214 Troop Week 20-25

214 Tp Recruit Diary

Week 20

Monday 7th March

This week started with a lecture on how we will one day organise our service life through an online management tool.  Safe to say with the second detail of the day being bottom field pass out few recruits’ minds were taking in where we go to update our next of kin when we pass out!

With a short lecture completed, it was back to the accommodation to ready ourselves.  One last time we made our way to stand in three ranks outside the NAFFI in a mix of apprehension and concern for what was to come.  Bottom field pass out consisted of a fully weighted rope climb, a timed run of the assault course, a 200m fireman’s carry in less than 90 seconds, and a full regain over the tank.  In a blur, an hour later we were back in 3 ranks having finished regains awaiting the go ahead that we could leave bottom field for the final time.

Despite everyone getting ready for our next detail, news was not all completely good as there were a handful of lads that would be required to return to re-run bottom field pass out the next day.  There was less to be anxious about for the remainder of the day with only lectures remaining covering CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) that we would require for exercise later in the week.

Tuesday 8th March

First detail of the day was a Troop favourite: four hours of arms drill…  A drill period always starts the same way: every man in the Troop dreading the inspection, or more accurately dreading failing the inspection.  This entails a re-parade at 2000 which is not how you want to be spending what little free time you have!  All in all this period of drill turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than I had foreseen.  I am not sure if this was due to the weather no longer dampening spirits during drill or simply that as a Troop our drill was on the up and looking better than ever.  Despite drill involving little or no physical work, it never fails to build an appetite and as the period came to an end scran was on everyone’s mind.

After a quick lunch the afternoon was spent with the assault engineers learning about mine warfare.  This session encompassed all the different types of explosives we might one day come across and what actions we would need to take including how to search for them to make safe routes through minefields.

Wednesday 9th March

After what felt like death by drill on Tuesday we were all glad to see that it was the first thing on the Wednesday morning too.  A slight comfort came from knowing that this drill period was the pass out for arms drill so we would at least be moving on to more complex drill periods in future.  The most important thing would be that drill would no longer be static and this was music to everyone’s ears.  After picking up weapons for the period we rehearsed the sequence required for the pass out so we had everything fine-tuned ready for assessment.  When it came to the assessed run through, the Tp sailed through each element passing first time.

It was planned for us to have a second fitting of our Blues and Lovats with the unit tailor in the afternoon, which everyone was looking forward to.  So it’s needless to say that there was disappointment in the air when we were told that they were not ready and we would not get the chance for a second fitting.  The remainder of the day was spent in lectures with the assault engineers once more where we would learn about the kinds of defences we might one day put together using barbed and razor wire.  We also had a teach on sandbag filling and how to put together a sand bag wall, which surprisingly has a lot more to it than you would expect.

Thursday 10th – Friday 11th March

First detail of the day saw the Troop sitting back in the lecture room for a final CBRN lecture before we deployed on Exercise HOLDFAST.  Two hours of sponging up information about chemical sentries later and we were preparing and loading equipment required for the exercise before moving onto location.

After a short coach ride up on to the common we disembarked and readied ourselves for a short yomp to our harbour location.  We moved by the light and so had to travel without the use of paths or tracks.  Our bergans contained the usual field kit in addition to all of our CBRN equipment.  When combined with tough terrain this made our movement slower than usual and many in the Troop were getting stuck in the bogs that we crossed.

When we arrived on location we were provided with our ammunition and instruction on our first Troop detail.  We would be clearing a woodblock northeast of our location of enemy forces using fighting in woods and forest (FIWAF) techniques.  We moved off in single file covering ground in the cover of the neighbouring woodblocks until we stopped short near our objective area.  We organised ourselves while remaining tactical so that we could make our way swiftly to the edge of the woodblock and start to clear the ground without delay.

