185 Troop Week 21

1. Week 21 began with a sense of optimism amongst the troop. It was the week of Ex URBAN WARRIOR, an exercise designed to teach us modern urban combat (MUC) skills. The week is based at the MUC compound on camp, a hangar full of rooms and corridors with a gantry above our heads so the instructors can see what we are doing. Monday was spent with the Assault Engineers who introduced us to varying types of building defence and how to break into rooms using force in the event that they are locked.

2. Tuesday was when the troop got stuck into how to approach doorways and continue on to clear rooms using the five step method of entry. Throughout the week we would be using Simunition rounds, enhanced paintballs, rather than just blank. This meant that there was a risk of being shot and so it was all the more important to take on what was being taught.

3. We continued to develop these skills on Wednesday, learning how to move through corridors with multiple doorways and turn corners so that you are protecting your ‘oppo’. In the afternoon we received a lesson from police dog handlers about what their dogs are capable of. It was clear that they were highly trained and seeing them in action against one of the troop who was wearing protective clothing and running away was very impressive. They then showed us how the dogs can identify people in rooms, even if they are hiding, and show their handlers where they are. After that short insight we then returned to practising our MUC skills.

4. As well as continuing to develop our skills, on Thursday we conducted the 8 mile load carry. This was an 8 mile route around Woodbury Common and local roads carrying 69 pounds and our rifle. We had just over 3 hours to complete it and the whole troop got through, had a quick change and then back down to the MUC compound.

5. Friday was the day of our final attack which we didn’t know too much about until the Troop Commander gave us orders for an assault on a compound. We moved out onto the ‘top field’ by the rugby pitches and a Merlin helicopter came in to move us onto our target. After a quick brief from the crewmen we were off across Devon. As soon as the first section landed they went straight into the assault whilst the Merlin flew back to pick up the rest of the troop. Each section had been given a specific target so when the next section landed they continued the assault and the final section took the last objective. Throughout the attack we were required to use all the skills we had learnt throughout the week. Overall the troop performed well and the Training Team were pleased with the effort we had put in throughout the week, hard work does pay off.


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