185 Troop Week 25

Week 25 was taken up with Ex SEA SENSE, a training package based on sea survival at HMS Raleigh, a naval base the other side of Plymouth.
Monday was spent learning about how to deal with fires. It started with the theory side of what to do in the event of a fire, how this differs when you are on a ship, and which extinguishers to use for the different types of fire (electrical, flammable liquids etc). We were then shown how to use an oxygen mask located on ship that is designed to protect you from smoke inhalation, giving you 10 minutes of air to clear any obstructions and evacuate the area. In the afternoon we learnt what to do in the event of a flood before moving on to the practical side of training. This was a lot of fun as we took turns to enter a fire fighting simulation where we had to put out real fires using the equipment we had been briefed on.
On Tuesday we moved on to sea survival and spent the morning going over the equipment used such as the life jackets and rafts. We got shown how to apply all the safety gear and were given 2 minutes to put it all on ourselves – not an easy task. We went over the work routine on a life raft in different weather conditions and what to do in the event of a casualty. After lunch we then put these skills into practise, jumping into a pool with all our safety equipment on, swimming over to a life raft and flipping it the right way up. We then got inside it and practised a series of different scenarios based on what we had learnt in the morning.
Following on from last week’s introduction to the LMG we conducted an introductory shoot on the Wednesday so that we knew how the weapon system fired and what it is capable of. This was followed by a gym session taken by Navy PTIs who were clearly glad to see some enthusiastic Royal Marine recruits who aren’t shy of a few press ups!
We progressed onto more tactical training on Thursday with landing craft operators from the Royal Marines. We started off with a familiarisation to some of the boats used before jumping into the sea and learning how to flip and get back into inflatable zodiacs. The initial shock in temperature change startled a couple of the lads but in true ‘bootneck’ fashion they weren’t to let it show… We then learnt how to land in the various different types of landing craft used by the Royal Marines. On completion of this we waited until nightfall where we had to demonstrate that we were able to do it all in the dark. We were later told of the importance of these drills as this asset is unique to the Corps and distinguishes us from other infantry units. As we are amphibious we will become very familiar with these different crafts during our careers.
Friday came as a bit of a reward for a busy couple of weeks. We were taken to the China Fleet Club, a spa that provides free access to members of the Royal Navy. This was perfect for a bit of down time, spent either in the sauna or steam room. Some of the troop fancied themselves on the golf course whilst others were happy to play a bit of squash and grab some lunch. It was a perfect opportunity to relax ahead of Ex FINAL THRUST next week.


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