189 Troop Diary Week 30
At week 30, 189 Troop completed the second week of Field Firing (FFX2) at Okehampton Camp on Dartmoor. We arrived at the camp on the Monday morning and first had to sweep the range from the previous week before carrying out a troop attack using blank rounds as practice before we could do a full troop attack with live rounds later in the week.
On Tuesday we were using live rounds in a close combat environment. We moved to the CQB lane, a range that followed a stream along a re-entrant with multiple electronic targets at short and longer distances, with lots of cover. There was also static targets which we could engage with Underslung grenade launchers (UGL’s) attached to our rifles, using practice rounds (paint bombs) as you can’t use high explosives on Dartmoor. We moved down the range in pairs and communication was important as it was easy to lose sight of each other behind cover. After a slow start the troop showed a good improvement on the second runs. In the evening we had a lecture learning how to use NLAW’s (Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon).
Wednesday we carried out section attacks with live firing and UGL’s, including casualty evacuation scenarios and fighting withdrawals. Unfortunately we were unable to do section attacks at night as it was too windy for the para illumes to light up the range effectively. The troop attack that was planned for Thursday morning also had to be cancelled due to the weather, however the weather improved later on and when the ranges cleared we were able to do a static LMG shoot using tracer rounds.
The troop had successfully passed Field Firing Ex and we moved back to Lympstone on Thursday night ready for our final run through of the Tarzan Assault Course on the Friday before the start of the commando tests. We also sighted our rifles on the 25m range ready for the Endurance Course the following morning, which ends with a 25m shoot where recruits must hit the target with at least 6 out of 10 rounds to pass.
On the Saturday morning 189 troop began the commando tests with the Endurance Course, which the whole troop managed to pass with some good times. Despite having 73 minutes, everyone completed the course in under 70 minutes and passed the shoot afterwards as well. This was a good start to the tests with the troop ending the week on a high, ready to take on the rest of the commando tests, starting with the 9 mile speed march the following Monday.