170 Troop Diary Week 4
The spirits of 170 Troop were high as we entered week 4 having received the weekend off to spend at home with friends and family for a much needed break. After plenty of rest the Troop were keen to get back into training on the Monday morning and were looking forward to our first exposure to life ‘in the field’.
Known as Exercise FIRST STEP we would be spending less than 24 hours living outdoors and learning all the basics that would see us through sustaining ourselves on exercise and operations. After packing our bergans and webbing we headed up to Woodbury Common, the training area approximately 4 miles from Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. This is where the majority of our early exercises will be conducted. Once deployed we learned all the basics about establishing harbours and what to do when you’re a sentry. This included being alert, challenging strangers and identifying friends and enemy at night. We also received a couple of other field lectures in how to properly wash, clean equipment and cook when on exercise. The feeding lecture in particular was particularly interesting as the troop were shown special ‘Officers Rations’ complete with fine silverware and china as well as candlestick holders and the morning paper. Half of the troop actually believed it until the end. lowing morning we were talked through our morning routine by the training team, the method and order that we get ourselves ready for a day in the field. This was followed by a ‘Kit Muster’, simply laying all of our kit and equipment out in front of us to be inspected. This proves that we have properly cleaned and looked after our equipment and we are ready for another day in the field.
We finished off the exercise with a march back to camp carrying our webbing and rifles. The distance was roughly 4-miles, along tracks, paths and roads, staying formed up as a Troop. Though the pace was steady it was new to be covering that distance in boots and also having to stay formed up and covered off with the guys around you. If one of us fell behind the pace at the front then everyone else would struggle as gaps opened up in the ranks.
Back on camp we continued to progress in the Gymnasium, learning a new routine using the wooden pull up beams to add to the rest of the disciplines conducted. Rope climbing improved throughout the Troop and everyone is starting to get to grips with the Initial Military Fitness floor routines. On top of this we conducted our Battle Swim Test, compromising of jumping into the pool, swimming within uniform, webbing and a rifle before treading water in order to pass. We have completed this two weeks early as a credit to the Troop’s swimming ability which we are all proud of.
This has been a busy week with lots of new information to take on board very quickly. We have certainly learned a lot and have made a large improvement on and off of camp. We are now looking forward to the weekend again for another short rest before what next week has to offer.