163 Troop Training Diary – Week 8
163 Troop started week 8 with 3 periods of drill in our newly issued barrack dress trousers. After a solid inspection, we moved on to learn a sequence of turns whilst in Quick-Time, (the movement for changing step). Turning in Quick-Time took a few attempts to perfect, but we are now confident as a Troop in our ability to complete the phase 1 drill pass out. If the next few sessions go as planned, we should be moving onto weapons drill very shortly. Once drill was completed, we were marched back to the accommodation where we were informed of our inspection that was to follow on Wednesday. We knew we had some late nights of administration coming up in order to ensure the whole Troop was to pass the inspection successfully.
Our next detail was a 4 mile booted run outside camp with the PTI. We had done this route several times before, so we knew the pace would be a lot quicker this time in order to show our progression through training. The opening pace was quick, and the Troop had to work hard to maintain this throughout – especially as the hot weather accompanied us. We stuck with the PTI’s pace, and when we saw the “500m to go” sign, we knew the job was almost done! We were welcomed in the top field by a 4 minute set of squats, just what we needed after and run in boots! Once the phys was finished, we received positive feedback from the PTI who told us we should have no problem completing the criteria 4 Mile Speed March Test.
After some well earned scran (food), we were instructed on some advanced aspects of map reading, this included using bearings to pin point the location of enemy targets, and using several features on a map to pin point your own location (Line intersection and Resections).
We ended the day with an IMF session; these sessions were mainly focused on press up routines, ropes and sit ups. We received more positive feedback about our performance, which helped increase Troop’s morale towards our gym tests next week.
Tuesday started with a double period of CQC (Close Quarter Combat), where we learned more techniques on how to recover from positions of disadvantage. The session went well and we covered 4 different ground manoeuvres and got a lot of practise time in. A swim circuit with weights and equipment was planned for us in the following period, but it didn’t last long due to certain individuals not putting the required effort levels in, the period was changed to a high pressure hypoxic session where we had no choice but to put 100% in.
After lunch we had several lectures on first aid, covering subjects such as using stretchers, treating for burns and for shock.
Locker inspection started at 7.30 hrs and although the rounds went well, we had to do a room change due to the Troop not being ready to report on time. After the morning’s admin, we had another 4 mile run but this time it included fartlek training. The run was completed as a troop and we received more positive feedback about our performance. Wednesday afternoon was filled with drill periods, and although a few recruits were put on the flank, we covered a lot of movements. These included the about turn in Quick-Time, marking time and the transition from Quick-Time to slow time.
We spent the whole of Thursday at Stallcombe wood with the Mountain Leaders learning basic survival skills for use in the field. The lessons started with the basic principles of survival and then moved on to shelters, fire lighting, finding water and setting snares. The skills we learned today will all be put into practise on week 10 when we deploy on Exercise Hunters Moon, as this includes a 48 hour survival period. Prior to this exercise we had to work on our survival tins, as this is all we will be left to survive with. The tin is only the size of a tobacco tin, and it should contain basic items to help with fire lighting, hunting, acquiring water and navigation.
The first period of the day was a Corps history lesson with our DL (Drill Leader) which covered the first 3 Victoria Cross winners and Corps memorable dates. We moved to the gym next for a single IMF session; our PTI was happy throughout the period and we seemed to cover a lot, nearly all of the Troop made the rope climbs. The rest of the afternoon was spent on bottom field for a map reading exercise using locations across the estuary. We did mock style questions that will be similar to the ones we will do in the criteria map reading tests. The questions involve judging distance, using grid references, resections and taking bearings.
For the lads that weren’t on duty, our last detail of the week was 2 periods of drill. We have already finished learning everything in the syllabus so we just revised the whole thing again. We briefly touched on the opening sequence for arms drill, as this is what we will be starting next week after our Troop Commanders inspection on Monday. We moved through the session quickly and grasped all the drill movements without any problems.