158 Troop Chronicles
Well lets put it this way, Week 13 didn’t get off to the best start. With half the Troop going down with either food poisoning or D&V we only had half a Troop, me included as one of those going down.
But the lads cracked on with the week starting with being CS Gas drills which we were gutted we missed because apparently some lads were absolutely hilarious, hopefully there might be some footage in the final film of training. Then the lads cracked on with their first bottom-field session. In all it went well and gave us a good idea of what the rest of training will be like. Tuesday started with our first signals lessons which went well and was more of a relaxed mood than we were used to for a change. Wednesday was a fairly relaxed day as we again had a lesson of signals before we re-cleaned our rifles.
Thursday was the day I hadn’t been looking forward to at all! DUNKER DRILLS! We started early to at 0630 to HMS Yeovilton, a Royal Navy air base to carry out our criteria dunker drills. As per whenever we have a spare 15 mins on a bus we got our heads down, this time we had an hour and a half, prof! When we arrived we got our kit off the bus and went into the building, I wasn’t too nervous at first until I saw the lads go in front of me, then I started flapping!
We got our kit on and waited for our turn, I took a large breath just as the machine which picked 7 of us up before dropping us in the water or ‘oggin’. When we submerged I didn’t think it would be too bad but then I couldn’t open the seatbelt!! FLAP! FLAP! FLAP! Eventually I got it open and got out, it didn’t help with the diver laughing his head off when I appeared, thanks!
That was the first one done, the 2nd went ok, then it came to the dark ones… I was seriously flapping when it went down as I was the person who had to open the window! I managed to keep hold of the window and because we flipped upside down, I was completely disorientated and swam underneath the machine window in hand! The safety diver then appears as I am hyperventilating on the side; “keeping this as a souvenir were ya pal?” Ha! I just looked at him then got out, the end of dunker drills for me, thank God!
Friday was the day I had been looking forward to since I was ‘A4-ing’ my many rigs in foundation. Grenades! We started with a double session on bottom-field, where we performed well, smashing rope climbs for fun. Unfortunately, the effort levels dropped as we moved onto circuits and a good session turned into a very difficult and arduous one.
This seems to be 158 Tp’s downfall; we can smash something but then within a heartbeat we can mess it up, the quicker we stop doing this, we will be a strong Troop… I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but 158 Tp though, just so you don’t get any ideas, Sir! Then once we were dry and in fresh rig we set off to Woodbury common to blow some targets up. We got all the safety drills then the team put us all into the little cabin. There we waited for our go. As soon as my go came so did the nerves but as I threw the 2nd grenade, BOOM! All you heard was Cpl Martinez ‘Not again! So now I’ve got to replace another target!’ It wasn’t the last time a target needed to be replaced, good effort lads!
All in all Week 13 has been a good week with time to prepare for Ex Baptist Run
Roll on the rest of training!