After a couple of expected contacts with the known enemy residing in the woodblock we made our way back as a Troop to our bergans to establish a Troop harbour.  We then received our warning order of a possible Troop ambush we would be setting over the night and so got straight to work on modelling the intended site of the ambush for better understanding of the ground and to aid our Troop orders.

One Section then set off on a recce task to get eyes on the ambush location and plan where the Troop would be placed.  After a successful reconnaissance of the ambush site we made our way back to the Troop harbour location to update the rest of the Troop with the information we had gained and update the model to be more accurate.

We then sat through Troop orders detailing the plan of how the ambush would actually work: covering how we got there; what happened when we got there; what happened while we waited for the enemy to arrive and what would happen when they did.  After everyone was briefed and happy with what they were doing we made our way to the ambush site, traveling east through the woodblock so that we were less detectable.

When we arrived at the location the Troop were placed where they were required to be and we waited out in position readily waiting the enemy.  After a couple of hours we observed the enemy patrolling into our intended area and we engaged them as planned to complete our task.  After a quick search of the ambush site the Troop hastily vacated the area in case the enemy sent reinforcements to engage us now that they knew our location.

We made our way back into a Troop harbour now by the light as night had passed.  We carried out any personal admin while all round security was maintained with sentry rotation.  After a quick breakfast, wash, recam, and weapon clean we had a surprise chemical alarm.  This meant we had to carry out the gas masking procedure as fast as possible (in under nine seconds) and then carry out our immediate action to ensure that we were suitably dressed for chemical warfare.  Following this we were to decontaminate ourselves to reduce risk.  This involves using decontamination powder on our equipment and skin (head and hands).

Our CBRN instructors were keen to demonstrate the challenge of operating in full CBRN dress and so we were given the chance to leopard crawl in an open area as fast as we could!  Between crawls we would carry out the unmasking and re-masking drills so that we had additional practice.  Having learnt that the suits limit our physical capability (substantially!) we got our hands on some of the chemical detection equipment we might get to use in future.  Hopefully not for real though!!

Following the CBRN serial, we stowed away our CBRN kit and readied ourselves for some Section drills around the common.  We covered patrolling (including formations and working on spacing), Section advances to contact and break contacts.  After several hours of this practice and rehearsal it was mid-afternoon and the Troop had gone over 30 hours without sleep due to the night’s ambush.  We patrolled back to the harbour location and were instructed to pack away our bergans ready for a yomp back to CTCRM as we had ended the exercise.

We set off on the familiar five mile yomp back to CTCRM carrying our personal field kit, which turned out to be fairly tricky as the lack of sleep had an effect on our physical ability.  On return to CTCRM we carried out our regular post-exercise administration involving checking kit for any ammunition carried back from the training area, cleaning our personal rifles as well as Section weapon systems, and de-servicing all of our own kit ready for its next use.

214 Tp Recruit Diary

Week 21

Monday – The enforcer!

My typical Monday morning, when i was a civilian, consisted of waking up at 0700 to get to work for 0800 to then sit at a desk and count down the hours until I could go home…not these days!  This Monday morning we began our journey on Ex URBAN WARRIOR which we were told on the ‘rumour mill’ would be a hoofing week.  To kick start the exercise we made our way down to the compound where we were met by the assault engineers (AEs), who taught us how to knock on the door… with the help of our friend THE ENFORCER!  (This weighs in at 62 pounds, fitted with two handles and a square base plate and its primary function is to punch threw a re-enforced door).  Using this tool we applied the techniques we were shown by the AEs to make a safe and correct entry on inward opening doors.  Another tool used to make entry on an outward opening door was the ‘hooligan bar’ which works in the same manner as a crow bar.  We stacked up in our Sections and took turns to take down all six doors effectively and efficiently.

