162 Tp – Week 10 Training Diary
Hunters moon….the one exercise that strikes fear into every nod!
Monday morning was spent quickly collecting and fitting our gas masks for use later in training. We then boarded the coach for our first taste of Dartmoor, a place which will stick in my mind forever. It can be a picturesque area when the weather allows, but most of the time it can prove much more emotional.
The first couple of days were spent concentrating on navigation throughout the day and night, with the second night being an assessed effort in fire teams, during which Dartmoor decided to change again as the snow began to fall! In may? This made it even harder for the Troop as some lads experienced a whole new degree of cold.
The early part of the week also covered stalking, which was conducted over a 500m plot of land, where we had to sneak up on observers and get two shots off without being seen for maximum points. Already soaked to the skin from the torrential rain this was a good chance to enjoy crawling through rivers and mud to reach a target, using all of the tactical skills taught so far..
The second part of the week was spent in survival phase, this basically means we have everything taken off us and we have to survive for two days alone. So we split into our fire teams and got about building shelters and starting fires the way the ML’s had shown us a couple of weeks previously. One key factor was fire wood, as we needed to ensure our fire wouldn’t go out throughout the night. Later in the day we were met by the ML’s who assessed our shelters and fires, then taught us how to make dinner. This meant teaching us how to humanely kill and skin a chicken and fish, which was an experience for all of us. We then took our dinner back to camp where we began to cook it. Having not eaten for a couple of days, this was the best meal ever.
Once we had completed the extraction yomp we returned to CTC looking (and smelling) slightly worse for wear after a pretty cold and tough couple of nights. However after some rapid de-servicing of kit it was finally time to enjoy our long weekend back at home with the families.