203 Troop Diary – Week 26/27
Week 26 kicked off on Monday with an arduous 6 mile speed march, which marked the beginning of our Commando Phase. During which we had 1 recruit fail the test, the remainder of us received our cap comforters. A proud symbol of our progression into the final weeks of training, that dates back to when the original Commandos were conducting their training out of Achnacarry in Scotland.
Our next big hurdle was Fog’n’Tor, where we conducted cliff and vertical assaults during day and night, this is an integral part of the corps skills making us unique from the rest of the armed forces. It was a challenging but enjoyable day for all of us.
On Thursday we deployed on Exercise FINAL THRUST, a 7 day long confirmatory exercise designed to assess our soldiering skills in order to pass out of CTCRM. The first phase was split between Bodmin and Dartmoor moors, conducting various yomps, recce’s, and deliberate attacks on multiple locations. Although an extremely tiring experience the Troop were lucky once again with the weather, with almost no rain!
The second phase was spent in the Plymouth area, employing our amphibious and vertical assault capabilities. We conducted amphibious landings on beaches to conduct Recce patrols on to a number of targets before then assaulting them as a Troop. Our final assault culminated in an attack on a large complex called Scraesdon Fort. This was against multiple enemies, utilising all of the skills we have learnt in training. This was an incredible way to end the Exercise, with the Troop performing particularly well. After completing the attack we were extracted by 2 Sea King helicopters and flown back to CTC.
In summary it was a difficult but rewarding 2 weeks for everyone involved. The highlight for myself was the final attack in which I was part of a fire support section, where I was the Light Machine Gunner and managed to get lots of rounds down.