172 TROOP DIARIES
Having been in the troop for a good month now and having come into the Tp from Hunter Coy after I was injured in week 7 from my old troop 6 months ago, I was now starting to feel like I was a bit more accepted and starting to become one of the men of 172 Troop.
With one of the toughest exercises cracked and completed to a professional standard, we carried on into week 11 of recruit training and into our range package. This part of training was one of the weeks I was looking forward to as I want to work with weapons in the future and hopefully become a PW if I am successful with recruit Training.
Straight Point range was where we would be calling home for the next two weeks and without any messing about we found ourselves packed up and on the coach looking forward to a bit of live firing. Our first port of call, after a quick tour of the ranges by some mental Ex-submariner called ‘Steve’, was the gallery range where we would zero our weapons from 100m. This was our first test as we had only ever been on a 25m range back on camp. I personally wasn’t too worried about the change in distance but from the look on some of the lads faces when they were told what we would be shooting at and from you could see some of the boys were probably going to struggle. Luckily 80% of the Troop managed to get some good groupings.
Day 2 was all about finding our points of aim (POA). This is the part of the target you have to aim at to find out where your round is going to hit once fired. For example, if you aimed at the dead centre and your round hit top left of the target, you would have to change your aim to the bottom right so that you were then hitting the middle of the target. Everyone’s POA is different and luckily for me I didn’t really have to change too much. When we started shooting there were rounds going off everywhere and it looked like we were never going to get it, however, once we got a few better aimed shots off, all the lads found their POAs and finished on a high for the day.
The next day we moved onto the Electronic Target Range (ETR). This was the range we were all looking forward to because we would be hitting targets that fell down on impact. When you fire a round and the target goes down it’s a pretty ‘hoofin’ feeling and I loved it! I personally, along with most of the troop, did pretty well and passed all the tests which was good for morale. We completed another day with some good shooting and got another chuck up from the training team – mainly for not messing up more than anything but we’ll take all the chuck ups thrown at us!
Day 4 came around and we were back on the ETR range. Getting the rounds down again with some good shooting from all the lads who were starting look a bit more like soldiers rather than the week 6 civvis I first met a month. Another good day of shooting completed and we were all looking forward to the last day on the range because we were only doing a half day before the weekends carnage came upon us!
Day 5 was a short day with a quick visit to the ETR range before packing up a few things for the weekend and heading back to camp at 12 and back to our proper home.
Another week completed and a good week for 172 Troop. I think I can speak for all the lads and say that the first week of straight point ranges was very enjoyable with everyone is starting to feel much more comfortable with a rifle in their hands after getting more than a few rounds down this week. The lads again came together on the weekend as a troop for a few quiet wets in the naffi bar watching the rugby and then a couple of us headed into Exeter for a few loud ones which was a great way to end a solid week for 172 Troop.