222 Troop – Week 13
Week 13 was one of the most exciting weeks I have had throughout the whole of phase 1. The main reason for this was the Helicopter Underwater Escape Training, stories of HUET training are always passed about by recruits and there nature made us quite anxious! As always with stories though we all took them with a pinch of salt, surely it cannot be as bad as people make out?
We arrived at Yeovil and received a detailed safety lecture about the training so we felt prepared yet anxious. Ready to go we then got in groups of six and lined up, I was in the first group but somehow then got transferred to the last group, not phased I patiently watched the groups get through the drills. Most of the lads were a little shaky but got through drills with little fault. When it came to the lights being turned off and the machine being turned upside down and put in the water the game changed, you then really had to pay attention and follow the instructions carefully. One lad swam straight into the roof of the machine cutting his nose, there was a minute of seriousness followed by laughter and jokes, cheerfulness in the face of adversity being one of the commando values. I survived the experience and it was nowhere near as bad as the stories I have heard.
Another highlight in week 13 was throwing a grenade at the Warminster grenade ranges. This was really exciting as it felt like you were in a real conflict situation. Watching the anticipation on the lads faces was as they prepared themselves was quite something. More so when they dressed back into the safety building after throwing the grenade itself, their faces were lit up with excitement! Then it came my turn, after a strict and thorough safety brief from earlier on in the day I was aware of the procedure and how to carry it out. I stepped out of the building and dressed into the Corporal, I carried out the drill calmly and correctly and finally got to the point of throwing the grenade. Throwing it as far as I could and watching its direction I screamed “Grenade” as loud as I could, immediately I shot down into cover and felt an almighty boom and vibration. The corporal then calmly let me stand to see the effects.
All in all this has been one of the best weeks in training to date, we finish the week with high morale ready to take on the next challenge ahead.