144 Troop Diary- Week 19
Monday saw the start of death by bottom field, a week in which many of the Troop were really worried. Our Troop PTI had said that this week would be more of a teach than a thrashing, but still as bottom field goes its always pretty tough on there. We did circuit training, a mixture of rope climbs, fireman’s carries and a run through of the assault course. Our targets where, under 5 minutes for the assault course and 90 seconds for the fireman’s carries. Tough but achievable!
Tuesday was another bottom field session we could tick off the list. We did an intense double session known as crash training. We had to work hard for short intense periods. We ran through the assault course several times, as well as the high/low obstacle course where you have to commando crawl over the tank and try to stay dry, then onto the low obstacle ropes, doing a half regain on the rope then a half rope climb on the 30 ft rope. Next followed the dreaded fireman’s carry, 200m as fast as you can, with another recruit of a similar weight (although this was not always the case) on your back. To finish off, one final regain, that proved to be much harder than before. However the Troop made one last major effort and most stayed dry.
Wednesday’s session focussed on technique work, practicing our posture/movement on the criteria components of bottom field making sure we where in the correct position to be carried during the fireman’s carries. Strikers watched us closely on the 30ft ropes and gave us instructions on how to improve our technique and strengthen our grip. We finished the session with a timed run through of the assault course. This proved a bit of an eye opener to many members of the Troop, as much more effort was required.
Thursday was mock bottom field pass out, a chance to see who is making the grade and who needs to put more effort in certain areas. First up was one rope climb, everyone found it tough, only a couple didn’t make it to the top. Next the assault course run through. Again only a few people missed the time required to pass but several achieved outstanding passes. Next up and what many perceived as the hardest part of the test, the fireman’s carry. Fatigue had began to set in and it was necessary to dig deep and put in maximum effort to finish in under 90 seconds. Last test of the day was the regain, a test that is highly reliant on technique rather than strength. When extremely tired and the pressure is on, it becomes very tough as you are no longer able to muscle yourself on top of the rope. This became apparent as many people failed to make the regain.
Friday was a much needed rest from bottom field. Arms, legs, back and pretty much every other muscle in our bodies was aching. But it was a good feeling for most knowing that they are more than capable of passing bottom field passout! Also, throughout the week we got to grips with the GPMG doing a number of theory/practical lessons in the weapon stances. We passed the weapons handling tests and conducted a shoot at the end of the week on the 25m range.