Sunday, August 28, 2005

What a stressful week (22 – 27 August 2005)

Another week of my BMT training had passed. Time really files & I am down to my last week of BMT training next week. But before that, I had a tough & stressful week. It started off right from the first day of this week.

12KM Road march to Situational Test (To test ur leadership abilities & qualities) Camp Site @ 0800. The toughest road march ever. Once I reached there, I had lunch, which was combat ration (taste awful after having it for 7 days) & set up my vasha (Tent) at the field before heading for some knot tying lessons. By evening, I had dinner & powder bath before heading for SLEEP.

Wake up and had breakfast. Then I proceed to 4KM fast march. This time, the speed is much faster than the normal road march. Overall it seems that we had march more than we are suppose to but the fact is that it was only 4KM. Then the weather turned bad and rain suddenly. While waiting, I had lunch. By 1400hrs, the weather turned better & we proceed on with our mission, which consist of 6 obstacles. These obstacles required us to organize our men and planned carefully in order to overcome these obstacles. After dinner, we got tenkan (punish) by our officer for moving so slow. We had to put on camo (Camouflage cream) on our face after we had powder bath our face. Initially, the feeling was awful and the officer commented, “Finally, u have grown up as a solider and move like one.” After that, SLEEP.

Wake up and had breakfast. 2KM fast march. Very shagged by the time I finished the 2 clicks. Next we proceed on with another mission with 6 obstacles. By 4pm, we had completed the test and pack off to our company line. Washed up everything and had a good rest in my bunk. Shiok man!

After breakfast, I had SOC (Standard Obstacle course). I ran 300m before I start clearing the obstacles. It consists of the low-wall, balancing beam, low rope & etc. This time I manage to clear the low rope and complete the whole course. I was glad that finally I had cleared the low rope. YAHOOOOOOOO! Immediately after the SOC lessons, we had Grenade throwing lessons. We ran for another 300m to reach the training shed for our lesson. We had GAC (Grenade Assault course) and DAC (Distance assault course). DAC means that we had to use 4 different positions like standing and squatting to throw the grenade over certain distances. GAC means that we had to charge or leopard craws to the cover & throw grenade at every cover. We use dummy grenade to stimulate everything. After the grenade lessons, we ran back to company line to prepare for BCCT (Basic Close Combat Training) lesson. Wau pian, my legs were wobbling by then.

AGR (Advanced Group Running) was called off due to CAT 1 (Heavy rain). Had some extended stretching to replace the AGR. It was followed by hand grenade test. Very simple MCQ test. After lunch, we had a major event; it was the 16KM road march. Initially, I thought it was gonna be tougher than the 12KM, but soon I realized that it was a breeze. Morale was high from the start, my full battle order was adjusted properly, singing was fantastic, we had fun during the road march and most importantly, my platoon sergeant was in a very good mood. He was smiling and joking with us. It was one of my most memorable road march ever. Even thought we were tired after the road march, but our morale livened up our spirit and morale. After night snack, it was RESTING TIME. Phew!

Had AGR. Our CO was kind enough to give us only 6 rounds of jogging, a discount from the usual 30mins run. Completed our area cleaning and off to BOOK OUT.

Total Distance march over this week:
34 KM

By the time I reached home, I was totally shagged out and tired but the memorable road march kept me going. Next week, will be the final week. Finally, I would like to say: “1 more week to POP (Passing out Parade)”.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Field Camp Story

Hi guys & gals, I’m back from field camp. Phew, I was relived that field camp is over; it was like the most difficult phase of my BMT course. The unfamiliar and dirty terrain will make anyone demoralize upon reaching the campsite. The worse thing of all is that it rain on one of my 7 days field camp.

Day 1:
0800: March 8KM to the campsite in the morning to our first campsite (Salabin). The march was quite tough this time as we include combat ration and other stuff for our 7 days field camp. Every 2KM, we had a short break.
1100: We reach the campsite and pitch our vasha (something like a tent). By noon we had our first taste on the combat ration. I ate the chicken pasta and it taste quite well. Next we had to put on our camouflage cream on our face. Taste salty when the sweat flow down from ur face.
1400: Lesson on Individual field craft and practice what we have learned.
1730: Had dinner. Some pasta combat ration.
1900: Powder bath. Everybody change into a new set of clothes in the forest and left with only the underwear. From the head to the feet, we pour a lot of powder and make ourselves look white. The feeling was especially high when u pour Pickle heat (Snake) powder. It produces a cooling and shiok feeling.
2200: Routine order, water parade and SLEEPING TIME.

