156 Troop Recruit Diary – Week 16
Having just got back from a long weekend we were all ready to start Phase 2 training. We were busy all day with lectures necessary for Exercise FIRST BASE. On the Tuesday we set off early and arrived at the training area at around midday. We administrated ourselves just outside the training area of Salisbury Plain to get ready for our insertion yomp. The weather was hot and more importantly, dry. The rest of the day we were being lifted by a Sea King helicopter, being dropped off in different locations to execute section level actions and rehearsals. After this we had a second yomp to the harbour area. When we got there we set up the harbour position, including setting up sentry positions and digging in for cover. We also got ready for a section recce, which took place that night. On Wednesday we yomped to the new harbour position to meet up with the Young Officers (YO’s) and when we arrived we helped them set it up. In the afternoon we set off for our first assault with the YO’s. Overall we held our own amongst the YO’s, we did well for our first time in a tactical scenario, better than we were expecting. After some remedial lessons on Thursday regarding the standard of out harbours, we spent time digging our shell scraps deeper, building up sandbag walls and camouflaging them. We helped the YO’s make another model for orders. After not having much sleep all week, we yomped to the next and final assault. Once again we were able to hold our own and adapt to the situation. After this final assault we yomped to the FRV and got ready to head home. We cleaned our rifles and kit and we were all looking forward to getting into town and eating ourselves to death. The joint exercise was an insight into how the YO’s train and the pressure they are put under with their command appointments. The learning curve is very steep at the moment but morale remains high and, after being blessed with good weather for the majority of the week, it is fair to say we really enjoyed the exercise and learnt a lot from it.