The week started off with the 6 mile speed march.  Everybody was ready for it and keen to get their cap comforters.  The Troop as a whole did well, with only three people failing.  Passing the 6 mile speed march was the hurdle we had to cross to get onto the Commando Course, meaning not long to go to the end!  In the late part of the morning and the afternoon we were taught about vertical assault and river crossing.  The vertical assault lecture was interesting and gave us enough knowledge for Foggin Tor on Tuesday.  However, the river crossing practice in the static tank was ‘icers’.

On Tuesday we deployed on Exercise Fixed Ropes, which is a day of climbing, abseiling, and river crossing at Foggin Tor on Dartmoor.  The day started with a bergan run and walk through talk through of how to climb and abseil.  We all enjoyed the climbing and abseiling, which culminated in the lungathon – a race between sections which was a real hang out, but fun.  Each section had to run up a dirt track to the side of the cliffs, then along the top before abseiling down.  Then run from the bottom over to another cliff to climb before abseiling down again.  Time stopped when the last man was above his section’s heads.  Section 3 came in last and was rewarded with a little swim.

As we broke for lunch, Dartmoor being Dartmoor, it started to hail – hoofing.  The afternoon comprised of three different drills: roller haulage, scaling ladders, and bergan abseiling.  The roller haulage was probably the funniest as a lot of people messed up coming over the top of the cliff, resulting in sore knees and the odd face plant.  We also did the climb and abseil at night, like you would for real; this went well with nobody having any dramas.

On Wednesday there was a full Endurance Course run through.  This generally did not go as well hoped, so some improvement is needed before ‘cheeky week’ and the Commando Tests.  In the afternoon we learned about the Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL), an awesome bit of kit and really easy to use.  Thursday saw us receive a brief on gaining units, which opened a few eyes as to where we want to go when we pass out, before preparing ourselves for some well earned leave.


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