210 Tp Week 20
Week 20 started off with a drill inspection from the Most Senior Drill Leader, the First Drill. It was very important to get our uniform up to standard and make sure we looked immaculate and prove that we could achieve the necessary high standards expected on the Drill Square.
The inspection went well and we were also tested on our knowledge of key Royal Marines history.
On completion of our inspection, we spent the day with the Assault Engineers, learning about mine warfare and how to make trenches. This was interesting as a lot more went into trenches than I thought, as we were to discover later on in the week…
The next day we spent the morning learning about duties of a chemical sentry – providing forewarning of an imminent chemical attack using specialist detection equipment.
After the lectures we proceeded on Exercise HOLDFAST. For me this was the most physically and mentally challenging exercise so far for me as we had no sleep and did not stop moving for 2 days. We has to demonstrate that we could dig a trench to the necessary dimensions and being also carry out the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) drills we had been taught. Looking back on the exercise it was one of the hardest things I had ever done but felt rewarding knowing that I am capable of something I didn’t think I could do.
By the end of the exercise we were all exhausted and certainly ready for Christmas leave!
210 Tp Week 23.
With the gruelling previous week of Exercise VIOLENT ENTRY coming to an end, a sense of happiness began to spread around the Troop as we looked forward to a week off camp on ‘Resource and Initiative’ (R&I) training. After a sleepless night de- servicing kit, the Troop were tasked with cleaning weapons all morning before our transit via coach to Oakhampton camp. Arriving late afternoon the Troop settled in and met Paul the AT leader who briefed us on the forthcoming week- we were very excited, but a good nights sleep was also high on the priority list!
The Troop were separated into our three Sections. There were three activities we were to complete over the next three days including; coasteering, kayaking and mountain biking. First for myself and the mighty 2 section was coasteering- this was a first for all of us in this sport, thus we were rather nervous. The location was Torquay via a nice coffee stop. Before we knew it we were in our wetsuits ready to go! Coasteering involves swimming, climbing and jumping into the sea, it was great fun and something I would love to do again, however maybe in the warmer months as it was freezing in the sea!
Wednesday the sections changed activities and myself and 2 Section were off to a town called Fowey for sea kayaking. After another good nights sleep spirits were high, and, with the sun shining, we looked forward to another day doing something different and away from camp. Two ex- Royal Marines, ‘Jim’ and ‘Fletch’ took us for the kayaking; they were great from the off. First we deployed the two- man kayaks and learnt a few basics.
During all the sports including the kayaking, we were tasked with team challenges where we could earn points towards a Troop competition. The kayaking challenge involved lifting the kayaks up and over a 15 foot wall; the key to this was good rope and team work. As the day drew itself to an end we enjoyed another good dinner and a Question & Answer session with out R & I training Physical Training Instructor (PTI), we all decided we need to apply for next years ski champs after a few good stories!
Our final day involved our final sport of the R&I package. For myself and 2 Section it was mountain biking. We had done well in the previous days and were determined to finish the week on a high, and that we did. The route was 24 km across all kinds of rough terrain, up and down hill. A few of us found out early how careful you have to be especially down hill with small crashes, thankfully nobody was hurt. I found this day the hardest, possibly as it was the last day or perhaps it was because it was the most physically demanding of the sports. Half way through we faced the challenge- Lowering the bikes and ourselves off a road bridge. It was slightly nerve racking trusting your life in a rope however this is what R&I training was all about, adventure and adrenalin!
On the way back to camp there was something called the hill challenge, a hill where we were to cycle up without walking. Not only were 2 Section the only section to complete this challenge in the Troop but were apparently the only Section in twelve months to complete it! We were very proud to do this and represent 210 Troop.
As the day drew to an end the results were read by Paul the organizer. Everyone put in one hundred per cent, worked very hard and had a fantastic experience. However there was only one section that could take the win and the mighty 2 section brought it home!
As we woke up to Friday back at CTC the anticipation of our long weekend was on everyone’s mind. Were we to get it ? Did we deserve it ? Had we earned it? Time off is never a given a Lympstone and must be earned.
The entire day was spent re- cleaning weapons as they were not up to standard before, and we also received some feedback on our performance on Exercise VIOLENT ENTRY.
Once the weapons had been inspected and passed we thought we were off on our weekend. However, the Troop Commander was understandably still disappointed with the Troop after we let him down during a particular moment on Exercise, we owed him an hour and he had not forgotten.
As the words ‘ to that end ‘ came from him we stood by. The Troop were taken outside for remedial harbour drills. However after this we were permitted to go on Long Weekend Leave, another week down!