159 Troop – Training Diary – Week 18
Monday morning, as always saw the Troop up dark, early and straight into the morning routine. Soon after, the showers were full of miserable faces and it wasn’t long before the dripping began – all of us complaining about being tired and just in general not looking forward to the next several days. Once the Troop were fully washed and rigged, we were straight down to the galley for some morning fuel. For most of us, it was full English and 2 bowls of cereal and that’s just the start of the massive daily intake required. Before we knew it , the Troop were falling in for a double period of bottom field including rope climbs, the assault course, fireman’s carry’s and regains, all with webbing, weights and our rifles. After phys we had to quickly get showered and changed ready to deploy onto Ex Second Empire.
On arrival in North Devon (Braunton Burrows) it was raining as it usually does for 157 Tp on our first day of exercise; it wasn’t long until we were off on our first detail. We patrolled in our sections, running through patrolling marches, section attacks, flanking attacks and fire & manoeuvre. After this we returned to the team HQ and patrolled off as a Troop to set up our harbour for the night.
Tuesday came around and the sun was shining, morale was noticeably better. Today would consist of section patrols with various contact serials, fire and manoeuvre techniques to either retreat from contact or advance and kill the enemy. The rest of the day went pretty much the same and our drills and skills progressed.
Wednesday arrived with an early morning stand to at 0415 hrs with a Troop Advance to Contact planned for the day, after receiving our orders. This was a hoofing morning and the attack went well considering it was our first attempt, although it was a hangout like all attacks are. The same principles are for section attacks as for troop attacks, the roles for each section were changed mid way through each serial to enable us to understand the different roles within the Troop Attack. At night fall we moved as a Troop to conduct an Ambush on an enemy patrol, we were all in position and waiting for the order to fire to be called. We heard the enemy patrol vehicle driving past and the order was finally given, rapid fire was underway and the enemy were killed and searched for any intelligence.
Thursday began with the usual stand to, followed by Troop orders and morning routine, before we were given section orders for our Troop Attack on Friday morning. Some sections stayed in the harbour area keeping it secure, whilst some others went out on patrols. One section was in an O.P keeping eyes on the enemy and gathering vital intelligence for the planned attack. I think it was safe to say that everyone was looking forward to the assault in the early hours of Friday morning, it would be hoofing.
Finally the time had come and Friday’s assault was near, the weather was looking good and everyone was more than up for the Troop attack. Surprise was the order of attack with mortar fire and then each section had their individual roles and orders to neutralise the enemy. The Troop thoroughly enjoyed the morning’s attack, on completion we returned back to HQ to get everything packed up ready for out 6 mile extraction yomp. Having completed a successful yomp we loaded stores and returned to camp to de-service. Friday night consisted of lots of admin, de-servicing and re-servicing all of our field equipment and Saturday brought another refreshing session of bottom field. All in all it was a hoofing week.