172 Troop Week 22 + 23
Week 22 started with Adventure Training. After a rather early start, the Troop headed off to RMB Chivenor to start the week’s activities. These included mountain biking, kayaking and rock climbing. The weather for these two days was not the best, with strong winds and driving rain putting a dampener on an otherwise enjoyable couple of days. But at the back of all our minds was the upcoming exercise, a little one called Ex Violent Entry.
We started Violent Entry on Thursday afternoon, getting off the transport to the lovely place that is known as Sennybridge. To start with, a small insertion yomp was on the cards and the Troop completed this with no dramas. We then harboured up in a small woodblock and again, this was completed well. Our next objective was to take the purpose built training village that is Cileini Village. It is a built up complex of houses which is ideal to train in the art of FIBUA (Fighting in Built up Areas). After successfully taking the village and with a few points to bear in mind for next time, we set out fortifying our houses against enemy attacks. This included applying everything we had learnt with the Assault Engineers regarding sandbags and defensible positions. To further protect the village, we made roadblocks and sent out constant patrols, both urban and rural. A few scenarios presented themselves such as hostage rescue and ambush attacks on our patrols; the Troop dealt with these well and the couple of days we spent in Cileini soon flew by, it was now time to move to our next objective.
After another small yomp to a woodblock overlooking a farm complex, we devised an attack plan and carried it out very well. The enemy threat was neutralised and we occupied the position. With five sentry positions between four sections, we knew that sleep wouldn’t be in abundance. With constant enemy attacks and disruption going on, to have more than ten minutes sleep was considered a luxury. The next day we knew we had a rather long yomp so everyone tried to shovel as many rations and energy bars into their mouths as possible. It started at roughly 0800 hrs and the ground was, to put it kindly, rather hilly. The end objective to our yomp was a woodblock in close proximity to another small village. Once we arrived at the woodblock, we carried out a FIWAF (Fighting in Woods and Forests) attack and successfully cleared it. We learnt that communication was key in attacks like this as it is very easy to leave people behind or not have the correct support when going forward. With the enemy threat cleared, we set up a harbour in the woodblock, ready for the next and final attack on Village One.
Unfortunately, our standards in the harbour were not what they could have been and our timings and bearing let us down, we needed to redeem ourselves with the attack on the village. This commenced at some ungodly hour in the morning with three of the four sections moving into position ready to assault. The final section was to provide fire support from an overlooking woodblock and this came in the form of all four GPMG’s. With the attack underway, the first two houses were cleared without incident and all three sections moved in on the final, large building. With the only safe route of entry towards it being down a river, it was time to man up and get a little wet.
After it was successfully taken, a reorganisation was called and a debrief was given, it was now time to sort out all the equipment we had used, ammunition and radios. The coach ride back to base could have been just for sleeping but the Troop got around their weapons, cleaned them and then worked on the big guns.
A kit muster was to happen in the early hours of the next morning so the Troop dug out blind on the cleaning of their equipment and such likes. With the kit muster and weapons inspections out the way, it was time to enjoy the weekend and look forward to the next week.
172 Troop Week 22 + 23