Field Firing Exercise 1 (FFX 1)
The Troop conducted their normal morning administration on camp before collecting weapons form the armoury. We then got onto the transport and headed towards Dartmoor. We unpacked everything, moved into the Troops accommodation and then marched up to the range where we conducted a check ‘zero’ shoot. Later that evening we took the weapons up to the ranges where we conducted ‘dry drills’ of what we was going to do the following day with live ammo- probably a sensible move!
This was where the fun began for the Troop. The importance of safety was heavily reinforced and we started to build up our skills from individual fire and manoeuvre up until we were moving as fire teams within our Sections. The day went well and everyone seemed to be all over it! We then moved on to conduct a ‘night shoot’ using tracer rounds and ‘illum’ which was highly enjoyable.
It was a hot day and the prospect of being dry meant morale was high within the Troop. The day compromised of live- fire Section attacks, with left and right flanking manoeuvres added in. Although the attacks were physically demanding, they were also thoroughly enjoyed by the lads, particularly with the use of live grenades! We were soon back on camp to enjoy a pasta meal prepared by the friendly giant, Justin the Chef.
Another hot day and extra excitement filled the Troop with the prospect of conducting a live fire Close Quarter Battle (CQB) shoot. This was soon underway, with the whole Troop doing very well. The range consisted of a winding river and multiple targets resulting in some rather wet Recruits!
After a long, hard but very enjoyable week we were excited to go back to camp and enjoy a bit of down time. Still to complete, however, was a full run through of the Tarzan Assault Course. It was a good to get a bit of relaxation time and a chance to enjoy a few beers over the weekend.
Field Firing Exercise 2. (FFX2)
The focus of the second week was to progress onto Troop level serials. The week started with a blank run through of Section and Troop attacks which, after a weekend off, was a welcome refresher for most of the Troop. This consisted of patrolling in different formations, advancing into contact with the enemy. We also managed to squeeze in some  under-slung Grenade Launcher (UGL) training which was highly enjoyable.
The time came to try out Troop attacks with actual live rounds; it felt quite surreal to experience this for the first time. We received a set of Quick Battle Orders (QBO’s) from the Troop Commander before each man got himself ‘Ready for war’ (as our Section Cpls like to say) the attack went very well and we got a rare, but well deserved, chuck up from the Training Team. Although we were soaking wet and fatigued (from running up a winding river to attack the enemy positions) it was thoroughly enjoyable training.
After another long but successful week on FFX 2 we began our trip back to camp. On arriving back we got our kit ready for the Tarzan assault course and completed a relaxed period focussing on technique. Saturday heralded the start of the much anticipated Commando tests, with the Endurance course being the first up! The whole Troop managed to pass. One down three to go!