203 Troop Week 24 & 25

Upon returning from long weekend leave we were back on camp for a week. We were introduced to the 6mile speed march route which we would have to complete to earn the famous cap comforter. The route included some cheeky hills but the Troop as a whole performed to the required standard. However, this was just a run through and in a few weeks we will be running the full route with 21lbs and our weapons.

We were introduced to the Commando tests we will have to pass to earn the privilege of becoming Royal Marine Commandos. First up was the Endurance course which lived up to its name. After two run throughs of the 2mile tunnels and hills to memorise the root a 4mile run back to camp followed. The draining effects of the Endurance Course was certainly on show as most of us in the troop were starting to fatigue. We all made it in and no one was lost to injury. Next up was the Tarzan Assault course with the Commando slide and the 30 foot wall being introduced. Everyone enjoyed the Commando slide and the whole trooped moved at a 100mph to make a good impression on the Physical Training Instructors.

Finally we were introduced to another piece of weaponry used by the Corps known as the Light Machine Gun or simply (LMG), of course the 1st question on everyone’s mind was how much it weighs. We were put through weapons training by our section Corporals. We all passed our weapons handling test to a good standard and we are all looking forward to firing them live next week. All in all it was a demanding and intensive week but that is as expected as we enter the latter stages of training.

Week 25 Troop Diary
After a testing week 24, the troop were looking forward to “amphib” week as we had heard good things both from our training team and other recruits.
The week began by moving to HMS Raleigh, the naval training facility around an hour away from CTC. The accommodation was good, aside from the lack of showers, 6 between the entire troop and members of the training team unfortunately meant no Hollywood showers….at least they were hot.
The week’s serials began Monday morning, after a luxurious lie in until 6am we rolled straight into sea survival and fire fighting drills. Prior to the practical activities there were prolonged lectures, a few lads found it difficult to remain alert, nodding off occasionally until the man next to him provided a nice wake up shot to the ribs. However aside from the occasional nod off, the lectures were entertaining considering the content, with great enthusiasm provided by the training staff. Once the lectures had been wrapped up and the basics established, we moved onto the practical assessments, consisting of the safe use of life rafts and fighting a fire onboard ship, which all of us achieved without too much difficulty.
This routine carried on the next day. Wednesday was taken up by our first live firing with the LMGs, with some competition between the Recruits for who could get the best shot awarded by the training team.
On the Thursday we were with the landing craft training team, and whilst we were all not looking forward to being submersed into the cold British sea, it turned out to be one of the best days in training so far. We were initially taught capsize drills, to the amusement of all as this was the first time we were in the sea, and many lads made very peculiar noises when trying to ask for permission to move to the boat. From there on we practised beach assaults from various sized craft, and cross craft drills…..both in the day and evening. We managed to use LCVPs, ORCs and Rigid raiders. These ranged from being larger Troop carrying platforms all the way to the smaller quiet insertion ones.
Friday was china fleet club, which was a brilliant, modern, spa and activities centre, complete with driving range, pool, spa room and massage facility. This was a great ending to a very enjoyable week, we all relaxed, ate some nice food before moving back to CTC.

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