Week 5 199 Troop
The week started bright and early with a booted four mile run through the country lanes near CTCRM, it was a very pleasant morning and the Troop felt good to be out in the fresh air and nice scenery. Afterwards we went to the armoury to draw weapons for the upcoming exercise; Ex QUICK COVER.
We got the coach to the dreaded place known as Woodbury Common. As soon as we reached the Common we set up the safety tents and the training team’s tents and started unloading all necessary kit needed for the exercise. Once all this was sorted we started our field lectures, firstly it was the seven S’s; shape, silhouette, spacing, sudden movement, signature, shape and shine. These are all components of camouflage and concealment and how to be less recognisable in a natural environment. Having learnt this we moved onto the practical side of things, we applied cam cream and stuffed gorse bush, fern and grass into designated areas on our kit designed to disrupt the obvious shape of a helmet or a daysack. To see if the troop had understood the art of camouflage and concealment we split into two groups and basically conducted a military version of hide and seek. This was fun as it demonstrated to both groups how effective camouflage can be when applied correctly. After a number of different lectures, and light soon disappearing, we moved off to our harbour area ready to start our night routine. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, we were forced into peter’s pool at night which was bone chilling. This was to ensure that we correctly conducting our wet and dry drills. Through the night and into Tuesday morning was very dull, something to expect doing sentry in the winter cold.
Tuesday started with a kit muster which most of the Troop failed. This resulted in a bit of remedial physical training which was hard but not the worst to date.
As we worked our way through Tuesday we were taught more subjects such as observation and the RTR drill; Return fire, Take cover and Return effective fire. On completion, we moved into blank firing activities and it was the first time we had fired our weapon, it was quality! Tuesday night and Wednesday early morning were fairly uneventful and we just continued with our night routine.
Wednesday morning also started with a kit muster which, due to poor timings, lack of urgency, failure to clean our weapons properly and a lack of effort by the Troop, resulted in the worst remedial training session of our lives! Lots of running, crawling and hill sprints dominated our lives for the next hour and I am sure that by the end of it every single member of Troop wished he had worked harder the night before.
Following the end of the world and feeling slightly surprised we were all still alive we yomped back to CTCRM, about five miles, with webbing, daysacks, rifles and helmets weighing approximately 37 lbs.
Wednesday night was full of admin, weapons cleaning and inspections. Thursday was a run through for Families’ day.
Families’ day came and the Troop began the day with a run through of drill. Once this was completed we moved onto IMF in the gym. Having friendly faces there really helped get through the fatigue of Ex QUICK COVER.
Finally, the moment everybody had been waiting for arrived and we eventually saw our families and went our separate ways. The weekend was enjoyable and on Sunday night we returned a well fed, reinvigorated Troop.