Completing that serial with the AEs in the morning we then went on to start our close quarter battle (CQB) training under the instruction of the training team.  We first learnt the basics of stacking up on an open door; learning who is in charge at given times; and what directions we all head when making entry into a room.  We also learnt to avoid moving around the urban environment as a complete Section; covering different obstacles, hallways and applying door checks prior to making an entry.  It was safe to say the entire week set in front of us was going to be a lot to take in, in such a short space of time but as a Troop we were picking it up quite quickly.

Tuesday – Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!

Tuesday was another day spent down at the compound progressing our skills and drills in the CQB environment.  As a Troop we had grasped the basics of performing an entry into a room as a three man stack.  To progress from there the training team had put in different scenarios that we would have to negotiate when entering a room, for example: captured personnel and searching them; performing dead-checks; multiple obstacles or rooms to enter; maintaining 360 all-round protection when moving in the room (body armour to body armour).  On top of all that we had to drill into our minds the correct commands and signals that are used by all marines in the CQB environment.

Wednesday – Simunition time

Yet another day spent down at the compound and another chance for the Troop to practice in all the techniques taught by the training team over the past few days.  To add to the excitement in our CQB training we were informed by the Corporals that we would have the chance to use simunition rounds later on in the day (much like a paintball but in the shape of a 5.56mm round which can be fired from our SA80 rifles).  As the day went on we were all getting eager to crack on using the sim rounds that we had all heard so much about.  We had completed numerous amounts of dry runs through the CQB course and our skills and drills were beginning to look slightly professional under very good instruction from all the Corporals over the past few days.  Once the training team were content, we loaded with sim rounds looking forward to shooting one another as some played enemy in the scenarios.  It turns out they hurt significantly more than paintballs!

Towards the end of the day we were given a detail to scramble to the lecture rooms as quickly as possible to receive a set of warning orders at 1800, as the pesky Peoples Front for Liberation and Justice were up to their antics again.  This time we were tasked to retrieve a highly valued hostage (that needed to be returned safely back to her desk at CTCRM med bay)!  It was safe to say the entire Troop were very motivated with the task at hand and knew we were in for a very long night (no sleep).  Warning order completed, we then had a few tasks to complete by 2230 which included all of our battle preparation and building a 3D model of the village we were to attack at 40 Commando.  Needless to say morale was high after a good day down at the compound and everyone had worked hard on the model which the training team were impressed with-  as every bit of detail of the village was included.  Battle prep sorted and we were ready for another set of orders from the Troop Commander.  Orders were given and transport was scheduled for 0200 on the Thursday to deploy to 40 Commando to rescue the high value hostage.  There was a bit of a buzz around the Troop as the excitement of carrying out our first urban assault could not be contained.  Of course everyone was also very concerned for the hostage’s life.

Thursday – JACKPOT

0200 came round very quickly and soon we were all in transit to 40 Commando to take down the village and complete the mission.  At 40 Commando we got off the transport and silently got into our Section sticks in one long line ready to step off in single file to the village.  With night vision goggles on we made our way to the target.  Once we were close, the Corporals conducted a final recce to confirm their start points for the assault before returning and leading us in.  There were six buildings to clear with each Section given their tasks in order to dominate the area.  After all the training we had received from the training team it was our chance as a Troop to impress them with our skills and drills we had picked up from the beginning of the week.  Sections 1 and 2 made the first move towards the front two buildings – as the enemy didn’t have night vision capability we had a distinct advantage to move in (much like ninjas).  Once these two buildings were cleared Sections 3 and 4 took down and cleared the next couple of buildings.  With rounds being fired from both ends, despite enemy being killed and hostages being saved, there was still no sign of our high valued hostage.  We were down to the last two buildings with the PFLJ still at large when we carried on with our clearance…then… a strong aroma of Chanel No.5 filled the air.  Clearly as the professional fighting soldiers that we are, we did not allow this to cloud our judgment or behavior!  We progressed onwards taking down more enemy, and still on the hunt for the high valued hostage… then the radio kicked in “10A this is 12C; JACKPOT, JACKPOT, over” Hostage found…MISSION COMPLETE!

