170 Troop Diary Week 6
Week 6 is the final working week before Commando Training Centre Royal Marines deploy on Summer Leave so therefore the week has been shortened and compressed slightly in order to get us all away. We started the week on Sunday and spent the whole day learning the basics of navigation and simple map reading both in the classroom and then practically around camp. We learned how to read from Ordinance Survey maps as well as use our light weight compasses and set bearings. These would be the skills that would set us up for the coming exercises the other side of our 3 week summer break. After lots of Powerpoint lecture giving us the theory we moved to the Bottom Field area of camp overlooking the Exe estuary and took bearings to features that we could see and then pick out on our map until we were all confident in the process.
On Monday we switched the focus to First Aid, naturally a very important subject for life in the Royal Marines, learning all the basics of dealing with injuries. We were taught CPR and had life sized dummies to practice the techniques and went through dealing with casualties using each other as real life dummies. This first aid training will continue throughout phase 1 with periodic tests and practical exams.
On Tuesday we had our first exposure to firing ‘live ammunition’ on the 25 metre range on camp. Everyone was naturally excited and apprehensive with many of us never having fired a rifle before. The shoot itself consisted of firing 5 rounds at a time at different aiming markers on a target, the point being not to focus of hitting the aiming markers but to get the 5 rounds as close to each other. This is known as group size and the smaller the group size the better our marksmanship. There were some impressive group sizes from the troop and everyone enjoyed the afternoon shooting.
Wednesday was then the last day of our short week. We ran a 5 mile run around the local lanes between camp and Woodbury Common and finished the day with an intense gym session. The Troop PTI was happy with our performance but warned us all not to un-do the hard work that we had put in over the last 6 weeks by not doing and training over our 3 weeks off.
Finally then on Thursday came and we all departed camp back to our homes all over the UK, not however without a bit of cleaning and tidying to ensure the accommodation was ready for our return. We were all excited and looking forward to the break but we know there is still lots to do the other side of Summer Leave and lots of challenges to come.