Troop Diary WK 25
Week 25 was an exciting week to look forward to for the troop, with a visit down to RM Poole for Landing craft drills scheduled for a couple of days and then over to HMS Excellent in Portsmouth to carry out sea survival and fire fighting drills.
The week started with a brief on the Monday morning from the Special Boat Service on selection and the criteria needed in order to gain a foothold within this branch of the special forces. Watching some videos and having a lecture from the training team at RM Poole certainly perked a few ears up and reminded the troop of the “Gucci” exercises and operations that one day we might get a chance to be involved in. Later in the day we moved onto the landing craft lectures with the LC instructors and then onto the eagerly awaited drills. The first drill to learn was how to re-right a capsized Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC) called a Zodiac. This involved the obvious – having to jump into the not so warm sea to practice the drills.
Day 2 was an introduction into the cross decking drills, something we all looked forward too. It involved heading out in an ORC and LCVP and transferring troops between the two at about 15 knots. Needless to say despite a few nerves we all found it enjoyable and again it was a reminder of why we all applied to join, just for the experiences like that.
Later in the day we carried out beaching drills too. This was how to assault a beach from both an IRC and an ORC while maintaining full tactical awareness and professionalism. All the lads seemed pretty happy to demonstrate these qualities and show the film crew who were following us, how it’s done. Who knows 156 troop could soon be the faces on the recruitment video’s!
Day 3 was an early morning down at HMS Excellence and onto sea survival. The basics were how to escape from a sinking ship, surviving using a once only survival suit, life rafts and the basic knowledge needed to stay alive should anything happen to the ship. Entry into the water was the first subject covered and after explanation seemed relatively simple. Later in the day we carried out entry into the water and moving off to a pre inflated life raft ensuring the drills taught were adhered to.
The final day of our week off camp saw us learning the basics of fire fighting on ships and how to use emergency breathing apparatus if needed. Following all the lectures and practical demonstrations, this culminated in a scenario in a special designed unit. The aim was to identify a fire, raise the alarm and tackle it using correct techniques and procedures.
The final day of the week was spent on camp and entailed our 25m LMG introductory shoot. Week 24 was a week of lectures, demonstrations and drills needed to become competent on the LMG. The shoot was brilliant and as a troop we performed well, minus the odd one or two mistakes in drills.
We now moved onto the final part of the week and something that had been in the minds of all the recruits for a little while, the dreaded mud run! A little browse over the estuary and some small hints from the training team confirmed to us that we were going to get friendly with the mud. Friendly probably isn’t the right description but despite it being covered head to toe in mud, the training team and recruits seemed to be able to smile about the whole situation. It is now the weekend and a long night of kit deservicing lies ahead. Next week sees our 6 mile speed march to gain our cap comforter and then onto Final Ex.