Week 28 ‘Cheeky Week’
This was the first week back off Christmas Leave so as you can imagine most of the lads were pretty down to be back. To raise some morale the training team organised a mud run which at first made the lads pretty scared. However when we got down there we were told it was going to be a fun one. We started off doing the IMF warm ups that we all used to love. After this they got a rugby ball out and we played 1+2 section against 3+4 section, even the training team joined in which was fun. After the game as it is tradition we wrote the troop number in the mud.
On the Tuesday we had a few lecture and then we moved some equipment from the gym down to the CQB compound. This was a CQC period which included all the things we had learnt from Urban warrior. The lads thoroughly enjoyed this session as we got to refresh ourselves on that aspect and also included occupants playing a number of different roles. So not only did we have to clear the rooms probably we had to insure we had the occupant was under control.
Wednesday was the first proper run through of the endurance course with full weight. We set off in alphabetical order in syndicates of 3. As we hadn’t done it for a while we had quite a few lads getting lost on the course and the run back which led to quite a few member of the troop not making it back in time, with only 9 passing.
Thursday was our first go back at the Tarzan Assault Course. This was a dribble period which was very good for helping all the lads to nail the proper techniques on the high obs and especially the changeovers which can be very tricky. We did 1 run through with no weight, a run through with weight, then we did another run through with weight including the bottom field course and finally a run through with doing the 30ft wall at the end.
Friday We did our first full run through of the Tarzan Assault course which I think many lads underestimated just how hard it was going to be and at the end of it many lads were feeling a bit unwell. On this run through about 50% of the troop passed. Also We Zeroed our rifles as on Saturday we were doing a full run through of the endurance course including the shoot.
On Saturday we did another run through of the endurance course and the training team gave us motivation to get in within the time by saying if we do we get the whole of the night off. This time we set off in time order, so in groups of 3 we were set off in order of the quickest to the slowest. We also had recruits set up around the course to ensure that no one got lost again. This seemed to help as we had a lot more people complete the course within the time.
Week 29 started with loading all of the stores and equipment needed for a week of live firing, all the lads worked together to make sure we had everything we needed for the week.
We got the coach up to Dartmoor and went to a range called Whitworthy range, we went there to zero are rifles to make sure they were accurate enough to hit the targets on the exercise, unfortunately due to the unpleasantness of Dartmoor’s horrendous weather we were not able to shoot as the fog was coming in and we could not see the targets.
We all did a rap battle to pass the time and had a laugh to pass the time but unfortunately the weather did not clear so we had to leave to our disappointment.
The next day was exactly the same we marched to the range in torrential rain, but when we got there we were unable to fire due to the nature of the weather again which was frustrating so we had to leave and headed back down to camp called Okehampton.
The Wednesday however was a lot better as the weather had died down and we were able to get the whole troops weapons zeroed, we were then able to fire off on average about 80 rounds of LMG link using tracer rounds for the first time.
Thursday was the best day of the week as we got to do some real individual, pair and section firing. We were doing advance to contact and then withdrawal drills with live rounds which gave a real rush of adrenaline and the whole troop really enjoyed. We went home after we all finished and marched 1.5mile back to camp when the snow really started to come in which was always a bit of morale.
Due to Okehamptons water supply we had to return back to Lympstone commando as there was no water coming out of any of the facilities, this was frustrating as the troop were really looking forward to getting some rounds down and working as a team with live rounds.
The Friday we got back we had lectures on the realities of war and cleaned all the weapons so that they were up to the standard to go back into the armoury. We also had a military knowledge test which baffled some of the lads brains which was quite funny.
On the Saturday morning we had a run through of the commando test tarzan assault course, this test is very physically challenging and requires a lot of confidence to get through in a decent time, the majority of the lads managed to complete it in time, most people if not all improved on their previous time and no doubt everyone will be able to pass come the day of the race.