198 TROOP DIARY WEEK 13
After an educational and interesting weekend in Normandy, morale was high within the Troop. Week 13 had a lot in store for us; introduction to the bottom field, Ex Baptists Walk, Grenade throwing, being gassed and
Helicopter Underwater Escape Training.
Monday morning started like so many others before, except that instead of heading to the gym we were marched to the infamous bottom field. As we stood by the dreaded regain tank we overlooked the field that has both made and broken so many Recruits in the past. After a ‘light’ warm up the Troop were given a demonstration of the obstacle course, with varying degrees of success among the Troop. We then had an introduction to the regain rope and tank, which ended up with most of the Troop getting wet as they failed to grasp the required technique.
After the bottom field we were given a luxurious ten minutes to get showered and changed into our CBRN gear to undertake  decontamination training. This involves us filing into a small room filled with CS gas, removing our respirators and overcoming the effects of the gas to give our name and number. This is a challenging activity but as long as you keep calm and don’t breathe too quickly it isn’t too bad, although it was incredibly amusing to watch your oppos sprinting from the chamber with noses and eyes streaming.
We then began Ex Baptists Walk which is a practice assessment before the phase 1 test exercise next week ; Baptists Run. This 24 hr exercises involved a map stance, a stalk, an observation stance, lessons on fire control orders and target indications, a night navex, kit muster and 8 mile march back to camp.
The next day we went to the grenade range for our first opportunity to throw high explosive grenades. It is the first time that the training team appeared more nervous than the Troop as they had to supervise the safe handling and throwing of the grenades. This was incredibly exciting and a massive rush as you hear the explosion of the grenade going off, after a ll, this is they type of thing we all joined up for.
On Friday we boarded a coach and travelled to RNAS Yeovilton to conduct underwater escape training or ‘dunker drills’. This is to simulate a helicopter crashing into water and trains you how to escape in such an eventuality. Nerves increased as we watched each group go through their dunks, ranging from upright and in full light to going upside down in complete darkness. Once we were all deemed competent, which took longer for some than others, we moved to the other side of the base to conduct our stage 1 helocopter drills. Before we knew it we were back at CTC with another week down in our quest to earn the Green Beret