205 Tp Diary – Week 9
As training progressively intensifies this week the troop focused on both map reading and first aid tests. With gym pass out coming up on Friday it was very much in the back of everyone’s mind.
Monday – Monday saw 205 troop on the parade square learning and refreshing arms drill. Drill in its self is about complete discipline and timing and with a rifle was found challenging. Most of the troop picked up the basics (shoulder arms, slope arms and change arms) with much room left for improvement to perfect the movements. After lunch we headed out of camp to complete a BFT (battle fitness test) that is an essential criteria underlining a basic fitness level. The test itself is 50 sit ups, a minimum of 3 pull ups followed by a 1.5 mile run as a troop in under 12.30 then a 1.5mile run back requiring a personal best effort. This test is done in boots which makes it that bit harder. No one in the troop had any problems with this test and all were successful in passing. An introduction to the apprenticeship programme was also included in the day’s busy schedule followed by a revision on first aid in preparation for tomorrow’s exam.
Tuesday – The day kicked off with a map reading test that challenged the basics of what we had been taught. No one in the troop had any major issues as the training team ensured we were above standard going into the test. In the afternoon we all were examined on our first aid. Everyone in the troop responded well to this test and proved that they had the capability to deal with a single or multiple casualties in a battle situation. In the gym later that afternoon we had a run through of gym pass out in preparation for Friday to identify and correct anything that was going wrong in the routine. This session resulted in the troop reporting back to the gym in the evening to go through certain areas in slow time.
Wednesday – As like Monday we had a first aid test, this time on BLS (Basic life support) – the treatment and caring of an un conscious casualty. This consisted of a scenario situation and lasted for about 5 minutes per man. The troop demonstrated initial response, CPR and the recovery position. The entire troop performed well. As part of the apprenticeship programme some of the troop were required to take part in functional skills lesson in English and maths. Those who were required to do so attended these lessons in the afternoon whilst the remainder of the troop cracked on with admin. Our last detail of the day was and IMF period again running through what was expected of us for gym pass out. Pick up points were still being raised which frustrated the troop as this was the last time before Friday that we would run through it.
Thursday – A double swim and gym period was just what we needed to relax and stretch out our muscles before Friday. The swim period was more chilled out than usual including some hypoxic training aiding the length of time you can hold your breath under water. The stretching session afterwards in the gym tested the troops flexibility or in some cases in flexibility. However agile each individual was didn’t matter as the whole troop benefited massively from this.
Friday – The day that everyone had been working up to throughout the full week was finally here. All the lads made sure they got plenty of food on board that morning as they would definitely need it. We all felt positive above the test and were raring to go. As a result 205 troop minus 1 individual all passed. The troop managed to complete all evolutions of the the test to a high standard achieving this pass.
Week 9 was a good week for 205 troop in good spirits after passing gym pass out and looking forward to the challenge of Ex Hunters Moon next week which will test our navigation skills and survival.
One of the more arduous exercises approaching and having just done gym pass out we were both in high spirits and nervous about what lay ahead.
Monday 6th July.
At 07:00 we fell in outside to go collect our corn gear, we then started to sort out stores for our nearing exercise, there definitely was nerves amongst the troop. We then got a coach to Princetown car park in Dartmoor to start our insertion to the scout hut. All went well and we arrived in good time to start the first of many night navs. The training team put us into sections for the yomp and for good measure the weather took a turn for the worse as we were setting off but like they say “if it’s not raining it’s not training”. All was well until the weather deteriorated too much and we were forced to return to our harbour location.
Tuesday 7th July.
At 6:00 we prepared our kit for an inspection for 7:00, next we prepared our kit and carried out some foot admin, some were worse than others. We set off after receiving our check points and wrote out our route cards for the yomp in sections again, the landscape is a lot easier to navigate during the day compared to the night so we could use this yomp to better our skills for the night navigation yet to come this evening which would be done in pairs. After our day of battling through marshes and scaling Tors we finished in the evening at the scout hut and wrote out the route cards for the night nav. Around 11 we were put into twos picked by the training team where we were issued an emergency flare parachute rocket and we set off into the night, most of the troop arrived on time.
Wednesday 8th July.
We got up early to prepare for a kit muster which went better than Tuesday’s inspection. Then we got marched by the troop commander to a map stance at the top of a hill which helped a lot of the lads understand more on how to read the landscape and get more confident with grid references and bearings. After a short yomp back to the scout hut we were told to get some food on board for the extract to prince town car park with full bergans on which was a bit cheeky but everybody managed it. On arrival at the car park we administered foot care and took on more food. Then a truck turned up so we loaded up our kit and got onto another truck with seats inside, we set off to our location somewhere else in Dartmoor. After 20 minutes the truck came to a grinding holt and we were told to get out as fast as we possibly could and was led 100 meters into the Heath to which we were told an unknown enemy vehicle was parked further down the road so we had to ditch and evade the enemy and keep yomping over hills and boggy terrain. We stopped every kilometre to get any Intel on our next location.
After about 10km we reached our rendesvous point in gidleigh wood which would be our location for the two day survival exercise. Once inside the wood we were told to take everything out our pockets and to have no kit on us apart from a torch, survival tin and a clasp knife.
The corporals then appeared and took us to the harbour area to which we were told to make a fire and build a shelter, our home for the next two days.
Thursday 9th July.
After a long night of scavenging for fire wood and building our shelters we lined up to meet the mountain leaders to give us a lesson on how to kill and gut a chicken and fish. When it was our turn we had 20 minutes to kill and gut a chicken and gut two fishes to which we ran a bit over time so that was us doing extra exercise, not what you want after 12 hours of no food. We were then sent off to cook our banquet of chicken and fish with a few potatoes and carrots which was hidden around the area so off we went looking for vegetables in trees, in bushes and the top of a steep hill. After we collected all we could find we cooked and ate our meal, after that we were happy. Then the mountain leaders came to our shelters and gave us some pointers on how to improve them which would keep us busy for the duration of the day. By the evening the wood that was around the area became scarce and it was harder to find with energy running low but we pushed in through the night.
Friday 10th July.
We woke up at 04:00 to put out our fires and dismantle our shelters and then had to get ready for our extraction to murchington where we would be picked up, this was a 5km yomp. On arrival at camp we had to unload all the stores used and deservice our weapons for inspection. Once we’d all completed this we could carry on with all our other kit which took most of the night for some, it all had to be ready for an inspection in the morning so we could go home for the weekend which we all passed.