182 TP WEEKLY DIARY – WEEK 10
Monday morning arrived with a certain feeling of trepidation as this week our Troop faced Ex HUNTER’S MOON. This exercise enjoys a fearsome reputation on the ‘nod vine’ and as always with rumours; they turned out to be both true and false in equal measure.
After having our gas masks fitted and shown how to look after them we set off for Dartmoor. On the insertion yomp we each took turns to navigate a leg and after a few hours we arrived at the base for the first phase of the Exercise. That night we completed a night navigation in our sections accompanied by a member of the training team. This was quite challenging as thick fog and heavy rain had set in, reducing visibility to a few metres. This highlighted the importance of trusting our bearings and counting our paces.
The next morning we had the customary kit inspection before setting off on a daytime yomp carrying full bergens. It was useful to navigate during the day and practise relating the map to the ground, a key skill of navigation. Throughout the day we encountered variable weather conditions, bogs, rivers and baby heads, all of which pose an extra challenge when carrying full marching order. On completion we had a few hours rest before beginning another night navigation, this time in fire teams with no training team supervision. However, the conditions were a lot more favourable and the whole troop completed the exercise in time.
The next day started with another kit inspection followed by a stalk and a static map reading stance. We then had an extraction yomp before looking forward to the final phase of the exercise; survival training. On reaching he new training area in darkness, we were let loose to build shelters and survive for 2 nights. The next day we were shown by Mountain Leaders how to kill, prepare and cook fish and chicken which we enjoyed for dinner that night. After eating it was a case of continuing to improve our shelters and keep the fire going throughout the night.
After a short extraction yomp the exercise was finished. We had gained a great deal of experience, reminded our feet what we had signed up for and could cross another week off our 32 week calendar.