Week 13 in training and it is dawning on us that we are almost half way through training now, it has gone so fast but feels like such a long time ago that we were running around like headless chickens in foundation.
Monday morning after the Battle Field Tour and we arrived back at CTC at 0130. Other than a little bit of sleep on the coach, we were straight back into another training week. Everyone loved France and all the things we were taught and witnessed first hand about what Royal Marines did during the Second World War, nevertheless after the trip it was back to reality, iron your rig for tomorrow and up in 3 hours at 0500 for our first period on bottom field. During this we were taught how to tackle the obstacles, the right technique and the best way to do them in the quickest time possible; getting wet and muddy is a big part of it, but it is much more fun the Gym.
What we all liked the most was the full regain, this looks hard but once you have the technique right you can keep doing them all day. Then we packed all our stuff for Ex BAPTIST WALK the first Troop ever to do this a practise Ex for BAPTIST RUN. We deployed to Woodbury and it started straight away with a stalk then a static map reading stance and practicing for all the things we will be getting tested on during Ex BAPTIST RUN. The weather was not good to say the least, low visibility and constant rain, which just makes the easiest things difficult, like writing on a piece of paper. That night we had a night navigation serial, still dripping wet from the constant rain. The only way to stay warm is to keep moving, so we all just wanted to get out there and do it, everyone had to do this alone following our grid bearing no matter what we had to go through, 98% of which was gorse bushes but we didn’t care. The sooner we got round the sooner we could get some dry rig on and get under our ponchos for the night. The next morning we had a kit muster and with this much rain it only meant one thing……. Rust…… a Rcts worst nightmare. Most people managed to do quite well and we all started to feel a bit more confident about the test the following week. Then we had a combat fitness test back to camp, 8 miles but this time it was with our bergans, walking up hill and running on the flats with 55 lbs of kit on our backs, everyone found this hard but nothing we are going to give up on, some lads fell behind a little due to injuries but everyone bar 2 with injuries completed it. Everyone drew confidence from this for our 4 mile speed march in week 14.
Thursday was a normal day on camp but Friday we had our second session on bottom field going through the full regain and a circuit involving the 6 ft wall, gravel pit, 15 ft logs and tyres…. proper man phys, everyone loved it. Later that day we completed grenade throwing, 2 grenades each which was excellent they are even louder than you think.
All in all a good week and another week done!