On Monday before we deployed onto Ex QUICK COVER, we went for a 4 mile run in boots. It wasn’t too bad once we got used to running with something heavier than a trainer on our feet. On return to camp we loaded stores and moved to Woodbury Common where the weather – which wasn’t great – steadily got worse over the first 24 hours. Lessons followed on camouflage and concealment, observation, why things are seen and movement with weapons and then we were able to put things into practise.
After moving into Section positions for the night we were given some correctional exercises as we did not have Sentries out when told to do so. Due to the weather the Troop got another night to practise wet and dry… eugh.
The next day I was up at 0530 and had a hot breakfast and hot wet in preparation for the 0800 kit muster. It didn’t go too badly but there is still massive improvement needed, especially on weapon cleaning which is something I struggle with. After this we conducted Daily Exercises – which is basically phys in the field run by the PTI – lots of duck walks and hill sprints.
After that we continued lectures for the day which included judging distance and were given binos and laser-range finders to help obtain set distances to objects. Then finally after that we began our lesson on Fire and Manoeuvre. Once we had the lecture we moved down to the Close Quarter Battle (CQB) lane to practise. Unfortunately we all had a bit of an epic due to stoppages – due to our magazines and weapons not being cleaned well enough. We were given more time to clean our weapons again after the team again explained the importance of clean weapons.
We had finished for the day as the light disappeared and were once again placed into our positions for the night. I was on the last sentry which was good as I was awake and could clean my weapon straight away when sentry finished. The kit muster went better than the first day but I still had dirty magazines and a dirty weapon with some rust on. The second day of fire and manoeuvre went much better than the first as the Troop had worked hard to clean weapons.
We packed our Bergens after the lesson and readied ourselves for the yomp back to CTCRM. We didn’t carry the rocket pouches but the weight was a bit heavier than the last time we walked back from Woodbury. I found the first 20 minutes quite difficult but got used to it and dare I say enjoyed the last mile or so.
We de-serviced our kit overnight and even though I didn’t sleep very much I was happy with the standard of my kit. The team weren’t as impressed though and the majority of the Troop – because of a poor Drill session – had an extra parade in the Drill shed.
The next day was families day and the majority of the Troop hadn’t seen their family for five whole weeks. Drill went ok but IMF was good and the Troop performed well. A whole weekend off, awesome.