Nearing the halfway point, Week 14 brings with it an essential 3 day pass or fail exercise; Exercise Baptist Run.  This is designed to test a potential Royal Marine on an individual basis in skills taught up until this point in training.  Passing would mean moving into Phase 2 of training and the Operations of War phase.  I am sure everyone was at least a little nervous about what was to follow.

The exercise did not start until Tuesday and so, after a nice Sunday off, Monday consisted of an introduction to training on the bottom field where we were given our first assault course run through and practiced rope climbs with added weight.  We also practiced fireman’s carries and rope regains.  The remainder of the day consisted of Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear warfare (CBRN) training.

Tuesday morning, an early morning start to Exercise Baptist Run, a full field inspection was laid out by each recruit and marked by the training team on camp.  A criteria 4 mile speed march around nearby country lanes carrying 21 lbs and a rifle then took place.  Though running with that weight was a relatively new concept to many of us, we all managed to make it through.

We then moved to Woodbury Common, our home for the next three days.  There we were put through a number of tests including map reading skills, ground observation techniques, target indications and fire control orders.  We were also tested on our ability to fully camouflage ourselves and stalk an enemy position.  Each of the three nights an individual night navigation exercise took place.  Each recruit was expected to plot their route on a map and work out distance, pacing and timings between checkpoints before heading off.

The exercise ended with an 8 mile load carry back to camp, carrying packed webbing, bergan and rifle.  Again, no body seriously struggled to finish the yomp.  On our last day we got the chance to practice our use of respirators in the CS gas chamber.  This was an amusing end to the week.




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