Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another tiring week

Ever since the Exercise Spade, I have been feeling tired and lethargic from Mon till today. The recovery and rest time is so short that concentration is sometimes affected. This week has been a week full of ups and downs. Weather was poor for most of this week, making everyone prone to sleep.

Monday (21 Nov)
Everybody was feeling the same as me. Tired and not having enough of rest. But still, the programme had to go on. We had demolition live firing where we fire door-breaching charge; side charge, Claymore and safety fuse at the demolition live firing area. This demolition is used to destroy and eliminate enemy forces in a ambush mission.

Not much of major lessons for this day except those taking IPPT.

Ran 8km endurance run and got 35min plus. Very satisfied with it.

Run March in the evening @ 8pm. This is an 16km road march which involves more loads that include organic weapons (GPMG,SAW,M2O3) and medic stretcher. For the whole of road march I suspected I had fever because I don’t sweat a lot and I felt hot. I reported my fever at the 12km mark. Luckily I still can continue the march despite my fever. Once I reach my camp, I was a bit dizzy but carry on with my cool down exercise. Blisters formed under my feet. Ouch! Pop fever pills before sleep. Lights out at 1 plus in the morning.

Yahoooo! Book out day. We had signal practical and theory test. I suppose I passed everything especially for the practical test. After that I had to wait for the change over parade for the wing appointment. Book out at 7 plus. Back to HOME SWEET HOME.

Practically, it was suppose to be a long weekend, but today we had a wing cohesion day. This was where we got to know our platoon mates better by playing ice breaker games and soccer. I felt that that was a waste of time as we could have made use of the time to rest and recuperate. During the soccer match, I injured my left big toe. Now it is swollen, stupid me. I should have not played at all. I hope I can get the swelling and pain down by Monday for the platoon field camp. I am going to pray hard for it.

Next week, it will be a 5 days platoon field camp. First I hope my toe swelling and pain will go down. Secondly, I hope I would not lost my way and direction for the topology exercise. Lastly, I hope I will get through this camp.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Exercise Spade

As I mentioned in my previous blog, Ex-Spade is the most XIONG field camp any cadet would want to attend in the service term. Even before the start of the Ex-Spade, the thought had made me even more sian.

Monday (15 Nov)
Counting down to Ex-Spade – 2 Days

I had GPMG live firing in the day and night. It was baking hot in the day and the waiting time for each detail to fire off was too long. GPMG is a platoon asset weapon. It weight much heavier than the rest of the weapon including SAR21. In this familiarization shoot, I shot off 40 rounds in a series of control burst. The recoil was strong and the weapon turned hot after 40 rounds. This was to allow us to get a feel on how the weapon works.

The night shoot was roughly the same as the day and it was equipped with the Night Vision Goggles (NVG) for us to have a clearer vision in the dark. The feeling was just the same and I can see the bullets head flying towards the target.

Counting down to Ex-Spade – 1 Days

Practically no major lessons but we got occupied with the preparation of the Ex-Spade. Packing the field pack for 3 days exercise was fairly easy as there were no combat rations. I was not at all feeling excited but was feeling down. Slept after last parade.

The start of the Exercise Spade. We had a lesson on signaling before setting off to Rambutan hill for our digging in the afternoon. My post as a medic for the day 1 of Ex-Spade was really ridiculous. I was practically doing nothing as a medic but as a HQ unit tasked to dig the biggest trend of the field camp – Command Post as shown below.

First we start off with our shell scrap. This shell scrap is a personal trench for soldiers to sleep and take cover in times of war. The depth of the shell scrap is to cover the body of the solider with Standard Battle Order (SBO) in a lying position. It took me 2 hours to complete it and perfect it. But it rained immediately making the terrain muddy and soggy.

As night falls, our HQ unit commenced the digging of the Command Post. Digging difficulties level had increased due to the depth and the condition of the terrain, which was muddy. We were no longer digging soil instead we were scooping mud water and mud, my boots got stuck numerous of times while digging. We dug the whole night long till next day. The weather didn’t help much as it continue to rain making the terrain slippery and difficult to access.

