RECRUIT DIARY WEEK 24 – 181 TROOP
Following the trials of Ex VIOLENT ENTRY, Week 24 was to be a more laid-back week – based predominantly from camp. The week’s objectives were twofold: firstly, training on the Light Machine Gun (LMG); and secondly, an introduction to the Commando Tests, prior to deploying on summer leave – probably the longest awaited 3 weeks of our lives!
After a 6-mile booted run on the Monday to familiarise us with the speed-march route, we had our first taste of endurance course on the Tuesday. This first acquaint was conducted without the weighted kit and rifle but was arduous all the same. We traversed the many obstacles (pools, streams, crevasses, mud pits, climbs, falls, and submerged tubes) which comprise the enthralling 2-mile tunnels phase: firstly as a Troop, and then again as individuals. We then ran the 4 ½ miles of cross country / lanes back to CTCRM as a Troop.
Wednesday was the introduction to the high-ropes and obstacles of the Tarzan Assault Course. This was a very technical session, concentrating on the many techniques that must be mastered to transition from each obstacle to the next – nerve wracking stuff. However, it is the speed and efficiency of these transitions which will ultimately determine whether we can pass the test in time or not.
Throughout the week we were also undertaking practical training on the LMG – another support weapon to offer versatility to the effects that a Royal Marine Troop can utilise. The LMG is a lightweight machine-gun which fires the NATO 5.56 mm round – offering a balance of accuracy and area suppression. We found it relatively quick to adopt the drills and techniques because they resemble that of the GPMG. We have also found that our general confidence with the use and handling of weapons has improved week on week through phase 2 – mainly because of the increased exposure of constantly being in tactical field conditions. Before we knew it, Thursday had arrived and all that stood between us and Summer Leave was a deep clean of the accommodation. It has been a very demanding term, the whole of Phase Two has neatly fitted into this term and it has been the hardest thing we’ve ever had to endure. We start the Commando Phase straight after leave and whilst we know that it will go up several more gears before the end, at least the end is in sight now.