Officer Cadet Todd Ledwith writes from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, with details of his latest experiences of British Army officer training.
This week was characterised by 2 particularly gruelling physical training (PT) sessions, one involving several circuits carrying 4 logs between the platoon for 4 repetitions around a course and the next, 2 days later (with damaged hands taped-up) running stretchers in hill repetitions interspersed with sections of the assault course and traversing obstacles in the Wish Stream. The sessions can be best described as ’emotional’.
As well as being put through our paces physically, we have also begun to turn our minds to the estimate and orders process in a Counter-Insurgency, or COIN, environment in the run-up to Exercise BROADSWORD on which we deploy in a week’s time. The concern now is not simply a conventional enemy, but one which actively seeks to blend with the local population. Rather than meet force-to-force, this enemy attacks via improvised explosive devices, ambush and by influencing or threatening the mass of the population away from the support of the Security Forces, played by ourselves for two thirds of the exercise. For the remaining third, each company takes its turn at playing the local civilian population, or CIVPOP, and also the concealed insurgent force, interacting with the security forces under the guidance of several ‘serials’ which dictate their actions.
The week did provide some room for leisure, and on Saturday night those cadets who had boxed were invited to attend the DeGale vs Groves fight at the O2 Arena. This was courtesy of Frank Warren, who had attended last term’s Academy Boxing Night. The fights were excellent with the main event being particularly exciting; a close fought bout which will hopefully result in an equally exciting rematch.
Next week we continue our study of COIN as well as enjoying our first Loaded March of the term; a 9 mile route with 25kgs of kit.