (the first and only failure off the week, we got wet… very wet).
The first night was to conduct a recce patrol, and as the Section set about making models of their targets, the Section Commanders were preparing their order for the mission and all sections had their first taste of patrolling tactically at night, sneaking into the enemies positions in order to gain as much information as possible. Once back at the harbour the new section ICs got underway with patrol reports, while the rest of the Section conducted sentry and some much-needed shuteye. The following day was dedicated to learning how to break contact with the enemy; producing many factors: lots of fun, copious amount of carbon on our weapons and most importantly much needed body heat!
The next detail entailed sneaking into a location, lying in puddles and observing the enemy… Observation Posts (OPs) were our next taste of Phase two! This proved to be an interesting and challenging task; spotting and logging any activity that goes on around you while keeping as low key as possible… it seemed that staying awake was some Recruits main test!
The final night was there for the Troop to conduct confirmation runs of either; recce patrols, observation posts or break contact drills around the training area! The next day all that was left was to move back to camp, and we did so the only way we know, speed marching around the lanes back to the top field. The lanes back towards camp bring the relief that the pain is over and the safety of camp is just metres away… or so we thought, the top field became the base for an extra confirmation of skills we had learnt over the week, and the Troop quickly got the messages from the training team!
The weekend allowed the lads to get some down time and recover from the lack of sleep that was encountered over the week.
To summarise the Troop Sergeants finest saying of “if its not raining, it ain’t training” most definitely played its part this week.