214 Tp Recruit Diary

Week 22

Here we go again!  After two weeks of holiday we returned to camp nervous and dreading what was to come.  Having heard the rumours of how dreadful Ex VIOLENT ENTRY was going to be, the morale for this next exercise was low.  As we packed our bergans on the Sunday night, everyone was trying to stay cheerful by spinning dits (telling stories) of the previous two weeks.

Here it is – Monday!  We spent most of the day on camp waiting and trying to anticipate what was going to happen.  At 1800 we got on the coach to Sennybridge.  Everyone was trying to get as much sleep as possible on the coach, as we knew this was probably going to be the last bit of sleep we got for a while.

Once we arrived at Sennybridge we all scurried off the coach, grabbed our equipment and prepared ourselves for the arduous yomp to come.  With over 70lbs of weight on our backs, eight miles and three hours later we finally reached the harbour destination.  Everyone was pleased that we had accomplished the first hurdle of the exercise.

After only one hour of sleep, we were up creating a model pit for the small village we were tasked with attacking.  Once the model had been created we went through a series of orders before carrying out a recce on the village to gather the information we needed for our attack.  Finally we set off on our mission to clear the village of any enemy, wading through streams, diving through windows and throwing grenades through doors.  At the time we thought we were really good but, as our later debrief made clear, we had a long way to go to become proficient!  When the attack had finished we occupied three of the buildings for the rest of the night.

On the following morning we set off on our second long yomp of the exercise, during which we seemed to experience all four seasons.  We were all relieved it was over when we finally arrived at the woodblock we would be occupying for the night, but there was a lot of moaning of sore backs and feet. We couldn’t rest yet though: we were given details for an ambush we were going to carry out later that evening.  When night fell we set off to the ambush position.  The Troop then got into position and we lay on the edge of the woodblock with the wind howling and the cold air rushing down our backs, making us shiver vigorously.  We waited, morale dropping.   Hours passed but finally we got eyes on the enemy.  Once the enemy had moved into our killing zone a wave of bullets (blanks) hail down onto them.  We collapsed and returned to the harbour, only to then receive another debrief by a training team annoyed with our poor drills and effort.  We had to turn things around before things went south.

On our third yomp we came into an enemy area and we were ordered to quickly clear a small building located in the valley.  As we approached in a shallow arrowhead formation we really felt the part.  Again we came under contact and exchanged fire.  This exercise was really starting to give us all the impression we were becoming real soldiers.  As we carried on with our yomp we came across some tough terrain which very swampy.  Lads were falling left right and centre, which was actually quite funny to watch.  However, as we tried to help them up we sank into the ground ourselves.  In the end a lot of us just had to make a run for it otherwise there would have just been a massive back log of sinking Recruits!

We were left that evening to carry out our standard night routine.  The following morning the Troop Commander came down and made it clear how disappointed he had been with the Troop’s effort so far in the exercise.  Everyone’s morale was already low but now it had just reached rock bottom.  In truth we all felt embarrassed by how badly the exercise had gone so far, and now we made the collective agreement to pick it up for the remainder.

That evening consisted of preparing everything to go and attack a large village.  Everyone was dedicated to the challenge ahead and we all looked forward to what was to come.  With all the Sections detailed on what they needed to do we started the attack!  With GPMG and rifle rounds thundering down on the buildings, and grenades going off, the noise was deafening.  Breaking into buildings and clearing them of any enemy again felt good.

Once the village was clear of enemy we then had to defend it for the following few days.  All kinds of scenarios happened whilst we were at the village from going out at 0300 to clear buildings that enemy had been spotted in, to just standing on sentry thinking you were talking to civilians and suddenly getting kidnapped!

Coming to the end of the exercise lads were starting to smell!  Seven days in the field doesn’t do too well on the body.  But that is why we signed the contract (as our Dutch Sergeant would say)!  Once the exercise had finished we had another debrief from the training team.  This time thankfully we had done better for the final part of it.  However, it would never be enough to redeem our previous failings and so we all knew we were in for some pain the following week.

