Adventurous Training in Weymouth
663 Squadron of 3 Regiment AAC deployed to Weymouth, to undertake Adventurous Training in September 2013. The week away was not only enjoyable but also challenging, which pushed a lot of people out of their comfort zones in a fun and engaging way. This was an excellent way to return to working life following a very busy operational tour.
Monday morning arrived, we were all put into groups and each group was allocated a minibus. The first two buses made a start on their laborious journey down to Weymouth, but the remaining group were still waiting at Wattisham for one person to get onto the bus. Surely we can’t have lost someone already! After waiting 20 minutes we finally received a phone call from someone on another bus, they had found our missing person, he had integrated himself within another group! Panic over, we departed Wattisham on our journey to the south-west.
After travelling all day we finally arrived at Chickerell Camp in the late afternoon. 663 unpacked their kit and received a brief on what activities we would be taking part in this week. This included: mountain biking, coasteering, rock climbing and hiking, the first starting at 0800hrs the next morning. The most sensible thing to do would be to get our heads down early so that we can start tomorrow fresh, but 663 are known as the work hard, play hard Squadron. Taxis were booked, and an essential recce of local entertainment was conducted! Tuesday morning duly arrived, with a few sore heads, but thanks to the good weather everyone was in good spirits and determined to get stuck into the activities.
My group set off to Portland for a day of hiking. We all took it in turns to map read and soon found a few comedians within the group. AirTpr Bushell took the final lead and after walking for 10 minutes, she stopped and asked ‘’where are we?’’ Realising that we had been going in the wrong direction Cpl Singh helped AirTpr Bushell orientate the map to the ground and guided us to the nearest check point, which happened to be co-located with a pub!
The bikers were made to work hard thanks to some challenging routes selected by WO2 O’Neil and Sgt Elliott. There has never been a more meaningful use of the phrase “uphill struggle.” Never the less they all enjoyed it and returned back to camp filthy and covered in mud!
WO2 Luke took the groups Rock climbing which tested a lot of people’s confidence and skills. There was certainly a few disco leg moments, especially when abseiling down a cliff-face over hanging the sea. There was only one who couldn’t stomach the descent, AirTpr Newton, who felt safer staying at the top. The heights of the cliffs and the wonderful weather made some incredible views looking out to sea. With the white limestone cliffs and glistening water, it was as if we were in another country! Coasteering: The art of navigating a rocky coastline, culminating in jumping from increasing heights into the sea. This quickly became everyone’s favourite activity regardless of the weather. The Squadron was keen to put their nerves to the test and see how high they could climb before deciding to jump off into the sea.
2nd Lt Murray lead by example and showed real gusto and enthusiasm by demonstrating a brilliant example of how it should be done: by climbing really high and jumping off shouting ‘’Cower Bunger!’’
Friday came too soon. It is true that time does certainly fly when you are having fun.
The Squadron packed up their kit and loaded it into the minibus so once the groups had completed their final activity for the week they could start their long journey back to Wattisham. The week turned out to be extremely successful and was an excellent opportunity for the Squadron to get together after Post Operational Tour leave.