220 Tp Week 3 and 4
Week Three began and 220 Troop moved into the six man grots and the next phase of training. Within the new accommodation the troop could access free wifi, had more privacy and this signalled the end of foundation. It was also the first time the Troop met the training team properly, and the required standard was set from the beginning.
The training programme began to increase in tempo and included double IMF sessions, more drill and an introduction on how to conduct field administration. With the new format of training and a new set of leaders 220 Troop felt that they had progressed. The first exercise, Ex EARLY NIGHT had made a standing impression in the minds of the men and led into the next exercise – Ex FIRST STEP which would happen in Week Four.
Ex FIRST STEP was a one night exercise conducted on Woodbury Common and gave a greater insight into field admin and wet and dry drills. It also introduced the Kit Muster, a valuable lesson in the maintenance of kit and equipment, including personal administration whilst in the field. Alongside this, the main focus for 220 Troop was starting to become the basics of soldiering – something which we were all excited about.
220 Tp Week 5
Monday morning began with the usual morning routine, followed by a gruelling 4 mile run in PCS kit with boots. The morning was clear but very cold.
After our first run in boots, we prepared for our first exercise in the field – Ex Quick Cover. Our bergens were packed, the vehicles were loaded and we set off for Woodbury Common.
When we arrived, we immediately set up the Training Team’s tent and after that we were given lectures on how to camouflage ourselves in the field. Following that, we got a chance to camouflage ourselves using cam cream and the grassy terrain surrounding us. By 2000hrs we were fully cammed up and providing sentries in a harbour position while our oppos got their heads down. Sentries continued until 0500hrs when we were put on stand-by followed by a kit muster. The majority of the troop were given corrective PT.
During the Tuesday afternoon we performed manoeuvres for the first time. That evening we were invited to submerge ourselves under water at “Peter’s Pool” with the Tp Commander to practice the wet/ dry routine. Sentries that night were extremely cold and the troop were hanging out.
The next day the Troop packed up and got ready for the four mile speed march back to camp with day sacks, webbing and rifle. Before this we practiced our fire manoeuvres for a second time.
When we arrived back at camp we unloaded the vehicles and de-serviced our kit. The next day we went to the gymnasium to practice for families’ day which was to be the following day. We didn’t meet the PTI’s standards as we were still hanging from exercise. The Training Team were also unimpressed with our kit after failing to de-service it properly.
Friday had finally arrived – “Families Day” for the Troop. We were all very excited for our first detail which was drill where we would see our families for the first time in five weeks. Drill went very well however our next detail was the gym. When we arrived at the gym, we did 10 minutes of practice before our families arrived.
Once the families were seated and watching, we worked very hard to make them proud and in doing so also impressed the PTI. After that we packed our civilian clothes and were “thinned out” to our families for the weekend. We are now another step closer to getting a green beret.
220 Tp Week 6
The long weekend after families day was over. The troop was early on the Monday for a kit muster, something that was repeated every morning and evening due to pick ups on individual field musters, and poor de-servicing of kit after the previous weeks exercise. Needless to say, what was supposed to be a steady week on camp got a lot harder a lot quicker.
The first day back was greeted with map reading and first aid lectures, bread and butter for the Royal Marines, with most of the recruits of 220 Troop able to get through the lectures without checking the state of their eyelids. Although this was probably achieved through the lads enthusiasm of applying tourniquets to each other’s limbs!
Phys sessions, IMF and boots runs in inclement weather were given a good reception, with the troop performing well in all, getting some boosting feedback from the troop PTI. The week of kit musters eventually came to an end, bringing the troop to our day off on the Saturday. We were due to deploy on Ex MARSHALL STAR on the Sunday afternoon. As with most days off, the lads prepared to eat as much food and buy as many re-sealable plastic bags as possible, in preparation for the coming 3 nights in the field. With some of the lads on duty troop detail, the day off was cut short. However anything that they were not able to buy before they got back to camp was sorted by their oppo’s whom were lucky enough to still be roaming in the city.
The Saturday night brought trepidation and nervous excitement for the coming exercise, with some of the lads worrying about the navigation and putting what we’d learnt in our lectures into practice on Woodbury Common. However, after a decent night’s sleep, the troop woke on Sunday morning ready to tackle a quick phys session in the gym and load up the last of the stores, raring to grab our rifles, rat packs and deploy on exercise.