Finally, it was time for some much needed sleep on the coach home.  What a week full of highs and lows!

214 Tp Recruit Diary

Week 23

The week started with a lot of relief as the Troop had returned from the infamous trip to Sennybridge on Exercise VIOLENT ENTRY the week previous.  Nursing injuries and extremely tired, everybody was looking forward to a relatively relaxed and enjoyable week at Okehampton Battle Camp taking part in adventure training.

On Monday morning we eagerly awaited the coach.  Bed blocks made and dressed in civilian clothing, everyone settled quickly onto the coach expecting a decent hour’s head down before arriving at Okehampton.  However, the coach quickly passed the front gate rather than leave camp.  Everyone assumed this was driver error but as soon as we stopped back outside the accom with the Troop Commander approaching the coach we realised that the warning we had got previously about our performance on exercise was not going to be taken lightly.  Upon instruction we piled out of the coach, sprinting back in the accom to get back in rig with full webbing and back outside within 10 minutes.  All previous thought of relaxation was gone – we all knew we were not going to enjoy the next few hours.

As we ran down to the bottom field we were met with our PTI ready to give us some ‘remedial phys’.  What followed was 40 minutes of intense and hard work leaving the Troop pretty much exhausted.  Thinking we were done we followed the Troop Commander halfway back to the accom, when he suddenly changed course and headed straight down to the railway station, across the tracks and out into the estuary for the Troop’s first ever mud run – something iconic and infamous among recruits.  This well and truly ruined everyone as we crawled, slid and ran around in the knee deep mud for over an hour before spelling a large ‘214’ in the mud – a tradition following mud runs.  After some picture-taking and getting hosed down we were given the real timings and set off to think about the joys of our remedial training in the showers.

When we finally got to Okehampton we were told each Section would be doing a different activity each day.  We had coasteering, sea kayaking and mountain biking.  Each activity also had a few challenges, in which each Section competed with the winning Section getting a crate of beer at the end of the week.

For coasteering we had set up a rope across a large gap, the competition being to get everyone across the gap as fast as possible.  For sea kayaking we had to capsize each kayak and then get back in while timed, and for mountain biking we had to lower all of our equipment and ourselves off a bridge using a pulley system.  Each challenge required teamwork and communication, both skills that are essential to the job we are learning to do.

All activities were good and physically demanding but overall coasteering was the winner, with everyone enjoying jumping off ten metre high cliffs.  Overall the adventure training had been an enjoyable learning package.  We also found out that the Corps looks favourably on adventure training as a good form of Rest &Recuperation and is encouraged throughout your career, which everyone was glad to hear.

Upon returning to camp we had a small matter of a kit muster, locker and accommodation inspection followed by weapons cleaning before everyone was happily thinned out for a well-deserved long weekend.

214 Tp Recruit Diary

Week 24


So Week 24 kicked off with a booted run: two BFT best efforts that would definitely get the heart working again.  Motivation for a strong performance was further instilled when our troop PTI said that the time between the first and last men would be recorded and owed to him at the end of the period, so no one was loafing in the rear.  The run was shortly followed by a cheeky ‘pick up’ circuit where an exercise was picked up after every set (10 of each exercise and 10 sets).  Again the time between the first and last men was recorded and added to the time from the two runs.  This owed time amassed to a gruelling nine minutes.  Now nine minutes before I joined Royal Marine training would not have sounded too bad.  However, I have plenty of evidence to prove that PTIs have an incredible ability to reduce you to physical exhaustion in far less!  Plus, when you have just worked hard for a physical training session it can seem like a life time – and it did.  The friendly sound of ‘leg burners’ rung in our ears as we conducted nine different leg exercises alternating on the minute for nine minutes.  But all would be beneficial in the run up to our final exercise and the Commando tests.  While we conducted our period, a fellow Troop was conducting their 6 mile speed march and we witnessed them finish and earn their cap comforters for the Commando phase of training which brought morale to us, as we are only two weeks away from being in their position.

