148 Troop Diary- Week 14
Week 14 was taken up mostly by Exercise Baptist Run, which ran from Tuesday to Friday. Baptist Run is a three day exercise of Phase 1 where recruits get tested on all the basics of soldiering such as: field craft, personal administration and navigation. We deployed into the field on Tuesday afternoon after doing a 4 mile speed march which is a criteria test. The moral of the troop was quite low as the previous week we failed to reach the required standard in several areas of training, this had a snowball effect and we continued to fall short of the mark over the weekend. As a result nobody was looking forward to the exercise.
Once out in the filed we tried to put the previous week behind us and concentrate on what we had to do over the week. We had three chances to pass each criteria test and the first day was more or less a practice. Starting with a static map reading test consisting of re-sections, bearings, grid references and distances to objects. We also did our first stalk which involved fully camouflaging ourselves then crawling into a fire position undetected and firing off two shots for full maximum points. For me personally the stalking was the most interesting test and is the sort of thing most of us joined up for. That night we moved onto the practice night navigation exercise which involved each member of the troop individually navigating themselves around a series of checkpoints within an allotted time.
The next two days of the exercise were the same as the first, apart from it being the actual tests and not practices. As well as the tests mentioned before we had to do fire control orders, where we had to distinguish between different types of orders and plot points on a panoramic of the ground in front of us. We also did target indication which is a basic way of informing troops of a target on the ground. Then we did an observation stance where we had to find 10 objects that had been hidden in within the ground in front of us. Oddly enough in the practice not many people managed to find the combi-tool.
Finally on Friday we had an eight mile extraction march back to camp with a 39lb Bergan, webbing and rifle. We completed this march in about three hours. The march itself was not the hardest we had done but after a week in the field with little sleep, the Troop was pretty much done in by the end. However the exercise was not over yet. Once back on camp, we were up until the early hours in the morning de-servicing our kit ready for the post field kit inspection on Saturday morning. On completion of the kit inspection, which was a kit muster laid out bedside our bed space and inspected by one of the training team, it was time for a much welcomed weekend.