162 Tp – Week 6 Training Diary
Monday saw the start of week 7 for 162 Troop. Morale was high after a good weekend leave, which was essential, as we all knew that the week ahead would be both physically and mentally challenging.
The beginning of the week started with a strong IMF period to wake us up prior to deploying on to Ex MARSHALL STAR. We also sat our first military knowledge test to see how much we had been taking in over the first six weeks.
The Troop were then faced with an insertion yomp onto Woodbury common for the exercise. This was the first time we had walked with our bergans – which certainly proved to be something we’d have to get used to. The pace was set by the Troop Sergeant and we remained strong as a group and completed the march in good order. This was, in my opinion, the toughest thing we had completed thus far.
We then went straight into exercise routine, which consisted of lectures on topics such as why things are seen at night and how to plot and complete range cards.
The second day of the exercise allowed the Troop to put into practice the navigation techniques we had learnt in the classroom the week before. The entire Troop seemed to grasp the basics of navigation and the importance of sticking to your bearings. That night we completed a small night navigation introduction within our sections, using route cards we had prepared earlier. The Troop morale was tested with a few legs leading straight through 6ft gorse bushes, but we showed good spirit and the commando cheerfulness was evident by the end of the day.
On the third day the Troop learnt an obstacle crossing technique which was enjoyable. Later, we had more lectures on navigation in preparation for our first lone navigation. The Troop was split into section fire teams of four. After a brief from the Troop Commander, we plotted our route cards, worked out our bearings and set off. We were excited to crack on and put into practice everything we had learnt. We all stuck to our bearings and crossed all obstacles that stood in our way, such as bogs and gorse fields. Most of the Troop met the two and a half hour deadline and felt that we had understood the fundamentals of navigation.
On day four, the Troop were awoken with a bang, as the training team “bumped” our harbour position. This sparked the Troop into immediate action, returning fire from the safety of our sleeping bags. This was a successful lesson in staying alert in the harbour position and showed us the importance of having sentrys. The Troop then packed up all the stores and proceeded into a five mile run back to camp. The pace was demanding, especially after a few days in the field, with almost all members of the Troop struggling with blisters. However, we all dug deep and completed the exercise as a strong body of men. The rest of the day saw us deservice our kit and clean our weapons. The general consensus within the Troop was that we had all put in 100% over the few days and had enjoyed the exercise.
Friday consisted of a Troop swim session, seeing us compete in various team challenges which we all enjoyed. The day finished with a double IMF period in preparation for gym pass out in two weeks time. The Troop preformed well, considering it was at the end of a very physically testing week.
The troop are now fully back in the swing of training and the weeks are starting to tick over. Bring on week 8!