155 Troop Diary – Week 16
Week 16 was Exercise First Base. We deployed into the field on Tuesday and set up the team tents, before distributing ammunition properly, for the first time. We then practiced occupying a troop harbour tactically and then got on with conducting regular harbour drills. On the first night we conducted standing patrols which felt like the first proper soldiering we had done since joining CTCRM, to which everyone was excited about.
Wednesday morning we went through fighting patrols and section battle drills; this made the exercise the best one to date because we got the chance to show our keenness and aggression towards the job we had undertaken. That night after doing some field administration, we went out on some Recce patrols, within our fire teams and we all found it to be a challenge to see and not be seen.
Thursday was mainly focused on the occupation and camouflage of an Observation Post (OP), this was a real insight into what it would be like to observe the enemy for days on end, working as a small team. There was genuine excitement in the OP, when the enemy patrolled past and we needed to log and report all the information, in order to build a picture for the battle plan, this proved to be quite difficult.
After spending 12 hours in the OP, we were compromised and needed to extract out of the area, this required a skill that we had been taught called “break contact” back to a pre-arranged ERV point. This was our first encounter of the enemy firing at us which proved to be quite exhilarating.
On Friday morning we all knew the 5 mile speed march was upon us and due to a collective lethargy amongst the Troop, it turned into one of the hardest bits of phys to date. On completion, back to Lympstone to the usual de-servicing kit and a well deserved weekend off, for the lads who had kept up to the required standard.