Soldier under Training (SuT) Jamie Davies looks back at Exercise FINAL FLING – the final exercise of his Phase 1 Training – in this latest blog from the Army Training Centre, Pirbright.
This week has been big. We had Exercise FINAL FLING, which is the final exercise we do in Phase 1 training.
We packed the night before. Quite a bit of kit was needed and my bergen felt heavy! On Monday morning everyone had a massive scoff (food) and then we had a kit and comms checks before we deployed onto the exercise area. We had around 3.5km to cover before we got to the harbour location. We tabbed with body armour, helmet, rifle and all of our kit; it was tiring but we didn’t go too fast so it was OK. The Troop conducted a snap ambush before we then occupied the harbour. We dug shell scrapes and despite the fact that it was -3 celsius the ground wasn’t actually that frozen. I really enjoy being in the field, it’s challenging – but it’s what I joined up to do.
That night we had a few stag duties and then very early in the morning we were attacked by gas. When we woke up there was about 2 cm of snow! Once in our CBRN suits we tabbed to a decontamination area with all of our kit. Once we had decontaminated we moved harbours and spent the rest of the day conducting recce patrols, standing patrols and fighting patrols. I really enjoyed all of the patrolling.
Early on Wednesday morning we moved to the FOB (Forward Operating Base). I’d never seen anything like it. We were attacked a few times and I loved it, everyone enjoyed the attacks. It snowed so much whilst we were in the FOB, it was freezing but we were in tents.
The highlight of the exercise was the final attack. On Wednesday night we had a set of orders from the Troop Commander and then early on Thursday morning we set off to secure the FUP. My section was the first assaulting section. Our section attack went really well. As soon as we came under attack we formed a baseline and then peeled through some cover and assaulted the enemy position. The whole attack went really well, the Troop smashed it and the Troop Commander was really happy with how it went.
The final exercise was brilliant. I enjoyed every minute, we had about 20cm of snow, it was freezing cold but rewarding. Now we have only one more week in camp – I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by.