162 Tp – Week 18 Training Diary
162 Troop entered week 18 of training looking forward to completing our next exercise – Exercise Second Empire. This exercise was to be conducted in a new training area for the Troop – ‘Braunton Burrows’ in north Devon, from Monday to Friday.
The Troop departed from camp early Monday afternoon after a bottom field session in the hot sun during the morning. It was clear that if the heat was to keep up all week that it would be a difficult exercise, still… it was a nice change to the rain and cold which the Troop seemed to have had on earlier exercises.
Upon arriving at Braunton Burrows, we immediately went into a demonstration of a section attack, then started practising the attacks ourselves. It was quite difficult at first as there was lots of information to take in and many different factors to think about whilst conducting the attack. It was a good indication whilst doing the attacks that this exercise would be an interesting experience.
After this we conducted a yomp to our harbour area. With the humidity, the factor of walking on sand and the weight of our bergans (with some recruits having to carry extra radios) this yomp was quite a test to the troops determination to complete it. We set up our harbour area and sentry routines for the night. During the night we were approached and attacked by the training team on two occasions and therefore had to adapt quickly to the situation and complete the correct procedure to defend our harbour.
The next day we conducted a round robin of section attacks across the area with trained ranks acting as our enemy and firing back blank rounds at us. This was an enjoyable evolution but we felt the full impact of the heat. We also got to know the sand dunes, whilst having to run up them to perform left and right flanks on the enemy position. After attempting to run up the dunes they were quickly nicknamed ‘The Travelator’ due the similarities to the obstacle on the show ‘Gladiators’.
The Troop returned to the harbour set it up securely and grabbed as much sleep as possible as we were given a warning order that the Troop would perform troop level attacks and we knew it would be a demanding day.
On Wednesday we were given full orders on the troop attacks. During this evolution it was good to work with the whole Troop and we had to keep changing formations in sections to take down the enemy in the best way. The troop attacks were a step up from section attacks and that meant more information to take in, and a lot more awareness was needed so you knew where and what the other sections were doing.
Wednesday evening half of the troop went out to perform observation posts and recce patrols on the enemy, whilst the other half kept the harbour area secure. With the information gained from the relevant sections recce patrol and observation posts – we were to conduct a deliberate troop attack on a known enemy position Thursday morning. This again was enjoyable and the Troop performed well in clearing the area. After this the other half of the troop went and sited observation posts to watch over potential ambush positions for when the enemy moved through.
When the time came to set the ambush the whole Troop got into position and had to wait out for enemy movement into the early hours of Friday. Once the trip flares were triggered the killing group who were position above the enemy on high ground engaged and took out the enemy moving through the ambush area. We then completed another yomp to our harbour position for our final night.
We awoke Friday morning in good spirits as we had enjoyed conducting the ambush. We completed the relevant admin to clear the area of all the team stores and got transport back to CTC. Upon arriving back at camp we had to de-service all our kit and then had a bottom field session Saturday morning. The session felt quite tough due to being fatigued from the field but the Troop performed well and secured the rest of the weekend off.
Overall the troop thoroughly enjoyed Ex Second Empire, and performed to a high standard. Training is constantly becoming more interesting and we go into week 19 looking forward to what is coming up next