194 Troop Week 16

The first week of our Phase 2 training began on Monday with a signalling test, this was to ensure we could all assemble and communicate using the Bowman 354 radio comfortably.
Tuesday was the start of exercise FIRST BASE. We were lucky enough to deploy into the field via a Chinook helicopter. Although the flight was only short, it was still enjoyable and was vital experience- enabling us to practice embarkation and disembarkation drills for future exercises.
Exercise FIRST BASE was a three- night exercise followed by a 5 mile extraction speed march.
The exercise involved several core soldiering elements, which the troop thoroughly enjoyed as we progressed to more tactical skills.
The first night each Section learnt how to patrol and became more familiar with using hand signals to limit noise as we moved around the ‘Common’. The second night the Sections moved off on separate ‘Recce’ patrols to obtain information on different ‘objectives’.
A full set of orders were given to each Section by their respective Section Corporal, with the use of model pits (made by us earlier on in the day). The models provide a clear visual representation of what the ground is like that we are going to cover en route to an objective so that we can all make it clear exactly what is going to be involved in the task ahead. The final night each Section had to build and occupy an OP (Observation Post), spending the night monitoring a given area closely and recording any enemy activity seen in a log book.
Despite the cold weather and minimal sleep the Troop enjoyed their first Phase 2 exercise. It was satisfying to be learning more about the real tactical soldiering skills and we look forward to developing these on the next exercise.

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