170 Troop Diary Week 11 & 12
Returning from weekend leave and a hard week on Dartmoor before that, we were all looking forward to the troop’s live firing package at the nearby Straight Point ranges. We would be there for the next two weeks putting in to practice all of the marksmanship and shooting techniques that we had been taught.
With all kit packed we moved down to the ranges and after a safety brief we were straight on to the Gallery Range to zero our weapons. This was done at 100m from our targets and involved firing groups of rounds and making adjustments to our sights, with the help of the training team, until where we were aiming was where the rounds were hitting the target. By the end of the day we were all zeroed and ready to progress on to the various shoots that we had ahead.
Next up were ‘Point of Aim’ shoots at the 200m, 300m and finally 400m points. This involved again firing groups of rounds at the different distances and adjusting where we were aiming until we were hitting accurately on to the target. This was vital for the Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT), that we would be expected to pass at the end of the week. It includes firing from different positions at different ranges so knowing exactly where to aim was very important.
By Thursday we were already practicing for the ACMT on the Electronic Target Range (ETR) and began assessments at each distance as we would do on our Test. These were done from different firing positions including standing, kneeling, lying and inside of a trench. Each time we had a debrief on how we had done and what to improve on. On the Monday morning of the second week we were told that we would be doing our first ‘mock’ ACMT to prepare us for the real thing and were told to do our best. Relaxed, we all went through the test and were pleased to hear the majority of us had passed with just 1 or 2 attempts, though it was the real thing not just a ‘mock’! 19 of us had passed the test first time with a good score meaning we earned a Marksmanship Award which we would wear on our blues uniform on completion of training.
With the ACMT out of the way we moved to the 25m range for an introduction to Close Quarter Battle (CQB) shooting drills. These are the techniques of shooting used while operating in urban areas and have been developed over the last few years. We started initially with ‘Point of Aim’ shoots as we had done with our conventional marksmanship but this time quicker at the shorter distance. The rest of the week we were practiced in different techniques including speed and tactical reloads along with failure and box drills, methods of neutralising an enemy as quickly as possible. We advanced on to multiple targets and neutralising two threats at once. By the end of the second week we were all highly proficient and able to change magazines in only a few seconds. This was the best part of the two week package and we all relished being on the range and working through the CQB techniques. It has been a successful week and another step closer to our goal.