Back into training…

Junior Soldier (JS) Field writes from the Army Technical Foundation College in Winchester with an update on his Phase 1 Training. Now back from leave, it’s the last few weeks of the course…

Week 17 of training – our first first week back at the Army Technical Foundation College, Winchester, after the second leave block. The first few days were fairly easy and we were just getting back in to the routine…

On Monday we had our first Arms Drill lesson (this means drill with weapons). It was a change from just the foot drill but it is still a long way from the most exciting thing we do here at Winchester. As the week carried on we had more lessons and learnt about more drill movements with the weapons. The drill movements often involve short sharp movements that make noise all together, almost like a drum beat. We also learnt how to salute with the rifle (also known as presenting arms).

We also had another CBRN lesson, this time on how drink while wearing the respirator. Once we’d learnt how to do this outside we then tested it for real inside the respirator test facility. It was absolutely fine and it was the best CBRN lesson so far!

We also had 3 physical training lessons this week. The first was an interval session which involved doing laps around a rugby pitch.  This was fairly hard and we were being pushed the whole time racing against each other and the stopwatch. I felt really good once the session was over. We also had 2 strength and conditioning sessions in the gym. These involve doing different exercises around a circuit. Both these sessions were also fairly challenging and took it out of us but I can now start to feel that have got stronger and fitter overall.

The other main part of training this week included navigation lessons in preparation for a test in 2 weeks’ time. Some people seem to be pretty good at picking up the navigational side of training and other just don’t seem to get it at all! The lessons this week involved taking bearings and navigating around the camp. I found this fairly easy but I feel pretty confident when it comes to map reading.

We didn’t have anything over the weekend really and were able to get out of camp and go into Southampton and Winchester to do some shopping which was good, although we did still have to do some weapon cleaning before we could go!

It has been a good first week back and I can start to see the end of the course now – we only have 6 weeks of basic training left. Next week were doing some interesting stuff like survival training and we also get to go off camp for 2 days on an exercise-type event, but we also have something to do with a confidence – a  high wires event – which I am not looking forward to too much…