198 TROOP DIARY WEEKS 11 AND 12
Following on from Ex HUNTERS MOON, 198 Troop began week 11, the shooting package on Straight Point Ranges (SPR) just outside of Exmouth. We knew we would be spending a lot of time on the point, working with live ammunition, improving our weapon drills and shooting techniques. Needless to say the Troop was very excited about the prospect of 2 weeks’ marksmanship training.
After unloading stores on Monday, we received a safety brief from the range staff and were then met by the Combat Marksmanship Team (CMT) who are responsible for the initial delivery of marksmanship training for all Recruits. Unfortunately for us, with the ranges being next to sea, we were exposed to the elements and the late February weather did not let us down with strong winds, rain and even a bit of snow.
The week began with practice shoots to enable us to develop our shooting skills before attempting the Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT) at the end of the week. The evenings would be spent using the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (DCCT), which is essentially a simulated range and conducting various map reading and military knowledge tests. Most us ended up taking the ACMT the following week due to illness but there were some high scores among the Troop and a handful were awarded a Marksman badge.
Other shoots included a CBRN shoot where we had to wear our respirators and shoot, a night shoot using night vision equipment and an introduction into Close Quarter Marksmanship (CQM). This was a particular favourite among the Troop, involving firing at targets between 5 and 25 metres away, and at times whilst on the move. This is to simulate Close Quarter Battle (CQB) and fighting in an urban environment where the enemy is going to be a lot closer and therefore your drills need to be quick and your shooting accurate.
The week finished with a weekend visit to Normandy to have a tour of the battlefields from Operation OVERLORD, the allied invasion of Europe on 6 Jun 44. This was truly inspirational trip as we began to learn and understand what previous generations of  Marines had gone through. It helped put our own training into perspective as we got the chance to pay our respects to fallen Royal Marines at the Port en Bessin memorial. This was a trip the Troop will not forget and we will use the experience to help us get through training and meet the high standard set by those who have gone before us.