207 TROOP DIARY WEEK 24
The week started off with a 6 mile booted run, this was the 6 mile Speed March Acquaint of the route we had to run in 6 weeks time. Not the hardest phys we had done at CTC but not easy to say the least.
With only two weeks to go until we enter the Commando Phase of training, 207 Troop had a run through session of the Endurance Course and a taster of the Tarzan Assault Course. It was an eye opener of the level we had to reach to pass out and become a Royal Marine Commandos.
The majority of the week was spent learning the basic drills of the LMG, skills such as the load and unload drill, NSP (normal safety procedure, this done to ensure that the weapon has not rounds in it and is safe), Barrel Changes and the immediate actions if a problem occurs with the gun. These skills would then be used for the live fire shoot at the end of the week. Having learnt the skills and drills for the GPMG earlier on in training showed how similar both guns are to each other with regards to using them. We all took part on the live shoot on the Saturday morning at Straight Point and all recruits successfully passed.
The Friday morning was the big test of the week, the 12 mile load carry. Similar to the run at the start of the week it wasn’t hardest phys we had done at CTC but we could feel it in our legs by the end from the distance we had covered that morning. Having all successfully completed the load carry we were all happy that we completed the yomp because that’s the furthest we had yomped in our lives.
Week 24 was one of the better weeks we had had in training and we were all pleased at what we had achieved during the week. Now we go onto week 25 and another week closer to the commando tests
207 TROOP DIARY WEEK 25
Week 25 commenced with an early afternoon trip to our first experience of HMS Raleigh. After a nice coach journey we arrived and quickly settled into the troop sized room that we had been allocated. The troop had been looking forward to this week finally getting to learn another key skill of a Royal Marine….amphibious assault!
As much as we wanted to get to grips with the landing craft first we had to learn some of the basics about being on board a ship, this started with firefighting. This began with a bit of classroom learning before we progressed on to the practical stuff. Then we learnt how to charge fire extinguishers, use fire hoses and different valves, then how to attack the fire. This all culminated in fighting a real fire aboard the training module in the ship modules kitchen.
The next day was full of learning about sea survival. Again more classroom time was in order to familiarise ourselves with the life rafts and all the equipment. Practical evolutions followed starting with trying to get the full survival suit on against the clock which was not ideal to do but definitely funny to watch! Then we had a fair amount of time in the pool working as a team with the staff there giving us various survival scenarios to complete before finally making our way back to the accommodation to finish the day.
Next was what we had all been waiting for and we headed off on a small coach journey down the road to where we would meet the landing craftsmen. We started with a dip in the ice cold water to learn how to how to right a capsized zodiac, an ideal start to the day! We then had talks on each of the boats, then jumped on the landing craft vehicle personnel (LCVP) to get to our next location. En route we practised transitioning from boat to boat which was fun but wet. We also had a go at practicing landing on a beach from various vessels.Once we arrived at our next location we waited for night to fall in a hangar which was a nice rest. We then practised landing on a beach again but at night from a zodiac deployed from an LCVP which was enjoyable.Overall it was a great week which we learnt a lot of new skills which we will be using when exercise Final Thrust comes around next week.
207 Troop diaries week 26
Week 26 was quite a rushed week for 207 due to Christmas leave on the Friday, which meant we only had five days to complete exercise FINAL THRUST. Exercise FINAL THRUST is the final confirmatory exercise that we have to complete in order to proceed towards the final weeks of commando training.
The whole exercise was mentally and physically demanding however extremely enjoyable. Throughout the gruelling days we performed a variety of operations and tasks. Such as Recce patrols where we would find info on the enemy we were dealing with, such as size location and disposition. Other operations we performed were a precise set ambush which was tedious but exhilarating at the same time, as we were waiting there for a good seven hours over night till morning. Once the ambush was over we then gathered info that the enemy was moving south and the enemy Headquarters were there to.
Another task we did with the LC’s (landing craftsmen) who are in control of all the amphibious vehicles such as the Zodiacs, Orcs (Offshore Raiding Craft), etc. We had orders from the Troop commander to dominate a position and destroy any threats that were on top of a cliff, which meant at night we boarded the zodiacs and went across the rocks near the cliff face; we then had to scale up a precarious slippery cliff which was daunting to all of us.
Part of exercise FINAL THRUST there is a lot of yomping to do, one yomp every recruit dreads, we call ‘killer yomp’. We started killer yomp at Standon Farm and finished at the scout hut. In other words we covered the whole of Dartmoor!. We unfortunately lost two valuable members of the troop due to injury in the process.
On Wednesday night we undertook the final attack on Scraesden Fort. We did this after a series of recce patrols and thoroughly planning the attack. The attack itself couldn’t have gone any better. Every recruit in 207 has said that so far its the best exercise they’ve been on yet. On the final day around 9am we set off to do an extraction speed march which was very challenging, it was around 1.5 miles but felt like it was never ending!
On Thursday night we started deserving our kit, and during the night we had a visit from father Christmas and his group of elves delivering out the secret santa’s that we made for each member of the troop. Some of the presents were hilarious a certain recruit had a walking stick due to the fact he was the oldest and most miserable member of the troop. Another was false eyelashes and nails and many more. On completion of secret santa we started packing for Christmas leave which everyone was excited about.
207 TROOP DIARY WEEK 27
Week 27 of Royal Marines commando training is usually spent on Exercise Final Thrust, however, 207 Troop had completed it in week 26 prior to Christmas leave. This meant that we had a fair amount of spare time to exchange kit and sort out any personal admin we had to do. It was quite nerve-racking for the troop due to the fact that no one knew whether they had passed the exercise or not, the training team were contemplating who to keep and who to let go. Unfortunately three lads had not performed to the required standard.
Having returned from Christmas leave we were scheduled in for two sessions on the Tarzan Assault Course. Unfortunately, due to internal rust, the course has been rendered ‘Unsafe’. This has resulted in our Tarzan Test being conducted solely on the bottom field. It consists of two laps of the Bottom Field Assault Course finishing on the 30ft wall. the sessions were tough but a welcome reminder that we have to be in top condition for our Commando Tests in the coming weeks. To help improve our personal fitness we had a swimming session and a six mile run. The swimming session consisted of hypoxic lengths and widths. Our six mile run consisted of two back to back BFT’s, although it was hard, it was good pays and secretly we all enjoyed it.
RMCC is an important and enjoyable element of training to which the Troop received two more sessions this week. The first session instructed us on how to take down opponents from the front, side and rear in a multitude of ways. This will really benefit us when we get into that situation with full fighting order. The troop were also instructed on knife fighting. How to attack and defend against incoming strikes, and disarm an enemy wielding a knife was covered.
This weeks drill sessions have been important due to the upcoming date of King Squad Pass Out. The Troop has been practising new drill manoeuvres such as; volleys with blank cartridges, ripple and various moments conducted on the march. These will all be choreographed into a routine and used in Week 32. At first the Troop were a bit rusty with a few of the movements but after a bit of practise we seem to be all over it, making our DL happy.
Throughout the week we have had lectures on Personal Development, Organisation of a Commando Unit and Career Advice on Progression, which is to prepare us for our fast approaching departure from CTC to a fighting Commando Unit. In-between lectures, phys and drill, we have had various inspections, so we have always been busy with tasks to complete. One task was to Zero our rifles which is essential to the Endurance Course runs which will be held next week.
Overall it has been a tough week returning from Christmas Leave, however, it was a well needed eye-opener to what’s to come in the not to distant future. Looking forward to next week, the phys will be hard but good preparation for our final few weeks at The Royal Marine Commando Training Centre.