After the phys session we had our first introduction to the light machine gun (LMG).  This weapon was easier to learn from previous ones as it is similar to the general purpose machine gun (GPMG), which we are already using.  Of course, as most weapon lessons end with a small competition, this one found the loser having to fill his helmet from the tank (cold water) and put it on.  This honour luckily found its way to me!

In the evening we had a Corps history lesson with our new drill leader (DL) which was insightful as ever, learning about the colourful history of the Corps we are striving to become a part of.


This kicked off with an early start in preparation for our endurance course acquaint.  This includes a four mile walk up to the start (we do this as a warm up, even before the Commando test itself).  Then we had a refresher of the course itself because we hadn’t actually been around it since Potential Royal Marines Course, and then a timed run of it, followed by a steady run back to camp as a Troop.  Due to our not staying together as one body of men on the run back, we had a cheeky firemans carry circuit to finish the period which was a rewarding leg work-out for us!

The rest of the day was programmed lectures which would be a chance for our legs to recover from the day’s arduous training.  Our first lecture of the day was amphibious warfare which is one of the Corps’ specialist areas (being an amphibious force), and the fact that our next training week would be conducted at HMS Raleigh for our amphibious training package.  This lecture was followed by ‘the threat’ which was about the current affairs around the world that may affect us after we hopefully pass out in the coming months.  A NATO and the UN lecture followed with a very interesting topic of conversation: ‘Are NATO and the UN null and void?’  This got the whole Troop researching and discussing the topic which was good to a part of.  The day’s lectures concluded with a sea safety video, which was made in 1991, but was still prevalent to the training and dangers we would encounter in our line of work around the ocean.


This started with the completion of our NVQs that had been looming over us since the start of training.  This gives us a nationally recognised civilian qualification while also laying the education foundations required for promotion.

Our phys of the day would come with our 30ft wall acquaint.  This (in a lot of the Troop’s eyes) would be a blow out on the arms to finish our Tarzan Commando test.  First time up the wall was with no kit and a chance to get a feel for the correct position to get up the wall quickly and safely.  Second time up was with full 21lbs webbing and our personal weapon.  Third time came after a full run through of bottom field just so we could appreciate the challenge it posed at the end of the test.

The afternoon proved to be a more relaxed one which was a relief for us as a lot of us were aching after the week’s physical training periods.  It started with a visit to the unit pay office to get our picture and details taken for our Royal Navy ID cards.  Next would be a further weapons lesson on the LMG and then the completion of our LMG weapons handling tests in stances.  This was a chance to get further hands on with a weapon that we would be live firing the next week and perhaps using on Ex FINAL THRUST and, eventually, at a unit.


This began with a triple drill session with our new DL, which incorporated learning new moves like fixing and unfixing bayonets, the starburst and the crucifix which could potentially be in our King’s Squad pass out routine.  So this proved to be one of the more enjoyable drill periods for us with its relevance.

Drill was followed by a firefighting lecture with an informative video that helped us answer the questionnaire we had been given to complete.  The day concluded with next-generation light anti-tank weapon (NLAW) and anti-structure munition (ASM) training that was interesting as they are some heavy pieces of kit to use.  Although our Cpls said that they had never fired either of them we still needed a heads up in how to use them in the event of going to unit and having to use them on operations or in our future careers in the Corps.  The lessons were detailed and concluded in a weapons handling test on both of the systems.  The Cpls hinted that we may be taking these on Ex FINAL THRUST which would be an extra 10kg+ in the trusty top flap of our bergan for the yomps around Dartmoor!


