224 TROOP WEEK 14 DIARY
After having a working weekend Monday seemed like it was already later in the week. It was a fairly relaxed day, considering. Signal lessons all day was followed by packing and preparation of our kit ready for Exercise BAPTIST RUN, the final exercise of Phase 1 Training, I was really looking forward to this exercise.
I found the signal lessons really interesting and I think this was a feeling shared by the whole troop. Not many people nodded off, everyone was focused. This was probably brought on by the large amount of coffee that was being consumed. After lessons and dinner we had a brief on the landing from the training team about the remainder of the week. We needed to get our webbing weight sorted sorted for the following morning as we would be straight into the first test of Ex BAPTIST RUN, the 4 Mile Speed March.
Tuesday morning started with the usual Sodexho fry up, we then kitted up and setoff on the 4 miler, with the first mile typically being the toughest mentally, but after that it was a lot easier than I was expecting. We only lost one person on the run but he was from Hunter Coy, not 224 Troop so nobody was particularly concerned. So, overall a good start to the exercise. A quick shower followed and we then got our kit ready and ourselves on the coach in order to travel to Woodbury Common.
We arrived, unloaded the Support Vehicle and set up the team tent. We then split into 2 groups. One group proceeded to the stalk and the other to a map reading test. I started with the map stance, which I was fairly confident about as I usually did okay in the practice tests. Afterwards we switched and my group proceeded to the Stalking, Camouflage and Concealment Test. Turner achieved the highest score, impressing his oppos and the training team with what he managed to achieve in the allocated time. My week started of really well by getting 10/10 on the stalk, getting two shots of in the 25 minute test. The troop then got split into 3 groups to go on to the next tests of Observation, Fire Control Orders and Target Indication. The final part of the day was the Night Navigation Test. I was happy with this and successfully managed to negotiate all checkpoint within time. I find the Night Navs enjoyable overall, apart from the occasional trip into a waist-deep bog, but its all about cheerfulness in the face of adversity!
The following day was almost a repeat of the first and again went pretty well for me, with my only disappointment being failure to make it to the box on the stalk. I realised where I went wrong and learnt from the mistake. The night nav again went well for me and made it to the end with 25 minutes to spare, despite being slightly wetter than the previous night. This was owing to my compass leading me through a bog among a herd of cows; trusting my compass I kept to my bearing as with previous attempts that I have proven successful in. Once others started returning to the finish point the morale was higher than it had been, as we knew that the exercise was almost over.
Thursday started with a kit muster, as it had on every other day. We then packed the majority of our kit onto the Support Vehicle, followed by weighing of our bergans for an 8 mile Combat Fitness Test back to camp. I felt strong throughout and part of me actually found it enjoyable. Once I knew there was only 4 miles to go the endorphins started to flow. I was surprised at the amount of running there was, as the yomps I had done previously were mainly walking, but for most of us the event went well.
On arrival at CTCRM, we were debriefed and made a start on on cleaning our rifles before de-servicing our kit. I didn’t get any sleep that night but wasn’t particularly bothered, as we were going home on leave later that day. After the final kit muster we were then briefed on the week, our performances and the routine for proceeding on Summer Leave. I passed the exercise along with 9 others, which I was really happy about. We then packed our things and prepared for a 3 week long break. I didn’t want to leave, as I knew I would be bored back home and miss my life in CTCRM, but this was eased by looking forward to my Spanish holiday with Rct Turner.