207 TP DIARY WEEK 16
Week 16 is the first week of Phase 2 training. All the lads started the week full of morale and were looking forward to the 2nd phase of training. The Troop started the week with BPT (Battle Physical Training), followed with circuit training for leg strengthening. The rest of the day the Troop had sig [signals – radios and their use] lectures, which consisted of a recap on the PRR (Personal Role Radio).
The next day we deployed onto Exercise FIRST BASE. The aim and purpose of the Exercise was to teach u new tactical skills such as Observation Posts, basic patrolling and recce patrols. But also putting all of the skills we had learnt in Phase 1 of training into practice. The Troop were meant to begin the Exercise with a Merlin Helicopter insertion into Woodbury Common, practicing the drills we learnt in week 13. But we were unable to get a Merlin Helicopter for the Exercise [Unfortunately due to inclement weather the helicopter was unable to fly.]
The exercise is to teach us and start making us think more tactically and patrol and move across the ground correctly; it has to be carefully planned and deliberate. Also we were issued PRRs giving the Troop a more efficient way of communicating, but also more practice on how to communicate through comms correctly. Arriving at the training area we started with lectures on patrolling across the ground and arrange sections in the correct formations, from the point man, I/C [In Command], 2I/C [Second In Command] and GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) Gunner. We learnt how to do break contact drills in various formation such as arrowhead and staggered file. [A break contact drill is the technique and procedure to extract a callsign from contact with the enemy]
One of the nights we were taught how to conduct a recce patrol, the aim being to gain as much information and intelligence on the location of the enemy and the surrounding personnel as possible. This was put to practice the next night. We also conducted a static OP (Observation Post) on a known enemy location to gain information of any enemy activity in the area. Whilst conducting an Observation Post, each man has a specific job: Observer, rest or sentry. This also includes finding suitable cover to use and camouflage appropriate for the surroundings.
The Exercise included setting up a correct Harbour using the skills and knowledge learned in Phase 1. However, on the first night we were ‘bumped’ [Attacked at night] and had to stand-to, then conduct a Hasty Move. [A relocation of the Harbour Position due to inbound enemy forces] On the Other nights we had to conduct the correct stand-to procedure and win the fire fight [when contacted by the enemy]. When in the OP we were ‘bumped’ and had to conduct the correct Break Contact drills to the ERV (Emergency Rendezvous). We collapsed the Troop HQ and once everything was completed we packed and prepared ourselves for a 5 mile yomp back to camp. Upon arrival at camp we unloaded field stores, team stores and proceeded to de-service and re-service [clean, maintain and make ready] our kit for the next Exercise.