213 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 15-18
1. 18th of January – Monday. With the Phase 1 assessments over and done, everyone in the troop has been nervously anticipating the results on Monday. With everyone trying to calculate and figure out themselves how the points system works rumors were rife. However, a bottom field session awaited us in a very wet and muddy session, we also conducted CBRN lectures where the immediate action was taught and practiced, including drinking with a gas mask on. During the evening we received our results, with the majority of the troop passing. On to Phase 2 now with much work to do!
2. 19th of January – Tuesday. Much of Tuesday was spent on signals lectures. We went over the various radios we would be using for Phase 2, as early as the following week on exercise. We also had some hands on with the radios trying to assemble them. However, we would get much more practice with them next week.
3. 20th of January – Wednesday. For The next few days our program would include many lectures in order to prepare us for the tactical side of training. Beginning on Wednesday we had lectures on military law and conduct on the battlefield; essentially the morals of when it is right or wrong to take life as well as the treatment of prisoners. The day concluded with a practical CBRN lecture where we practiced the immediate action drill in real time in the gas room; learning very quickly of the importance of carrying out the drills efficiently.
4. 21st of January – Thursday was spent on re-runs on the yomp for the recruits requiring this particular assessment. We also spent several hours practicing and perfecting our arms drill in preparation for arms drill pass out on Friday. Under the excellent coaching of our DL we progressed well. The day concluded with lectures on recces and ops.
5. 22nd of January – Friday; our final day of Phase 1. We took and passed successfully our arms drill pass out. Following this we progressed with some of the troop going to functional skills lessons. There seems to be an air of great anxiety as the rumours suggested a mudrun! Surely not…. We were mustered in three ranks led to believe we would be collecting stores for our exercise, this however was not to be. We marched and then progressively ran straight into the estuary to take part in the mud run, part disciplinary action and part Phase 1 pass out.
6. 25th of January – Monday. With an exciting learning week ahead, we began our week with signals lectures. Going over the Bowman, PRR, field telephone etc – all equipment we would be using on our first Phase 2 exercise. We also conducted a BPT session with the inclusion of the rifle, slowly progressing to full kit. The day ended with the troop packing and preparing for the exercise.
7. 26th of January – Tuesday. With the collection of our rifles and some final stores administration for Ex First Base we embarked on a Sea King helicopter for the insertion into the exercise, a very enjoyable trip. Once arriving in Woodbury we progressed to our training area and began lectures on various topics including model making pits – where a model of the area of operations is made into the ground so a commander can brief on the various objectives. During the evening we set out with our section Cpls and conducted our first recce.
8. 27th if January – Wednesday. During the morning the troop began the day with a stand to, where the troop anticipates an attack by an enemy during one of the most likely times of the day. Following this we conducted various lectures on section movements in regards to the operating procedures if attacked from the front, rear, left etc. A learning day but exciting none the less.
During the evening we set out on a second recce, however this time with not so much assistance from our section Cpls. Although slightly confusing during the low visibility night time, the recce seemed to go relatively ok.
9. 28th of January – Thursday. Our final exercise day included another day of many skills to learn. With the morning a forest assault was taught where our Troop Sgt ran through the advantages and disadvantages of forest assaults. We then progressed to being taught how to make OPs which our section Cpls made look easy. During the evening we moved out to our specific individual areas and attempted to make our own OPs a challenge to say the least, however the OPs where successfully made and we spent the night observing the enemy.
10. 29th of January – Friday. An electrifying beginning to the day, with our OP been contacted. To which we quickly packed away and left the OP and rendezvoused at our ERV. After this we prepared for our 5 mile speed march back to camp. The day concluded with the de-servicing of our kit and the return of equipment to field stores.
11. 1st of February – Monday. Beginning of week 17 and we were all looking forward to getting on with Viking training later on in the week. However the day began with a single bottom field session and various lectures.
12. 2nd of February – Tuesday. The day consisted of various lectures and concluding with the troops first triple period down at the bottom field, many nerves where experienced the hours leading up to the period, however it was completed successfully. We finished the day packing our kit in preparation to depart to Bovington the following day.
13. 3rd of February – Wednesday. An early start to the day with the troop scrambling all our kit into a bus and making our way to Bovington training camp. Once arriving we settled into our new accommodation and moved on to various lectures on how to embark and disembark from the Viking, as well as some safety lectures. We then practiced these lessons in real life and then moved on to concluding the day with some lectures in regards to the re-breathing system we would be required to use the next day as part of our underwater escape drills.
14. 4th of February – Thursday. The day begun with first going over an assessment in the use of the re-breather system in Bovington pool, which had us swimming a certain distance underwater. We then moved to Yeovil to practise underwater escape drills using the re-breather system. After a quite disorientating experience we then moved back to Bovington.
15. 5th of February – Friday. Our final day with the Vikings and we got to practice our embarking and disembarking drills in a slightly more realistic scenario. We then moved to practicing disembarking the Viking while it is partially submerged in a lake! Exciting stuff, after the conclusion of this we helped cleaning the Vikings and moved back to Lympstone.
16. 8th of February – Monday. A much anticipated week with the beginning of Ex Second Empire at Braunton Barrows – and nothing starts an exercise better than a double period of bottom field! Following this we loaded stores and moved out into the field with the news of a weather warning, this was evident to us as our bus was shaking from the wind. Once we got to the training area we disembarked and made our way to the harbor area.
17. 9th of February – Tuesday. During the early morning we had got attacked but the troop successfully repelled and came away with some valuable lessons. We then progressed throughout the day learning to conduct section attacks, which require much coordination and communication. During the evening various sections had certain objectives they needed to fulfill whether Ops or recess in order to provide our Troop Commander with a battle picture of the enemy.
18. 10th of February – Wednesday. We conducted further recces throughout the day in preparation for a night ambush. During the evening the troop set out for a troop ambush. We got to our ambush site successfully and engaged the oncoming enemy – a great learning experience.
19. 11th of February – Thursday. A further recce in the morning was conducted in order to prepare for a troop attack later in the day. Once all the necessary information about the enemy was gathered and orders delivered we set out. When H-hour arrived all sections moved fast to engage the enemy, however the assaulting section perhaps engaging with too much speed and not enough communication. Overall another great learning experience. Throughout the evening we conducted an extraction yomp.
20. 12th of February- Friday. For our final day we spent it packing kit away and de-servicing it in preparation for the next exercise.