152 Troop Diary – Week 5
The week started with a steady 4 mile run followed by a three hour drill session, which we had all been looking forward to and a further IMF session in the gym. The PTI soon realised that we were all a bit weary, so livened us up with camp circuits carrying a green mat between 4. On Tuesday we did our weapons handling tests, covering all the basics of using a rifle safely so that we are able to use them on the rages with live ammunition. Most of us passed first time and those that failed due to nerves etc. passed on a second attempt. After lunch we had a swim session; on the whole, pool sessions are enjoyed because it’s low impact and it gives sore muscles and little niggles a rest; however an IMF session followed immediately after. Most of us can now manage 3 rope climbs and a hold fast.
The main event of the week was Exercise Quick Cover. Previously we had only spent single nights away from the accommodation but on Quick Cover we were looking forward to being shown more of the tactical side of Commando training (improving our ironing and polishing skills was not the reason we joined up). We were taught the basics of observation, camouflage/concealment and fire and manoeuvring, however the rain and mud left a more lasting impression. We were told that operating in the cold and the rain would make us better soldiers……let’s hope so. On Friday morning we were given blank ammunition for the first time and given a chance to put our newly acquired skills to the test. The cold and hunger were quickly forgotten when we were unleashed along a swampy, thorny valley floor, to heroically rid countryside of the menace of wooden targets. The phys seems to become a lot easier to bear when you’re running around firing your rifle (in a controlled manner of course) and taking cover in a thorn bush does not seem as much of a stupid idea as it normally would. Once our little adrenalin rushes had subsided and we realised the mess blank ammunition leaves on the inside of our rifles, we struck camp and made our way home. We walked the 5 miles back to camp with day sacks and fighting order and we were led by the Troop Commander who put most of the bigger lads to shame by carrying twice as much weight as us as well as setting a blistering pace.