157 week 26/27

Week 26 brought both excitement and nerves to the lads of 157 knowing that final ex was on the doorstep as we were departed on the Thursday. However we were all eager to earn our cap comforters early on the Monday morning by completing are 6 mile speed march, of which the Troop exceeded expectation by having a 100% pass rate. Tuesday morning and all the Troop were on a high, completing are 6 mile speed march was such a big benchmark within training signifying we were now in the Commando phase of training. At mid day we left Lympstone and travelled to Foggin Tor for a day with the mountain leaders. The day consisted of abseiling drills, methods of ascending cliff faces and procedures conducted when assaulting a steep rocky position. The Troop performed well and despite a late return to camp, thoroughly enjoyed a hard beneficial day of training. Final Ex, considered as one of the hardest and biggest benchmarks within Royal Marine Training was now upon us. Leaving CTC at lunchtime, we set off to RM Poole to begin the exercise. Our initial tasking was to conduct a beach assault followed up by advancing across a peninsula clearing all enemy positions, after completion of that serial we had a long yomp which went into the hours of Friday morning. We then travelled to Sennybridge in Wales, already tired and worn out the coach offered a welcome bit of sleep and recovery of which all the Troop took advantage of knowing we wouldn’t be getting any for the foreseeable future.
Now in Wales, we began the second phase of the exercise, in total we were there for 4 1/2 days. We began with a yomp across the training ground of Sennybridge before setting up our first harbour position. Emotionally and physically drained we set up are harbour location within a woodblock and began our work routine. From this location we sent out recce patrols and observation posts to monitor potential enemy positions over the coming days. Troop serials involved a deliberate attack on two built up buildings with known enemy inside, an advance to contact patrolling and clearing through a re-entrant and an ambush. Tuesday arrived and the whole Troop was fatigued like never before, but Tuesday also signified that we would be entering the final phase of the exercise as we were to be travelling to Caerwent. Upon arrival we disembarked onto the training area car park and began to unload the Bergans and relevant supplies for the insertion yomp. Thankfully it wasn’t the longest yomp ever, but again it offered itself as a big enough challenge as the Troop were exhausted, with heavy legs and aching backs. The final two days of the exercise were considered by most of the troop to be the highlight of our adventure; we entered into a forward operating base situated towards known enemy positions. We then operated on a rotational basis, working between different positions within the FOB as sections. The hours were long and rest was rare, but the activities conducted were enjoyable overall. We carried out patrols, Quick Reaction Force patrols, Operation Room work and sentry on Sangers. On the final morning of the exercise, we took part in the final serial of the exercise which was a deliberate attack on an in depth enemy position. Overall the Troop performed well and the attack brought together all we had learnt from our time at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.

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