170 TROOP WEEKLY DIARIES
After the taxing Ex FIRST BASE the previous week the whole troop was looking forward to what would hopefully be a more relaxing week back on camp. With a number of interesting evolutions in store it would be a welcome breather before another tough field exercise next week. Further to this over the weekend we had taken part in the Unit Remembrance day Parade, with all of CTCRM out in their finest drill rig and blues uniform. Despite the sobering thoughts of remembrance it was good to be part of the special parade.
Monday began with a small scale signals exercise around camp to practice us in our voice procedure (VP), the way which we speak on the radio to one another. Running around the camp we sent and received messages to each other operating the Bowman 354 radio sets until we were all up to a good standard. With more demanding field exercises coming up we are all aware that being able to competently send important messages on the radio and sounding professional is very important.
On completion of this we went straight on to the Bottom Field for a gruelling session to get us back into the swing of things. We practiced all of the basics including the rope climbs, fireman’s carries and regains, along with a cheeky circuit of the assault course. The troop worked as hard as we could knowing that the time left before our Bottom Field assessment is getting ever shorter. Despite the arduous session we performed well and our efforts were commended by the Troop PTI.
Tuesday started much the same back on Bottom Field, this time with the troop broken down into three groups conducting a round robin of all the basics. Again the troop worked hard with the majority of us already confident with most of the exercises, though a few still struggling. The afternoon saw an interesting change in pace with a visit from a Merlin helicopter manned by the RAF. After landing at CTCRM the crew gave us a tour of the airframe before doing shuttle runs to and from nearby Woodbury Common which was enjoyed by the whole Troop.
On Wednesday we deployed to Bovington Camp, Dorset where we were introduced to the Viking armoured vehicle. After a number of introduction lessons and briefs we learned how to load in and out of the vehicle and how to escape from it quickly. The next day we went through the use of the re-breather apparatus. A device that re-uses your exhaled breath to help you survive underwater for a few minutes. This is used in the event of a vehicle capsizing or rolling into water and gives you the precious time to escape. This was a concern for the weak swimmers as we went through the drills in the pool however everyone passed without any real problems. The same afternoon each section embarked into vehicles and practiced the escape drills as the Vikings conducting an amphibious move across a lake on the training area. This is a bit unnerving as water covers the small porthole in the back of the vehicles armoured door and it was impressive to see how the Viking crosses water.
Finally on Friday we received deployment orders for our next field exercise and went straight into preparation for Monday. We have all enjoyed a quiet week however we will be right back into the thick of it next week.