Morale: Above average

Day 2:
0630: Sunshine and get ready for 5BX (some warm up exercise).
0700: Breakfast (Biscuit and fruit bar) and touch up our drain and vasha. Put on camo on our face.
0900: Lesson on fire group movement. Another self-imposed break for all of us. After the lecture, we break off for practice.
1200: We had lunch. This time the combat ration is Dhall Chicken rice. This is one of the worse combat ration I ever eaten.
1400: Lecture and practice.
1700: Dinner. This time I got Black pepper chicken pasta. Shiok man! It was one of the best combat rations I ever tasted.
1900: Powder bath. Dammed cold sia.
2200: Routine order, water parade and SLEEPING TIME. But, this time, my buddy and I volunteered for guard duty and we had duty from 0130 to 0230.

Morale: Above average

Day 3:
0630: Sunshine and get ready for 5BX with 1.5KM run. It was siong man, imagine running 1.5KM with ur rifle. I was glad I completed my run.
0700: Breakfast (again Biscuit and fruit bar). Put on camo on our face.
0900: Lesson and practice.
1145: Break down vasha and pack up to get ready to march off to the next campsite.
1230: Lunch. This time I got Curry Chicken Noodle. It really taste lousy.
1400: Lecture and practice.
1600: We are ready to move off. March 6KM to our next campsite, which is Oil Palm campsite.
1900: Reach Oil Palm campsite. The weather had already turn dark. Everything is pitch dark. Had dinner, some chicken pasta again. We didn’t pitch our vasha as it was very dark.
1930: Powder bath.
2200: Routine order, water parade and SLEEPING TIME.

Morale: Average

Day 4 (My unlucky day):
0600: Sunshine and 5BX.
0700: Same Breakfast menu again. Pitch vasha and dig drainage around our vasha. Camo on as well.
0900: Lecture and practice. This time is about camouflaging. We had to pick up grass and leaves and stuff it in our uniform, helmet and SBO within 1 minute. Wau pian, my whole body was fill with itch, I think I am a bit allergic to grass. Next we enter another forest to conceal ourselves and also monitor what the posed enemies are doing.
1230: Lunch. Yahoo! Fresh ration from the cookhouse at last.
1300: Technical break, which mean that it was our break and we can do whatever we want. At 1400, I nearly got confinement because of this. One of the sergeants requested us to pass or Maggie mee if we are not eating. As I collect Maggie mee from my platoon mates, I forgot to take my rifle with me. At this point of time, the Company Sergeant Major was making his rounds and saw my rifle, he took it in front of me as I was about to take it. By right, if ur rifle is stolen, the punishment is confinement for 1 weekend. Luckily, I got off with only one guard duty and 250 words essay from my platoon sergeant. Phew, it was close shave from confinement man.
1800: Dinner. Chicken pasta. Getting sick of the combat ration.
1930: Bath. We get to bath at the nearby toilet. I felt refresh and clean again.
2200: Routine order, water parade and SLEEPING TIME. Serve my guard duty @ 0030 till 0130. I guard the ammo point but ended up chatting with the medic for the whole of 1 hour.

Morale: Below average

Day 5:
0600: Sunshine and 5BX with 1.5KM run.
0700: Breakfast.
0900: Lecture and practice.
1200: Lunch. Chicken Kelo pasta. No comment.
1400: Break down vasha and get ready to move off to the next campsite which is the Reclaimed area. We had a 2KM walk to find the starting point of our road march. Our section IC Hol lan (screw everything) everything and end up in some part of the reservoir. Nice view, like in New Zealand. Took a group photo and our sergeant brought back to the checkpoint.
1700: Road March 3KM plus to our Reclaimed land campsite.
1900: Reach the campsite. Platoon sergeant not happy as someone mentioned that the platoon was low morale and got punishment from him. Consumed dinner and rest.
2100: Sudden stimulated enemy attacks from the commanders. Pack everything in a hurry, everybody was shouting and was in a panic state. I guess we are not alert enough to cope with the sudden attack. Run 200m with full battle order to the actual reclaimed land campsite.
2200: By this time, we are very shagged and restless. After allocation of our area, my buddy and 1 spread the groundsheet and dozed off. Powder bath was OTOT (Own time own target).

