186 TP Diary Week 6
Week 6 (Duty troop and families weekend recovery)
After having a “long weekend” after Families’ Day the Friday before, as we arrived back at CTC, some of us had grins and some had the infamous Sunday Night Blues. This had been our first weekend off doing any work or phys and on Monday morning 0800 after locker/accommodation inspection was a lovely IMF session with Cpl Jolly, it felt like we had never left. IMF was a fun yet sweaty way to get back into a full-on, intense week, learning some of the many vital skills required of a Royal Marine Commando.
We spent well over three hours forcing first aid into our heads. This was all spent doing practical work and writing notes which ended with us all doing a practical in front of everyone in our troop, which consisted of some of us looking like we were doing some serious kissing with the Annie dolls. It did brighten the day, being in a boiling hot room with no sun and as per… also no sleep!
Throughout the week we spent a lot of time and effort on map reading. The sessions were usually a one hour lecture before lunch then a 2-3 hour confirmation lesson after lunch to show we understood what we had previously been taught and to cover everything we will be using on the exercise next week – Marshall Star. There were some that couldn’t get their head around how a map or compass work, but with having WO2 Fyne, our troop commander also a Mountain Leader teaching us these lectures we soon had these covered and were moving onto the next topic within a very short space of time! Its fair to say our nickname ‘Nods’ was put to the test in these lectures. Thankfully WO2 Fyne has a crafty way of keeping us attentive; some extra curricular ‘wake ups’ at the front of the class.
Finally the day we had all been waiting for came around the corner in no time… A live firing exercises on the range. After the previous week on the blank round, close quarter battle lanes Woodbury Common, we were finally trusted to use live rounds. We had needed to pass multiple tests, both physical and mental. We were on the ranges from 0800 to around 1600 hours. We started off with prone position, the most common used firing position. We were told our limits on grouping of rounds on the targets was a 40mm circle. After we all did really well, with groupings of 22mm-35mm at 100m from the target, we were allowed to go onto some more firing positions with many more rounds being fired. We started session two on the ranges with the prone (lying on the floor) position, the kneeling position and ended with the seated position. Our range time was watched over by two of the Combat Marksmanship Team, the Corps shooting specialists and specialist shooting instructors in case anyone has any major issues learning the necessary skills to be good at shooting. We proffed massively as the entire team was about to help because they were shooting a competition at the same range complex we were using.
The phys never ends in this place, so the following day we were put into a nice early morning 5 mile booted run on our PTI’s favourite scenic route of the roads around camp, going past farms, through tiny villages and many fields filled with animals. One recruit was lucky to discover that dwarf cows don’t exist, but baby cows do! The effects of sleep deprivation seem to have hit this recruit particularly hard..!
On the Friday we were all told to wear civvy phys rig and line up outside the gates to go onto a run with some of our training team. A detail which had us all guessing what we were about to do, was why are we shoving money into our socks for a run? We soon found out the joys of training as we entered a 5 mile run filled with sprints and press ups midway with another circuit of press ups at the end on the beach! However, we made sure we did a vigorous cool down- all 28 of us bought an ice cream and drink from the local café.
All throughout the week from Monday to Monday 186 TP were also the duty troop. This didn’t really affect us in the day time as everyone on camp has pride in where we live so we clean up after ourselves leaving barely any mess. But from 1800-0730 12 lucky individuals from our troop which was rotated on a daily basis were chosen to guarantee the clean up of camp consisting of the church, naafi, gym, dhobi shack both evolutions. All of which had to be cleaned spick and span with an inspection followed out thoroughly on all parts by the duty Cpl. We were thinned out at between 2200-2300 hours but were on call until 0730 the following morning in case anything happened over night.
All in all the week for 186 troop was as fast paced as always, with morale booming, flying sky high for everyone as we see our next phase around the corner and as for every night in the grots, the standard routine after finishing a day at work training to become a Royal Marine Commando is spent doing the same no matter who you are. You will wash all your used kit for the day, dry it out iron what you need for the following day and revise with your oppos what you learnt that day. All other kit is folded neatly and placed in the locker in its correct spot ready for inspection the next day to learn more and sweat more. Not long left now!