The Monday of Week 13 started with a nice surprise – CS gas exposure. We entered the gas chamber with our respirators fitted and then had to take them off, and report, before we could leave the chamber. On the Tuesday morning we deployed on Ex Baptist Walk which is a warm-up for Baptist Run, our Phase One test exercise next week. We did a stalk, a static and night navigation exercise, an observation stance and fire control orders. We were marked on all areas to give us an overall score which simulates how Baptist Run, a pass or fail exercise, will be marked.
We were back on camp Wednesday night but Thursday morning we set off to Yeovilton for Under Water Helicopter escape drills. This was one of the more disconcerting evolutions in training. You find yourself upside down, under water, in pitch black conditions, trying to escape from a sinking helicopter. However, everyone survived to tell the tale.
Friday we were on the live grenade ranges on Woodbury Common for our first go at throwing live hand grenades. It was daunting at first knowing what you had in your hand, but after a few throws everyone became proficient at it. Overall Week 13 was a very busy, but rewarding week.