“So week 29 was upon us and with it the first week of Field Firing, still feeling the effects of week 28 and the final run-throughs of the Endurance course and Tarzan Assault course, we were all in high spirits. Field firing brought exciting prospects and opportunities with it, firstly the 2 week package was the culmination of the rest of training and our chance to show the training team that we had applied ourselves and where ready to pass out, secondly it would lead us into the fierce Commando tests.
We left CTCRM and headed to Dartmoor with the weather looking to be on our side for the week after a wet weekend. Monday began very basic, on Willsworthy ranges, we practiced moving into cover whilst applying the marksmanship principles to ensure we were ready and well drilled for what was to come later in the coming week. After a confirmatory night shoot of our optics we had a small but exciting walk to our overnight accommodation, the exciting part was conducting a ‘stream’ crossing at 0130. However after 28 weeks of amphibious training we are more than used to the ‘oggin’.
We knew that field firing package was to be progressive as with firing live ammunition comes a heightened level of safety, this would be the first time we would shoot live with our ‘oppos’ moving left and right of us. We started we individual movements up a small re-entrant to practice our use of cover whilst firing at targets accurately this was certainly one of the best things we did all week as everyone got to throw a live HE grenade at the end of the serial. The week then progressed to go through all types of firing and manoeuvre from individuals, pairs and fire teams. We completed these in the daylight and at night through black and white light attacks this would lead onto fire teams and section attacks nearer the end of the week.
Safety is a large part of field firing but the training team had created some serials that really allowed us to experience what it might be like to do for real, this was through the use of the overhead firing gun and us implementing fire support positions as an assault was being conducted. The whole experience was definitely exciting giving everyone a small tingle whilst we went through.
Overall the troop had dug deep and performed well during the week with team giving us confidence in what we had done. Everyone was ready for a weekend off and some rest to prepare ourselves for week 2 field firing and what the end of week 30 would bring.”