175 Troop – Training Diary – Week 10
Week 10 saw the Troop venture onto its toughest test yet, Exercise Hunters Moon. This was a five day exercise located on Dartmoor, the Exercise was aimed at improving our map reading/navigation; we also completed a survival phase. One of the toughest additions on this Exercise was the “Yomping” an integral part of Royal Marine training, this is effectively moving from A – B with all of your field kit. It all began with a 6 kilometre insertion yomp. This was from Princetown to a Scout hut where the Troop would be situated for the first three days. During this time the Troop got to enjoy lessons in stalking and observation and really honed in their map reading ability with numerous navigation exercises both during the day and at night. We also conducted a static map reading stance and we all appear to be getting better with every attempt at this. However it is safe to say that the recruits found it easier to find the bogs and puzzles of Dartmoor as opposed to their checkpoints. To the excitement of all members of 175 Troop the final two days of the exercise would see us enter the survival phase. This again would require a yomp of unknown distance with full kit. As well as being a physical challenge, this was a mentally enduring task. But in typical fashion each recruit put their head down and cracked on with the task at hand. After yomping through the dark hours we finally made it to a lay up position in an unknown wood block. The first task at hand was for each team of either 3 or 4 to build their own shelter, which saw some hoofing structures erected. The second job was to source some food and chickens and fish were on hand for us to prepare. However this experience was made all the worse by the inclement conditions, high winds and heavy ran meant that virtually every man was wet to the bone and the only heat to be had was by the fires which were increasingly difficult to keep alight. Either way we made it through the night, however some of us were a little worse for wear then others. We then extracted and the majority of us made it to our pick up point in the morning where some hot food awaited us. This was a welcome surprise and the survival phase made us really appreciate the kit that we do carry with us. We are now all looking forward a well deserved 2 week break back with friends and family at home and ready for the new challenges next term.