148 Troop Diary – Week 18
Monday morning consisted of a thorough bottom field session, before packing away the stores required for Exercise Second Empire. After a decent coach journey we arrived at Braughton Burrows Training Area around midday. After ‘scranning up’, we then unloaded the four tonner and then moved into our harbour position and prepared ourselves as best we could for the evenings evolutions. The first serials we conducted were recce patrols – to gain information on the enemy force. My section received a recce task for a potential beach landing area and to see if there was an enemy presence. After section commanders orders we moved off and the end result was a success with us undetected and mission achieved. We then navigated our way back to the harbour and got some valuable rest, after a spot of admin of course.
Tuesday morning we had a bit of cover and manoeuvre practice to start the day, before going into section attack drills. This required advancing to contact in formation, breaking contact, and assaulting the enemy position. After a couple of run throughs we sort of had it, but were yet to complete the full process. In the afternoon however, and after some motivation from our training team, we nailed it. Into the evening and the agenda was to set up observation posts and monitor enemy activity for a few hours.
Wednesday we ran through the section attacks again. In a new location, this was the chance for the section i/c’s and 2 i/c’s to try to control the chaos, whilst under the watchful eye of our section commanders, who quickly addressed any hold ups to keep the momentum going, and maintain training benefit. After the days ‘evolutions’ we moved back to the harbour and got on with our routine of sentry duty and admin.
Thursday started off slowly, but it was not long before we were once again preparing ourselves for battle. The afternoon involved us doing a troop attack which went well and it was good to do things on a larger scale with more rounds going down range. After a re-org, we moved off onto our next phase of the orders, which was an ambush on any stragglers from the troop attack. After lying up for a short while we got the order to move into position and the order “ambush set” soon followed. After a short wait the ambush was initiated. We then had to move out swiftly and back into our harbour location. After a quick hot wet it was time for sentry and some rest.
Friday consisted of morning routine, before yomping up and down various sand dunes, our destination was RMB Chivenor. The yomp was not too bad considering we had carried the most weight to date and the whole Troop completed it. But the coach was definitely a welcome sign of the end of the exercise, as well as the traffic on the journey back to CTC. Overall I thought it was a good exercise, plenty of rounds, plenty of soldiering time and actually felt like we were doing what we had joined up to do.