154 Troop Diary Week 22 & 23
After a well earned and even better spent Easter break, 154 Troop were thrown straight back into training at the deep end and would be deploying directly on to Exercise Violent Entry. This milestone is widely regarded amongst recruits as the toughest exercise at the best of times so we knew it would be a testing week. We had the physical and mental challenges ahead while trying to shake the lazy previous two weeks from our system. However, being a test exercise everybody was focused on what promised to be an interesting week that would give us the chance to display everything we have been taught to date.
On Monday evening 154 Troop deployed to deepest Wales and the area of the Breacon Beacons to begin the 6 day exercise. Arriving on the training area after last light we had time to be issued ammunition before stepping off on the first ‘yomp’ (marching carrying bergans) of the exercise to a defensive position that we were told we would be occupying. At a distance of 5km it was the longest of load carries however the steep terrain added to the challenge. We occupied trench positions and spent the remainder of the dark hours and the next day repelling probing attacks from an enemy force to our South. After a reconnaissance patrol had located the enemies position we then lifted out of the trenches and launched in to our first Troop attack of the exercise at last light and successfully cleared the farm that the enemy were occupying. On completion of this we set off on our next yomp, this time across more difficult terrain with poor visibility and nearly no moonlight to assist us.
When morning came we received information that the enemy had followed us to a nearby woodblock and after receiving orders we moved out to undertake our first FIWAF (Fighting in Woods and Forests) attack. Being our first wood clearance this went well and the Troop worked hard to keep control as we overturned the enemy position and cleared them out of the woodblock. After a move back to a RV (rendezvous) location we received a resupply of food, water and ammunition before setting out on what would be the toughest yomp of the week. The steepness of the hills took it out of us and the darkness of the night along with the rough ground made it a long evolution. We would split into two callsigns for the move with 2 and 3 Sections moving separately to occupy OP’s (Observation Posts) while the remainder moved to a TroopHarbour location. Arriving just before last night most of the Troop had completed the yomp and were proud of themselves.
After the main body of the Troop had completed a successful Troop ambush to intercept a convoy of enemy vehicles we then regrouped back at the Troop harbour location ready to receive orders for an attack on to a CilieniVillage, the areas urban training facility. At last light we broke in and took the village from a well defended enemy and managed to clear them out of all buildings on our objective. We were then told to hold these positions and conduct a series of patrols and vehicle check points to maintain control and security over the village.
During the early hours of Sunday morning the enemy returned in force and launched an enthusiastic attack to attempt to re-occupy the village and push us back out. Our response was to renew our assault into the village to clear the buildings that they had entered. This went well and before first light we had retaken the enemy positions and destroyed all of the enemy fighters. Despite taking casualties the Troop performed well and topped off a hard but rewarding field exercise.