148 Troop Diary – Week 10
After our summers leave we came back to Exercise Hunters Moon. On the coach to Dartmoor we were feeling a little nervous and did not know what to expect as it was our first time there. Our bergans were packed with enough kit to last 4 days in the field. We started our insertion yomp from a little pub, with the bergans being as heavy as they were it did not take long before one of the lads in the Troop came down injured with a back injury and wasn’t able to continue. We split down his kit between different lads in his section and continued on with extra weight on the shoulders which began to take its toll.
We arrived at the destination late that evening and started to prepare our route cards for the night navigation we had planned that night. That night the fog came in and visibility was reduced to arms length. We did the navigation as a section with each man getting a role to play. We got back to our harbour position in the early hours of the morning and had some well deserved sleep. After what felt like only a few hours sleep we were back up in the morning doing our morning routine of having breakfast and having a wash, before setting up a kit muster for an inspection. After the inspection we moved straight on to another day’s navigation with the constant worry of what the consequence would be for those in the Troop who failed the kit inspection. After another night navigation, the same as the previous night, as a troop with individual roles, we arrived back for about 1am.
The next morning we started preparing for the next kit inspection same as the day before, except this time the lads were moving a lot quicker, after being flanked the day before. I could see the previous nights activities had taken its toll on some of the lads as there heads were down and they were shivering being back in wet kit. I got the motivation from the thought of being on the flank again which paid off as I was not picked up on the kit inspection. We then set off on our extraction yomp which I found difficult due to the last few days navigating left me with blisters but we carried on until we reached our destination. We were taken on three 4 tonners which took us to a different area where we marched from into the night to reach our next destination. The second part of the extraction yomp we only carried daysacks. By the end of the yomp everyone was drained and looked like zombies. We slept the night on top of a hill in our bivvie bags where there was a pig wondering around looking for dropped rations.
In the morning we were stripped of all our kit except basic survival tools, then were placed in the woods and had to start building shelters in small sections. The moral in my shelter was high as we were confident that it would keep us dry and warm throughout the night. The Mountain Leaders came around and took us for a lesson on how to kill chickens and fish and prepare them for eating. That night after the shelters were built and we had a fire going we cooked our food which was amazing. This boosted moral until the early hours of the morning when we ran out of fire wood and had to start dismantling our shelter to burn wood, which left us with a chilly breeze for the rest of the evening. In the morning we took down our shelters and were met by the 4 tonners which took us back to CTCRM, where we spent the remainder of the weekend de-servicing our kit.