147 Troop Diary Week 6
Week 6 was packed with a series of first Aid, Map reading and the importance of dealing with weapons drills and stoppages.
The week involved the troop’s first live firing. This was exciting for me and I think the whole troop as I had never done any live firing before. It was important for all to remember weapons drills as the impact for getting them wrong could be severe. The main focus of the shoot on a 25m range was to help assess the zeroing and thus make our firing more accurate. With the help of the training team we would measure the distance our SUSAT was out and make the correction accordingly. Hopefully this will help lead to better accuracy in future firing. The troop mentors Colin and Jumper came down to view some rudimentary shooting and it was good to hear their advice and support and also the sugary sweets.
The troop was given lectures on first aid and these lectures would then lead to an eventual assessment. The lectures involved areas such as primary survey, secondary survey, how to assess a casualty, how to put the casualty in the recovery position and apply CPR. These skills are demonstrated to the troop practically but it is important to grasp the essential nature of the First Aid skills learnt and the pivotal part these skills could play in future operations.
The week was finished with more hoofing map reading lectures from the new Troop Commander. Map reading is a vital tool to a Royal Marine and getting it right is crucial and is a skill every Royal Marine needs to grasp. Techniques such as how to take a grid reference, take a bearing amongst other map reading skills were imparted on the troop. These new map reading skills would be ironed out and put to use in the next exercise which would be Ex Marshal Star.
147 Troop Week 7
Week 7 had the main focus of Ex Marshal Star; this would be an exercise mainly focussing on Map reading including navigating at night, pyrotechnics, how to become one with a gorse bush, unsuccessfully navigating babies heads, getting removed from bogs and other fun.
We carried out night navigation exercises as a group. Clambering over, through and under gorse bushes taking parts of them with us in our skin, though the intended mission was to navigate ourselves around a series of checkpoints using pre determined bearings. The next night would see us carry out a night navex as a troop without the stewardship of the section corporal. The map reading was gradual building on layers of learning to hopefully finish with an end product of a practical marine who could navigate.
There was also a yomp with daysack’s navigating ourselves around Woodbury as section fire teams to check points. This ended up with me immersed halfway in a bog and being pulled out by my oppo’s and I am sure I wasn’t the only one.
The return to CTC would have to be taken by an inevitable yomp the first experience of carrying our loaded bergans over a distance.
The week ended with more First Aid lectures. The channelled aggression of CQC and a mighty effort by the Troop in IMF with a large amount of rope climbs met by the entire troop.