DIARY - RMR Bristol Phase 1A - Ex Early Knight 115 Trp

Discussion in 'RMR Diaries' started by Froggers, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Froggers

    Froggers Member

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    Ex Early Knight 24/04/15 ( Started with 32, curently 29)

    Unlike Ex First Step, Early knight was to take place on Dartmoor and not Woodbury common. From our detachment myself and the other phase 1A where bussed down to Devon with the lads on phase 1B, they were to be doing their Tactical Confirmation weekend (last weekend before RFCC).

    Arriving around 2am at the training area we were instructed how to erect the training teams tents and were issued riffle and stores, everything was quickly packed away and we stood to in the same sections as the previous Ex. We then patrolled into a nearby wood and got about to setting up a patrol harbour. like the last Ex, I was pinged for double sentry, first being at 02:30 - 03:00 and then 05:00 - 05:30...not much chance of sleep.

    Saturday morning at 06:00 we were all up and everyone was getting stuck into their morning routine. First detail of the day was field phys, sprinting to trees, sit ups, press ups, burpees and firemen's carries. After phys we got started on the lectures, everything this weekend was focused on field craft and basic soldering. lectures ranged from fire control orders to judging distance and weapons handling. Around the time of the weapons handling lectures the heavens opened and turned everyone's mood sour. We were all cold, wet and hungry and I am sure that like myself everyone was having seconds thoughts. I don't mind being cold and wet as long as I'm moving, But sitting in an open wood with no cover from the elements really did test my resolve. The lectures were ended early as the weather got so bad that it was feared lads would start going down with hypothermia! we were told get bivis up and hot wets on.

    Saturday evening were were split into sections for our first night nav across Dartmoor. Although I was incredibly tired and verging on exhausted I loved every min of it, it felt like we were doing some proper soldering. The training team even took us to a position that overlooked the phase 1B lads setting an ambush. We got to wait about to see it spung, hoofin stuff! We got in off the nav at about 00:00 and I estimate that we yomped around 5 miles. I profed and only got pinged for 1 sentry early on in the night so got a whopping 4 hours of bag time, lovely!

    Sunday morning we had our first proper full inspection and then it was a 4 mile speed march. I don't know if it was the lack of food, sleep or the 5 mile yomp the night before but that 4 miler was one of the hardest runs I have ever done, every second of it I felt as though I was going to pass out. After the speed march we sat down and fully serviced our weapons. I finished up quickly and so was pinged for a couple of shit details. I was pinged a 3rd time and was getting a little fed up with it all until I was told to go over to the wagon and collect all the spare smoke grenades... they needed to be disposed of! It was definitely a highlight getting to pop a load of smoke, especially when the wind changed and blew all the smoke into my oppos haha

    Total hours of sleep - 5.5
    Number of lads left - 28
     
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  2. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

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    @Froggers, good write up mate. Trust me, you were not the only one hanging out on the 4.4 (don't forget the .4!) mile speed march. I definitely found it tough as well, but we hung on in there thats the main thing! I personally put it down to lack of hydration before the run, I knew before I started that I should have taken on more but was so focussed on the Kit Muster that I didn't really bother..... lesson learnt! Though I did pass muster without having to commando crawl to a mess tin or metal mug that had been launched into the distance so consider that a minor victory! :D

    The rain during weapons lectures was certainly an emotional experience. I remember sitting there with my waterproof notepad disintegrating in my hands as I took notes and thinking, "I'm pushing 30 years old, I could be heading into town about now to meet girls and drink cider, what the *text deleted* am I doing here!?" when a couple of lads looked at me with faces that said they were truly miserable, and I just couldn't help but quote Four Weddings and a Funeral in my best Andie MacDowell impression with "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed!" (youtube it if you're if you're too young to know!) ..... I got a couple of confused looks from the younger lads, and a couple of "hah, you're a kn*b" from those who knew what I was on about, but it worked and we were smiling again and thinking about other things. Thats what its all about, you drag each other through the hard bits, because they will end, its just a question of hanging in there.

    I said it on the drive in, and a couple of other times during the weekend, Dartmoor is an unforgiving place. The terrain is tough, the weather is honking, and nothing ever seems to be in your favour. But as we yomped passed the Phase 1B lads carrying out their ambush drills, with flares going up and illuminating the night sky, I can honestly say I had a little smile on my face as I felt like I was yomping through some foreign land on an operation. It reminded me of that scene in Band of Brothers as they walk past a burning lake at night after landing in Normandy. This is what we sign up to do, and in these early stages those moments are few and far between, but when you do get them you remember exactly why you're there.

    Thats now 3 weekends down, only 5 more until Phase 1A course at CTC!
     
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  3. R4Robotics

    R4Robotics Spectator

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    @Froggers / @Crash_Monkey Good write ups there. You have both made some very important points:
    - Dehydration is the main reason for lads failing the sunday speed march. You don't appreciate how much water your body is consuming on a cold, wet and miserable day.
    - When you are feeling miserable and feel like you want to rap. Just have a look around as there will always be someone in the hurt locker that will make you simle.
    - You were "lucky" to be on Ex with the Phase1B, as it does give you that Carrot when you see the lads doing battle prep and then seeing the action being carried out. Definitely reminds you of your end goal or realise its not for you.

    It will be interesting to see how many lads have dropped out since the first weekend. I think I heard it was 2 or 3 with 2 new lads, who couldn't make the first Ex.
     
  4. doddsy84

    doddsy84 Member

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  5. R4Robotics

    R4Robotics Spectator

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    September '15
     
  6. doddsy84

    doddsy84 Member

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    Same as ours, I take it all phase 1A are together for this?
    We havent even had foundation weekend yet and these lads have done 2 exercises
     
  7. R4Robotics

    R4Robotics Spectator

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    That is correct. A unit, in this case Bristol, will take the lead. Lads will then attend from all of the other units. This is the same with the RFCC. So in theory you will be going on course with phase 1A lads and then on RFCC with them in 6-7months time.

    I guess you will just have a cramped diary leading up to the course
     
  8. doddsy84

    doddsy84 Member

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    yes we have around 5 weekends out of 7 on exercise
     

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