This kicked off with a turbo early start of 0400 ready for breakfast booked at 0500.  Upon finishing we collected our personal weapons and weighed our bergans/webbing to make sure we had the correct 69lbs of weight; some of the Troop were underweight and so had to find a rock to make them up.  We left CTCRM at 0600 for our 12 mile load carry criteria test.  This posed as a daunting 12 miles cross-country around Woodbury Common and back to camp.  It rained for the full time it took us to complete the yomp, which came in useful as it helped us not get too hot while steaming along at a decent pace through the common and roads to CTCRM.  The load carry was meant to be completed in four hours but we made a good pace, coming in a little over three hours, testament to the fitness of the Troop.

Upon completion of the yomp we marched back into camp and back to our accommodation knowing that we had got through another test recruit training had for us.  All we had to do was clean and return our rifles to the armoury and then we got our kit list needed for next week’s amphibious training at HMS Raleigh (home of Royal Navy basic training).  On completion we enjoyed a well-earned weekend after a tough week and a good amount of mileage in our legs!

As another ‘tick in the box’ was achieved it was another weight off of our shoulders and a chance to look back on how far we have come from the start of training to where we are now.  There is still a long way to go but the end is in sight and the Troop’s morale is high which is great for the challenges we have to come, in order to earn the coveted green beret.

214 Tp Recruit Diary

Week 25

After having a chilled weekend recovering from the 12 mile load carry, work started again on the Sunday afternoon when 214 Troop moved to HMS Raleigh to begin the amphibious week of Royal Marines recruit training.

Monday saw the Troop getting split into two groups.  One group did firefighting and the other half learned sea survival.  After ‘death by PowerPoint’ the half firefighting got hands on with the hoses and fire extinguishers.  Firstly we were shown how to move around a ship safely and how to fill up and test extinguishers.  We then got split up again into smaller groups of four and went through a simulation exercise fighting gas fires in a mock ship.

The other half of the Troop were meanwhile getting lectures on sea survival which consisted of how to fit life jackets, survival suits and how to embark and disembark a 25 man Royal Navy life craft.  After lunch they spent the afternoon in the swimming pool with the life craft, practising the skills they had been taught in the lectures.  After having a meal at 1700 we then went as a Troop back to our room to get ready for a Physical Training session with the Troop Sergeant at one of the gyms on camp.  It was a quick but cheeky circuit to keep us ticking over as we have our 6 mile speed march next week, so the gym sessions were beneficial for us but not too strenuous.

Tuesday was the same as Monday with the two halves of the Troop swapping over activities.

Wednesday was an introduction shoot to the light machine gun (LMG) for the first time with live rounds.  A day on the ranges is always enjoyable and to make things better we were allocated more ammunition than normal.  We collected six LMGs from the armoury and moved down to the 25 metre range on camp.  Whilst firing our 100 rounds a few of the lads came across quite a few stoppages with the guns as some of them were a bit temperamental.  This benefited the lads as they could practise their stoppage drills using live rounds.  After spending a few hours cleaning the guns we then had a training session with one of the Royal Navy PTIs.  Another quick but hard circuit which was quite enjoyable.

Thursday saw the Troop move ten minutes down the road to a place called Jupiter Point.  Here we spent a day on a few different types of boats.  It started with getting shown capsize drills and then putting them into practice in groups of six.  Each of us had to jump off a platform with life jacket, webbing and rifle into the water.  We then had to report to one of the Corporals which was funny as some of the lads struggled to speak as the water was so cold!  We then had to capsize the boat and then turn it the right way up again.

After getting a shower and into our dry clothes we then went onto the landing crafts and practised moving from them to smaller offshore raiding crafts and inflatable raiding crafts.  The Troop practised beach attacks on all the different types of boats then we headed to Royal Marines Tamar (landing craft base) in Plymouth.  After spending a few hours waiting for it to get dark we then practised the same drills in darkness.

On Friday we headed back to CTCRM, but not before stopping off at the China Fleet Country Club for a bit of down time in the pool and at the driving range!!


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