We woke up at 6:20am with the staff banging on the door.

At 6:55am we had to be lined up in three ranks outside of the dorm ready to go to breakfast, which was a full English breakfast (ideal).

After breakfast we split into three groups (1 section, 2 section and 3 section) and were sent off to do various activities led by the army staff.

Cooking up a storm – learning about food in the field

Cooking in the field was one of the activities we learnt about. This session taught us all about what kinds of foods soldiers get given in their 24-hour ration packs and how they cook their meals. In the packs they would get things such as tea, coffee, chewing gum, wind proof matches, energy shots etc. Pre-cooked meals such as full English breakfast or yellow curry with rice are also some of the meals that are cooked in boiling water heated by a fire…when out in field!

Abbie Gilbert Bethany Cooper and Jessica Edge celebrate their successful basha shelter construction!

After that we learnt about basha building and had a go at building one for ourselves. A basha is a place for soldiers to live when they are out in the field. This place can be lived in for up to 2-3 weeks at one time. To make them you need to start off with finding three trees relatively close together (no more than three metres away from each other), with roughly an equal distance between each other, a poncho with camouflage and bungee cords preferably the same colour as the surroundings.

The front of the ‘den’ had to be hung at knee high, swept out and have one clear entrance/exit. Around the sides of the basha we had to find logs to cover the gaps, which would conceal us from the enemy.

Another activity focused on camo and concealment.

We were taught the seven ‘S’s and how we can hide ourselves with camouflage paint.

These seven Ss are: shape, size, shadow, silhouette, shine, sudden movements and sound.

Additionally, we did patrolling where we learnt about the various formations used. These were: single file (extended line), staggered formation, herrenbone and arrowhead.

We also were told about the different weapons used whilst patrolling – including a L18A1, which fires a 5.56mm round and the gun weighed 4.9kg with its optic and clip.

Joe Nesbitt

Level 3 Diploma Public Services