156 Troop Diary – Week 21
Day one was an early start for the Troop with a locker and room inspection, which was a slight shock to the system for the lads coming home from weekend leave. Some lads were picked up and received a good bit of correctional phys! The morning continued at the Assault Engineer (AE) compound with an introduction to searching vehicles and people and how to deal with them at a Check Point or Vehicle Check Point. After lunch we were back with the AE’s for the rest of the afternoon learning counter IED tactics i.e. how to spot signs of the threat and what types of threats we may encounter. This offered the Troop a bit of reassurance for the future of our careers.
The evening was spent sorting out the Warrior kit which Cpl Nickless managed to get for us, the Troop were now keen to get started on Exercise Urban Warrior.
The morning of Day two was excellent for 156 Troop; we finally got the chance to put our picitini rails and down grips on our weapons – now we were suited up, good to go with all the gear but no idea! Down we marched to the compound ready to start to exercise. When we got down there, we found that Cpl Nickless and the training team had organised an absolutely hoofing week! First thing we did was smashed in a few doors with the enforcer; Rct Bonehayo even put a door in… eventually. Following that, we were introduced to two and three man room entries which we practiced for the rest of the day.
Another early morning for the Troop and this one was a bit of phys with the Troop Commander. We all enjoyed seeing each other off with slow press ups and pull ups. The day moved back to the MUC compound where we continued practicing the drills we had learnt from the day before with blanks and moved into the full rooms in the compound. The Troop was introduced to simunition; this came with a detailed brief on it and the protective equipment used. Also, every man was given a healthy fear of simunition by receiving a well aimed round from Cpl Presneill… everyone was grateful. It was a shaky start in the compound for the Troop, some lads felt slightly overwhelmed by the need to use “Initiative Based Tactics” but we managed to iron out most of the kinks by the end of the day.
After prepping our bergans the evening before with 69lbs, 156 Troop headed to just outside Woodbury Common to start our 8 mile load carry. Just when we were settling into our stride, we heard the words “Troop will break into double time”. A resounding “oh god” was the Troop’s unuttered reply only to find that by the end of it, it would break up the yomp and strengthen the Troop for our up and coming six mile speed march. This is simply because if the Troop could speed march, 8 miles with 69lbs, six miles with 33lbs would be an absolute gift. After our yomp, the Troop were back to the MUC compound doing more run throughs but this time we were playing enemy; some lads came out with more than a healthy fear for simunition.
Friday morning was spent readying ourselves for the final attack which at this point was scheduled for the afternoon, we were cramming in run throughs in eight to ten man stacks trying to put into practice the lessons from throughout the week. When it came time for the final attack, the training team were pleased with our performance, there was smoke, grenades, smashing doors in and Cpl Nickless managed to get us some enemy to shoot. This was excellent; by far one of the best days/weeks of training thus far. The Troop is now looking forward to putting this into practice on Exercise VIOLENT ENTRY.