Latest blog from Craftsman Thomas Mortimore, currently on Phase 2 training at 10 Training Battalion, Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
Now that we’ve started getting into the actual weapons on the armourer course, we had to start with general principles. This covers the basics of all weapons including cycle of operations, types of weapons, types of operations and ammunition types. We also did a practical on barrel inspection where we had to look through 20 different barrels and find faults (if any). This was a good test of our judgement as even the tiniest thing could cause major problems in the future.
Afterwards we started work on the Browning Pistol; this is the pistol that the army have used for decades up until recently. We had to know how to strip the weapon to its individual parts and put it back together again, perform tests on certain components and identify faults.
There are two practical tests to pass and a theory which is combined with GP’s. The first test involves examining four different weapons and identifying things that are wrong with the components or analysing failed test firings.
The second part of the test involves being given a weapon with previously identified faults which we then have to fix by replacing the parts. The trick though is that the spares you get given could be faulty, and there may be a fault which wasn’t identified previously.
Practice makes perfect
Our final weekend was spent on exercise at a nearby simulation of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) as one might see in Afghanistan. We started practise on various situations such as area cordoning and control, setting up vehicle checkpoints, crowd control, casualty evacuations, room-to-room clearance and patrolling techniques.
We then moved to a bigger FOB and commenced our scenario. We started off with various patrols around the area using the skills we had learnt earlier. We set up vehicle checkpoints, cordoned off suspicious areas and had to deal with angry mobs and enemies, all played by members of our platoon. We then took a shift as the Quick Reaction Force who had to be ready to deal with any situation and react to it quickly. Finally we took sentry positions and guarded the FOB from any attacks. The whole exercise was really exhausting, but I really enjoyed it because it is much more modern compared to the exercises at Phase 1 training.
More to look forward to next month as the weapons systems get ever more complicated.