Ex Baptist Run started off at midday on Tuesday with an insertion onto Woodbury Common by coach. When we got into our harbour position we took down some bivi’s that belonged to the army, (which I’m sure they were not too happy about), so that we could erect the team tent and stores. We then went into static map reading, FCO’s, observation and target indication stances which were testing but good fun at the same time as I felt I learnt a lot from the stances. We then started the first of 3 night navigations. I was very worried as on the previous night navigations I had done poorly. After checking myself several times, a few mountains of gorse and a few swamps later I managed to make it back to the start/finish point which was a big relief. Rct Burrows had not come to the last checkpoint and had gone walkabout. We are still not sure what bearing Burrows was heading on that night or what he was looking for! After long periods of shouting and whistling Rct Burrows made his way to the finish, the lost procedure worked.
The second day of Ex Baptist Run followed in the same fashion as the first day but it all seemed to be slightly harder and more testing, especially the night navigation which most managed to get round all the checkpoints in a respectable time. A few of the lads struggled but I don’t think any of them got completely lost like Burrows did. On the final day of Ex Baptist Run it was the same again but also more challenging again with the stalks from day one to day three becoming very hard. I personally got spotted just before I got into the engagement box which I was very disappointed about. We had more stances which I think we all benefitted from as a Troop.
The exercise culminated in a yomp back to Lympstone Commando straight after the night navigation. About halfway into it were all hallucinating, I kept looking up and thinking Rct Albiston had his map fully extended walking along reading it like a newspaper and next moment he had a young child beneath his arm, which was very weird! The yomp back was extremely testing as everyone was cold, wet and tired from the night navigation, but all of the lads dug out and everyone completed the yomp as a Troop.
Baptist run was very testing exercise and highlighted the areas in which we all need to improve on. It was also very enjoyable.