Week 14 began with the normal round robin camp activities of lectures and phys. The lectures this week were mainly on signals including the PRC 354 and the individual PRRs that will we be using in Phase 2. Phys was conducted Bottom Field and with the normal activities of the assault course, rope climbs and regains now with 15lbs of weight.
The main focus of the week was the final confirmation exercise of Phase 1- Exercise Baptist Run. This was the most important exercise so far as this was to confirm that you are ready to progress on Phase 2 of training.
The exercise began on Tuesday evening with a full kit muster in the drill shed. The aim of this kit muster was to prove that all kit was ready for the field in that it had been waterproofed and even packed in the first place. Random items were chosen by the training team to be inspected. After a nervous 20 minutes we were told to pack our kit and head back to the accommodation.
The next morning began with a 4 mile speed march with 21lbs of kit and personal weapon. There were no dramas on this part and everybody completed the march ok.
After deploying into the field the main focus of the exercise started and a round robin of tests were completed. These included a static map stance, fire control orders, target indication, observation stance and a stalk where we had to try and stay camouflaged and move across the undergrowth to fire a ‘shot’ at our instructors, who in turn were trying to spot us.
During the evening we wrote route cards for out night navigation across the common. The nav-ex was completed individually and with no white light or following other recruits was allowed. As we are unable to follow tracks and paths this can present a few extra problems, mostly which involved ending up wet!
The following morning began with a kit muster to see if we had looked after ourselves in the field. We were checked personally and also our kit to confirm it was still serviceable. Most important was the check on our weapon for rust and carbon.
The 2nd day was a complete copy of the first, including another night nav-ex and funnily enough more chances to get wet!
The last day started off with a kit muster before the Troop PTI arrived to take us for our 8 mile CFT back to camp. Everybody managed to complete the march back, no doubt motivated by the thought of Christmas leave approaching.
The exercise wasn’t quite over though as a long evening and night beckoned as all our kit and weapons needed to be deserviced for a final kit muster the next morning. A sleepless night was worth it as again, everyone passed and within a few hours we were at Exeter St David’s on the train home for leave.
Royal marines recruit training week 15
This week was one of the most interesting weeks so far in training as we had many different lectures throughout the week on different aspects of training that would come about in phase 2.
Our lectures included more in depth detail of different aspects of field craft. Mostly this is the stuff that we all joined up to do. So we are apprehensive but very very excited to see how we do when trying to apply this in a real time situation.
We learned about how to set up a more tactical harbor in the field and to apply ourselves more tactically and how to conduct search routines , forward sentries , recconisance patrols through the night , how to build and construct an observation post and what to do in them. This is all leading up to our exercise First Base in week 16.
We had many signals lectures throughout week 15 and in these lessons we learnt how to operate PRR radios ( personal role radios ) on a study level and also on a practical level , communicated and talking to each other through them in the classroom and to get used to using them for preparation out in the field and throughout our careers in the royal marines.
We also learnt how to use the Manpack radio and many details about it. This was a little bit more advanced and was very interesting to use and play about with until we had a sound understanding of this piece of equipment. This will also play out in importance to the section ICs and 2ics in each section of the troop as they have hands on with this equipment a lot of the time.
Later on in the week we also did a swim session with full PCS on and this session consisted of a three stage circuit. It was a good team building effort as many tasks in the circuit could not be completed without the help of the rest of your group or the troop as whole this consisted of sprint lengths , diving to the bottom of the pool to pick up rifles and many hypoxic exercises. This for me was one of the highlights of the week as was many of the recruits in the troop.
Finally on Friday it was what we have been waiting for in phase 1. Phase 1 pass out. Where the section ICs and 2ics could be awarded , PT superiors , marksmen, and other individual awards. We were presented our awards by the RSM and the rest of our training team. We had phase 1 pass out photos for our families and come Monday we can now start wearing our green belts which where issued to us at the start of training.
Overall this was a very good week in recruit training for 230 troop.