Week 14 was a big exercise for 153 Troop, as it was Exercise Baptist Run.  It was slightly unfortunate for us that such a big week should fall directly after two weeks leave, but the majority of us realised the importance of the exercise and it did not take too long to shake off any rust.  Tuesday started off with a 4 mile speed march followed by a quick turnaround and then straight into the field phase.  After establishing the team base area on Woodbury Common, we rolled straight into a day of practice stances for the areas in which we were to be tested.  These included static map-reading, fire control orders, stalking and camouflage and concealment.  Once darkness had set in we also carried a night navex, having plotted our own routes and planned route cards.

Day two started a little slowly as the fog had set in and this restricted what we could achieve.  We did manage to carry out our first assessed stalk and as the day progressed the weather picked up so we were able to do a static map-reading stance, including a re-section.  The night was again filled by a navex in which we were given 2hrs 15mins to complete.  The next day followed a similar pattern consisting of a stalk, some more static map-reading, and also some target indication and observational work.  Again, we carried out a navex when darkness fell but this time covering slightly more distance and having a slightly longer time limit of 2hrs 45mins.

On Friday we had to squeeze in the stances we had missed earlier in the week because of the foul weather, and then began the extraction phase back to CTCRM.  We headed back to camp via an 8 mile load carry, which was the furthest distance we had done to date and it would be fair to say that this was evident on some of the lads’ faces.  After a little reflection, the general feeling amongst the Troop was that although some elements were tough going, Exercise Baptist Run had not been as scary as we had all imagined.


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