Weather in the morning sucks as well. Digging of the command post continues. The depth of the command post didn’t change much, I guess only 5 to 10 cm deeper. We had lesson on how to build a Triple constantina wire and setup claymore and tripflare to delay or distract enemy. For most of the day and night, I was digging the same command post. Rain stopped by evening. At 1800hrs, I took over as Cadet Platoon Sergeant (CPS). Around 2200hrs, while we were conducting our deliberate defence, we were contacted by the enemy deliberate attack. They did a flaking after pasting the password challenge by saying “We are friendly forces”. WTF, section 1 of my platoon just let them in. FIRST MISTAKE created. Second mistake, I saw the enemy on my right of the CPC (Cadet Platoon Commander), and I shouted contacted but no one returned fire. In the end, enemy overran us without firing a single shot by capturing the brain of the platoon, HQ unit.

We were captured as POW. After a few minutes, we were released and waiting for the next attack. This time the attack from the other platoon was neutral and we managed to return fire at them. Training ceased and I resumed with my digging only for a few minutes and I dozed off after that. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

The whole day job of a CPS was to do ”Shit” work like getting food and topping up of water.

Last day of my Ex-Spade. This time we managed to dig the “Wings” of the command post to a solider height with the help of rotation shift yesterday night. My greatest achievement so far. The condition was still the same as muddy as before. By afternoon, the shape of the command post was roughly out and I was quite satisfied with it. After lunch, we packed up, account for our store and cover the various trenches that we had dug and off to our Wing Line (Second home). I dozed off immediately upon heading to my bed.

Practically did nothing for the whole as I had passed my SOC and IPPT test. Waiting for book out and an unfortunate event happen. Two mobile phones were stolen from platoon 2 and they had to conduct a search. It took 2 hours and our book out timing was delay till 1500hrs. I Really sian loh, had to book out so late and book in tomorrow night. What to do…military life is like that.

Phew, Ex-Spade is over at last. The agony and suffering while digging leave me with a very deep impression. The mind over body played an important role in this field camp. Now, I was feeling lethargic and tired as well as sleepy.

Next week was quite relaxed as we only had demolition live firing and a 16KM road march. Recuperation time for next week is a must for me.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Shell Scrap Posted by Picasa

Command Post Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Patrol Field Camp

This week was quite a hectic week for me. The week schedule consists of patrol field camp, demolition lessons, and section quick attack live-firing, demolition and safety officer test.

Monday (7 Nov)
Everybody was rushing to get their breakfast, draw arms and getting ready for the patrolling field camp. We reach the Marsiling camp site at 0800 hrs. But the bus driver brought us to the wrong training shed and our red team had to walk back to where our actual place was. Really spoilt the day!

The focus of this field camp was to emphasize on the conducting of Operation Orders & Approval of Plan which means that we need to draw out a plan on how to attack our enemy and conduct a briefing for our men. We had 2 missions on the first day. It consists of a day ambush and a night security patrol. We also use blanks to shoot at any enemy that come our way.

The night security patrol was assigned to me. I was the patrol leader and I was required to come up with an Operation order & a Approval of plan. I was quite calm initially when presenting till the point where my Platoon Commander asked me some questions and that was when I panicked because I got some of my facts wrong. Next we proceed to conduct the security patrol along the tracks of the forested area. I was leading till a point where there was a lot of danger area. I lost my way and I lead my group to the wrong turn. Luckily I got the help from my friends and we managed to complete the whole patrol without getting attack from the enemy. I was disappointed with my performance due to my poor navigation but was glad that I passed the mission.

Mission starts early in the day. This time, we got day ambush and day security patrol. All the mission are the same as yesterday. This time, I did a lot of danger crossing clearance for the group. Furthermore, it was one of the best movements the group had ever done. By 2100 hrs, we are back in our wing line. The most unlucky encounters was that my weapon was taken away by Staff while I was sleeping and I earned myself 2 extras. So suay. After cleaning our arms and a good shower is back to rest. My lights off was at Wed 0200Hrs…so late!

We had demolition practical lessons for the whole day and briefing for section quick attack live firing for Thursday. Demolition practical lessons include how to check for mines and movement in a minefield and creating a double positive charge.

We had section quick attack live-firing for the day. It consists of moving in a file formation to a two up formation. Upon spotting the enemy, we will prone down and start firing live rounds. Next a fire-base was formed to provide fire power. A flanking was conducted once the fire-base was formed. This training was to provide us on how the actual quick attack was conducted.

