WEEK 24, TROOP DIARY
Monday morning of week 24, setting an alarm for 0530 for first detail at 0730 to collect rifles for our 6 mile speed march, an important criteria test you have to pass to carry on in main stream training. This test is to be done with webbing weighing 21 pounds, plus a rifle. The 6 mile speed march is supposed to be done on the Monday of week 26; however, we did ours early to get it in the bag before Easter leave. We finished the speed march by 0930. All of us were extremely happy to pass. Next detail was LMG (light machine gun) training. First day of training consisted of NSP’s (normal safety procedures), learning the names of parts of the LMG, dismantling the weapon for daily cleaning, then resembling the gun plus the function test. After lunch we had more lectures of the gun by revising and perfecting our drills we have just got taught.
Tuesday morning, woke up at 0530, morning routine as we do every day. First detail was to be on the coach by 0715 to set off to Woodbury. We set of roundabout 0730 and got there for 8 all ready to go on our Endurance Course Acquaint. We all haven’t been to the Endurance Course since PRMC (potential royal marine’s course). We firstly ran through the Endurance Couse slow time with the PTI slow time to familiarise ourselves with the course, as we are approaching our Commando Phase. After doing that we then ran it best effort as a section competing against the other sections within the troop. We completed as a team in 24 minutes. This was with no weight and no rifle. As you may know the Endurance course has lots of small, tight, pitch dark tunnels which you have to navigate through quickly as you have to complete the Endurance course within a time limit, Peters Pool which is always, always cold! The Sheep’s Dip, lots and lots of mud, and finally steep hills. Once we all crossed the finished line of the Endurance Course we had a quick water break then headed of for a 4 mile route back. First mile was through Woodbury on rough terrain, then onto ‘leafy lane’, the 3 mile route back, which is all on the back roads to CTC (commando training centre). The 4 mile run back was very fast, as the PTI was bolting it ahead to make us increase the pass to about a 7 min mile pace throughout. The Endurance Course Acquaint is all a build-up to help us when we get to the Commando Tests. We all got back to camp for a fast quick change out of our dirty muddy rig for a lecture with the Troop Commander. Got to the lecture about 1045 for a Sea Sense video we had to watch, then for a further lecture about NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and the UN (United Nations). On completion the lecture, about 1145 we went to sick bay for everyone to get more jabs which we all wanted to get quickly out the way!
Wednesday, we had drill in the morning which took up the whole of the morning until lunch meal. During drill we learnt a new move of shooting the rifle in the air, and for the rest of drill going over previous commands we have been taught in previous lessons. All of this is to make Kings Squad easier, and to impress our families. After lunch, we was back on the LMG’s as we will be having our WHT (weapons handling test) on the Friday.
Thursday we started early learning another new weapon system, the NLAW (next generation light anti – tank weapon), we got taught all the parts, how to NSP it, how to fire it, the stoppages of the weapon so if we got a stoppage on it we can quickly rectify it and carry on. Overall a really Gucci weapon! After that we were introduced to the Tarzan Assault Course, another Commando Test we will soon have to complete to earn the right to wear the Green Beret. The Tarzan Assault Course Acquaint consisted of climbing the 30ft wall with no webbing and rifle first to get used to it, then with webbing and weight. The over to the ‘Death Slide’ which was awesome to jump out of! We did that with no weight and webbing first then a second go with webbing and rifle. On the second go you also had to sprint over to the 30ft wall which was about 250m away and climb it and shout your name to say you have finished.
Friday, waking up at 0445 this morning, a really early start, to get to breakfast dead on 6, then to be down at the armoury for 0615, we all got our kit weighed to ensure our bergan and webbing was just over 69 pounds for our 12 mile criteria load carry we also must complete to carry on with the troop. We got on the coach at 0630 and set of at 7am on the 12 mile load carry. It took us until 1125 to get back to camp. Again all of 193 passed! After the 12 mile load carry, we went to lunch, then after we had to do our WHT’s of the LMG’s so we are allowed to shoot the weapon on Saturday.
Saturday, waking up and knowing it was a working weekend wasn’t the best, however we were shooting the LMG live at Straightpoint today which was amazing as we got to get a feel of what it was like actually shooting the weapon, and when it comes to live rounds you have to be extremely switched on with your weapon procedures, and we all was.
Overall this week was physically and mentally tough, as we had 2 criteria tests pushed into 1 week, we also had the endurance course acquaint which was also a hangout, we hardly any recovery time, but we all showed the training team we want to be here and we want that end goal of being a robust Boot neck.
Next week we’re off to HMS Raleigh to conduct our amphibious training package. Then onto our 2 weeks well-earned Easter leave. Can’t wait!