190 Troop Diary – Week 20
Week 20 started with bottom field pass out. This is a criteria physical test involving an under 5 minute lap of the assault course, a 200m fireman’s carry in under 90 seconds, a full 30m rope climb and a regain over the water tank – all carrying 21 lbs and a rifle. The majority of the troop managed to pass first time, and few others completed it on their second attempt.
Following this we had a number of lectures and the First Drill’s Inspection. This went well, he told us we were dressed to a good standard and that our rifles were some of the cleanest he had seen. However the day after we let ourselves down with the poor state of the accommodation which resulted in a ‘mud run’. A right of passage for all recruits, this is an extra period of uncomfortable PT held on the estuary mud flats. Crawling, running, carrying and sliding were just some of the activities we were in for. The mud run is a truly impressive remedial technique to be avoided at all cost. Unfortunately, the Troop was now on the back foot from that point on making the rest of the week feel like an eternity. Finally, the Assault Engineers took us for some lectures on IEDs and sandbagging while keeping a full set sandbag on our shoulders, which we got to practice very thoroughly. Needless to say, we were vey much looking forward to the week ahead.
190 Troop Diary – Week 21
All I can say is what a hoofing week this has been. We had all heard on the ‘nod vine’ that week 21 was meant to be one of the best weeks on camp, but none of us were expecting to have as much fun as we did. Modernised Urban Combat or MUC (the art of how to clear rooms and buildings) was what were going to be taught using CTC’s purpose built MUC compound. Up to now all we have really done is conventional warfare – being out in the field practicing section and troop attacks. We were told however that in reality, there is a high possibility that much of our work in the future would be in towns and cities, as that’s where the majority of the world’s population lives.
We started off with the very basics by walking through the compound in slow time, in teams of no more than 4. We then moved on to more complex problems; how to tackle corners in rooms, what to do when you get to a T junction when moving down a corridor and how to deal with furniture. All of this started off with us running through the problems ‘dry’, so no blank rounds, no simunition and no practice grenades. When ‘dry’ drills are mentioned to the troop we usually all get prepared for a less interesting day. But this time 190 troop stayed engaged from start to finish. There is so much to think about when moving through a series of rooms that there is simply no time to get bored.
As the week progressed we started picking up the pace and introducing new factors to our scenarios. Things like using blank rounds and dummy grenades really started to get the troops blood pumping. The final 2 days were the highlight of the week – we were finally allowed to use simunition. These are essentially paint ball rounds that we can fire out of our rifles. To mix things up even more we were now fighting against a live enemy. We all soon learned that things get much harder when you were fighting against someone who shoots back.
We finished the week with an 8 mile load carry before we were due to start Christmas leave. Everyone dragged themselves through with thoughts of a nice long rest and lots of beer and food. So all in all we finished on a high, ready for a nice long rest before what is going to be our biggest and hardest exercise yet; Ex VIOLENT ENTRY.