182 TROOP WEEKLY DIARY – WEEK 5
This week the Troop was deploy to Woodbury Common for Ex QUICK COVER, but not before we were to lace up our trainers and head out to the local roads for a 4 mile run, the furthest distance we have run since arriving at CTC. It presented no major difficulties and was a good introduction to running as a body of men in preparation for speed marching.
We arrived at Woodbury Common via coach and after carrying out the usual safety procedures and setting up the team admin area we began our instruction for the day with “why things are seen”, followed by Camouflage and Concealment. Unfortunately for Rct Graham, the instructor needed to demonstrate what too much cam cream looked like and he ended up with at least half an inch of cam cream spread over his face. We were then instructed how to use foliage to camouflage our helmets, webbing and weapon before being split into 2 groups to play a game of hide and seek, Royal Marines style!
After a few more lectures it was time to establish our harbour position for the night; this is a relatively secure location where the Troop sleeps whilst in the field, providing all round defence in the event of an enemy attack. As soon as we had set up our harbour we paid a quick visit to Peter’s Pool so that we could practice Wet and Dry routine under field conditions. We then began our routine of cooking scran, establishing sentries and getting our heads down for the night.
At 0530 the next morning the Troop was awake and conducting administration in preparation for that morning’s kit inspection. Fortunately I managed to scrape through and therefore enjoyed a brief respite and a hot wet with my other oppos who had passed the inspection.
The rest of the day was filled with more lectures; from the various ways of judging distance to observation stances but the highlight was the lesson of reaction to effective enemy fire and close quarter battle (CQB). This was our first opportunity to fire blank rounds in training and put into practice all the skills we have learnt so far in a soldiering scenario which certainly got the adrenaline going.
The second evening was very similar to the first and we were again up at 0530 preparing for the second kit inspection. We then developed the skills we had learnt the previous day with a demanding CQB lane where we practiced fire and manoeuvre, a key principle of attack, over 150 metres of arduous terrain. The trick of fire and manoeuvre is lots of communication and aggression which our pair was told we demonstrated well. After fighting through 3 enemy positions, we moved back onto out kit to prepare for the march back to CTC.
Before we knew it Families’ Day had arrived and we were given the chance to see our families for the first time in 5 weeks. Whilst rehearsing our drill movements we were picked up for the First Drill for our slow marching. He reminded us why we do it and that it would be our duty to a fallen comrade by perfecting this movement. It was at this moment where it ‘clicked’ for many of us; this isn’t something we do for the sake of it, like everything else in training it serves a very real purpose and should be done with 100% effort. After demonstrating a gym session to our families we were reunited with them and allowed to proceed on weekend leave, ready to come back refreshed for week 6.