In the evening, we had demolition test. I studied for only 5 mins only and I went to take the test. After the test, I really pray hard that I could pass.

I had lessons on platoon movement and quick movement lectures. Very boring. I doubt anyone understands it. In the late afternoon, I had my Training Safety Regulation (TSR) test that will ensure that we can become safety officer if we passed.

In the evening, we had happy hour, but my I can’t go. Reason is that I am the arm skote man and 2 of my friends and I had to stay back to clean the GPMG while other are enjoying themselves. Why me? All I can do is to suck thumb and do my cleaning.

I slept feeling demoralized. Haiz

Book out day. SOC was cancel due to rain. We had demolition technical handling test and I managed to pass everything. The results for the GPMG and demolition theory tests are also out and I passed everything. Yahoo……….By afternoon is book out and is home sweet home again.

Next week is my Exercise Spade where we dig shell script and fire trench for 3 days 2 nights. The most shack field camp ever. Hope I got my energy to dig all the way.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test)

Hooooooooooooooooo! What a fantastic day for me. Today for the IPPT test, I managed to get one of the best results ever. I was awarded the Gold standard all thanks to my vast improvement in my 2.4KM run. The rest of my stations were fairly all right but the station that is bugging me from getting the Gold award is the 2.4KM run. To get a Gold timing, I need to get 9:44 and below and I did just that today.

Of course, getting Gold for IPPT come with lots of privileges, such as booking in 1 hour later tomorrow and optional participation in all physical activities. But nevertheless, I will still participant in all physical activities to maintain my standard.

Besides that, I have learned something from the demolition lesson on how to set up a safety fuse, extending the safety fuse using lap and graft method. This was taught in order for us to know that they are these things that can hinder the movement of the enemy as well as slow down their movement whenever possible.

Next Monday and Tuesday will be my Patrol field camp @ Marsiling area. Hope it will be a successful one for me and will not be like the Section field camp where I messed everything up.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Deepa-Raya Book Out

First thing of all, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Deepavali and Hari Raya Pausa. For this week, I get to book out on Monday and Wednesday evening inclusive of the usual weekend book out.

For the book out for the Deepavali, I virtually spent the whole holiday at home surfing the internet and catch up on my military stuff. As of yesterday, I joined my friends for clubbing (my very first) at Chinablack @ Orchard.

Hari Raya Pausa Eve
After reaching home and having dinner, I changed and went out with my secondary friends. First we went to the Paulaner Munchen (A german pub) near Suntec City for a drink. Actually, my friends wanted me to drink 1L but I can’t, as it was my first time drinking, so I started off with 0.5L. German beers are very strong even though they contain only approx. 5% alcohol due to the climate over in Germany. It taste bitter initially, but after a few slips, it was quite ok for me.

After I drank nearly 0.5L, I can feel the warmness in my head, my face was red and I was a bit of drowsy but was clear on what was happening. Luckily I still can walk and had my direction correct.

We then took a NightRider bus to Chinablack to club. It was quite crowded when we arrived. Everybody was dancing and clubbing on the dance floor. The genre was techno initially but changed to R&B as the night worn on. I was sweating due to the dancing and everybody was having a fun time there. I had another round of drink and continue dancing the night away. We end at 6am today, and I was very tired. We catch a bus home and off to bed.

The drinks @ Paulaner Munchen was great initially, but I was feeling frustrated at how one of my friends, who keep criticizing I am weak and can’t drink. He even mentions that he wanted to get me drunk. But I told myself that I know my limits and I don’t want to get myself vomited and drunk. Furthermore, I think drinking should be a relaxing and enjoyable one and should not be one that we challenge who can drink fast and hold their liquor well.

Beside that, they mention about the girl I like, it had reached the point that I am not interested in this things anymore. NS had took out most of my time and furthermore, I got difficulties communicating with girls. So I intend to put this issue behind me and serve my 2 years before continuing my studies.

Since it was my first time stepping into Chinablack, I got a taste on how clubbing was like. Personally, I felt that clubbing might not be the place for me and would preferred pub (with a band playing music) where the settings are more pleasant and relaxing for me.

So that about it, booking in by 2200 tonight. Check out again on Sat…Cheers!

P.S. I can’t hold my liquor well so I hope no one had the intend to get me vomited and drunk. Thanks!