191 Troop – Training Diary – Week 16
We started week 16 after our long weekend leave, and begun phase two of training. The Monday was a fairly slow day on the timetable with only signals lectures and a small bottom field session. After the bottom field session and the signals lecture our Troop Captain told us we had a meeting with the CSM, so we put on fresh rig and fell in outside the accommodation. We walked down to the bottom field and were told that we had instead had a mud run to repay the time owed to the training team after phase one. The mud run was very hard physically but after it was finished the troop were in high spirits. We then went back to the accommodation to prepare for exercise First Base.
Tuesday started with the usual prepping for exercise First Base, we then went up to the top field to await our helicopter insertion into Woodbury Common. We inserted via Sea King helicopters which made a good change from the usual coach journey. We then made our way to the grenade range. That night we conducted standing patrols in our sections with our section corporals, using PRR’s and Night Vision for the first time. This was enjoyable as it was much more like proper soldiering than phase one. After the patrols we made our way to the harbour area and managed to get a small amount of sleep.
Wednesday we learnt about break contact drills and spent most of the day practising these and firing a lot of rounds. We then moved to our new harbour location and we were told to construct model pits in preparation to receive orders. This was more challenging than we thought it would be. We received orders at 22:00 which took nearly two hours. At 04:00 we left to conduct a recce patrol. This was the most enjoyable part of the exercise for me, and sneaking within 10m of the enemy and observing felt like what I had joined to do. We then returned to the harbour at 08:00 Thursday and had a few hours for admin and rest.
Thursday we had a lecture on constructing observation posts (OP’s). We then left in fire teams to construct our OP’s and had until 00:00 to complete and report that we were ready to the Troop Commander. We then spent the night observing our targets and reporting on any enemy activity. At first light we were contacted and had to put our break contact drills into practice. After this we extracted to HLS (Helicopter Landing Site) to await pick up by chinook helicopter. The helicopter landing but then immediately took off again without us. We then instead had to speed march back to CTC with daysacks and I had the added bonus of carrying the LSW instead of the usual SA80.
After the exercise, the troop completed the usual admin, then began to de-service our kit.
The exercise in all was much more enjoyable than those in phase one and I felt like we had learned a great deal in a short amount of time.