Morale: Low

Day 6:
0500: The weather turn bad. It rained heavily. Wore the Contec jacket (Windbreaker) and dashed to the training shed. Shivering and wet from head to toe. After the rain subsides, we consumed our breakfast.
0800: Dig our own shell script (A personal hole for us to hide ourselves if war occurs; it is also called the funeral hole). It must be at least 1m deep. As it had rained, the soil is soft and it turn the whole place into a muddy area. My area is flooded with mud water and is very soggy. So very shagged. My whole uniform is wet and full of mud. My boots are covered with mud and inside was filled with water.
1100: Rain again, my field pack submerged into the muddy water. The contents inside my field pack all turn wet. My morale was extremely low.
1200: OTOT lunch. I can’t be bothered about what I am eating. Just eat it.
1400: Dig fire trench. The trench will be dug by the whole section of 11 men. The depth must be at least the chest level of the tallest guy. This was energy and mentally snapping task. Ur limbs are so tired that we had to rotate after 2 minute of digging and scooping of the soil.
1815: Cover the fire trench that we had dug previously. Another energy snapping task.
1900: Dinner. Fresh ration from the cookhouse and it was Western food. At least it boosts my morale a bit. By this time, I was feeling a bit feverish maybe due to the rain.
2030: Routine order and Sleep. Most of my friends can’t sleep as the shell script was wet. Even my pickle heat powder was wet; I was so depressed that I threw the whole can into my shell script. Everything around u was wet including urself and the field pack. In the end I spent the whole night and early morning chatting with my friends.

Morale: Extremely low.

Day 7:
0400: Start covering the hole we had dug ourselves. Everything that we don’t want, we just buried inside. Hungry and shagged, I endure as this was our final field camp day and book out day as well. Coughing and had running nose more often.
0630: Breakfast. Force myself to eat.
0730: War games.
1130: SIC (Standard something course, forgotten already). This is the course where we use leopard crawl and back crawl to go through obstacles for 75m and with live rounds firing above us. Ganna scolded by my Officer for throwing the grenade the wrong way.
1300: Back to company line. So happy to reach back our base. Wash up everything, pack up and get ready for book out. Skip lunch and dinner as I was getting sick of the food ration.
1800: Stand by area and stores inspection.
1930: Book out via fastcraft.
2010: Reach Pasir Ris interchange.
2100: Took my father cab and reached HOME SWEET HOME. My mother got a torrid time washing my clothes. Sorry mom.
2200: After bathing, l lay on my bed and dozed off.

At last, field camp is over. It was quite a good experience for me, which include the trench digging. Overall, I was glad that field camp is over. 3 Cheers for completion of the field camp!

Next Mon, I am into 3 days of forest again. This time is situational test which determined who had the officer element. Another 3 days of combat ration and 2 days of powder bath. Until next weekend, Cheers!

Requirement to passed BMT
1) Live Firing (Passed)
2) Field camp (Completed)
4) SOC

2 more weeks to go…

Monday, August 08, 2005

Range Experience

Another week of BMT had passed. Of date, I had completed 1 month of BMT training and 5 more weeks to passing-out-parade. But for this week, I been suffering from flu and extreme coughing. Hiaz, miss quite a lot of physical training.

The worst thing is that I tried to attend a training session called Standard Obstacle Course (SOC) when I was suffering from flu and cough. We are required to run 2 times, one without full battle order the other with full battle order. During the course, I got problem with my low rope. It is a rope dangling from the top, which required using the proper technique to climb to the top. But after several tries, I manage to get the technique right and climb to the top. On the second run of the course, I encountered the same problem again. But I gave up and ran for the rest of the course. During the running, I have difficulties breathing and was coughing a lot. That was when I realize that with sickness, it was dangerous to take part in any physical activities. Luckily, I didn’t ganna from my instructors for not reporting my sickness.

This week, we also had a lot of lesson on range and how to shoot from M16. On the actual live firing, it was horrible. We have 2 consecutive days for live firing from morning till past midnight. It was a tiring process. I can’t remember how many rounds I had shot. We have packed lunch and dinner at the range and we had less then 7 hours of sleep. On the 2nd day of the range, it was our test. I was glad that I passed the test but I admit that my night firing was haywire. (Day result – 15 on target/16) (Night result – 4/16). To say, it really test my endurance and mental strength.

Requirement to passed BMT
1) Live Firing (Passed)
2) Field camp
4) SOC

3 more to go…