162 Tp – Week 16 Training Diary
162 Troop have now moved into Phase 2 of Royal Marines Training. Week 16 was our first week of this Phase and needless to say morale and spirits were very high amongst the lads. Everyone was happy and proud to wear the green belts, and Section IC’s and 2IC’s amongst us were also very proud to wear the Section tapes that we have worked so hard for.
Week 16 started with a 4 day exercise called First Base. In this exercise we learned very important things that we would eventually use in our everyday lives at a Commando Unit and on Operations. Everything was tactical now and this exercise would show us how important all the things we learned in Phase 1 really were. The whole troop was looking forward to this exercise. Although the load we had to carry got heavier and the tasks we had to do were more demanding, it still proved to be a great exercise. We learned how to conduct Recce Patrols, Break Contact Drills, Observation Posts and how to set up our own tactical harbour areas.
The exercise started with a detailed set of orders assigned to us, stating that there was going to be a role playing enemy in the area. We first learned how to conduct Break Contact Drills in case we got contacted by the enemy. Camouflage and concealment became more apparent and we no longer needed to be prompted to “Cam up”. You don’t want to be seen by the enemy if your job is to get close and gather info on them! After a day of Break Contact Drills 162 Troop now had the opportunity to gather info on the enemy by sending a Recce Patrol to their location. The whole troop conducted good drills while patrolling to the position. Everyone kept noise and light discipline, using hand signals as taught by our training team.
The Troop was split in half; 1 and 2 Section had a go at setting up a Covert OP while 3 and 4 section conducted Recce Patrols. We got in a position where we could actually see the enemy and their activities with our night sights and equipment, and this gave the whole troop a boost of adrenaline and excitement! Our job was to gather as much information as we could. My team managed to sneak up on an enemy vehicle and acquired a map with invaluable information! After our Recce Patrols were finished we then had to get back to our harbour and report everything we saw to our superiors.
The next day 1 and 2 sections switched roles with 3 and 4 section. It was now our turn to set up an OP. Again being tactical was the key. We got in a good position where we could see the ground and activity in front of us while obviously not being seen by the enemy. We managed to get more information on the enemy and their plans. The next day the Troop was more than happy; the training team told us that a different unit now had enough information to be able to disrupt the enemy thanks to out efforts!
At the end of the week the exercise was over and we headed back to camp. A very good start of Phase 2 for 162 Troop! Exercises will now get more interesting and we all can’t wait to deploy on the next one.