July 1, 2015

The best shelter the training officer ‘had ever seen’.

Ranks from across RMR Scotland descended on Glasgow Detachment for Ex Commando Survivor, a weekend’s introduction to survival techniques in a temperate climate.

Marine Ferguson, from Belfast Detachment, takes up the story: “Once everyone had arrived, we got a brief from the Unit ML1 Sgt Cam Smith before getting a few hours of sleep.

“Up at early-o-clock, and following a lecture, we loaded the vehicles and moved to Garelochhead. The weather was heavy rain and strong winds… just the norm for the area! 

“We got straight into our demonstrations/lessons conducted by the Unit ML1 consisting of the construction of various types of shelters, methods of navigation, water collection, how to start and maintain fires and also how to construct and set traps and snares. We were also taught the fine art of dispatching various animals in preparation for cooking.

“By late afternoon the teaching phase was over we were led onto the ‘exercise’ area by the training team. After a flurry of activity, our shelters were constructed (the training officer remarked on how the Belfast Detachment shelter was the best he had ever seen) and, with fires lit, the training team distributed a couple of chickens per group.”

“Our work routine throughout the night consisted of one team member awake per shelter at any one time to maintain the fire. This also allowed someone to keep an eye on the structural integrity of the shelter in the harsh winds and rain, but at least the weather was keeping the notorious midges at bay!

“After a fairly comfortable night, the training team returned in the morning to find morale disappointedly high and all returned to Glasgow Detachment for a well-earned wash. 

“Overall, albeit a short introduction to survival, it was a very enjoyable weekend with some very important skills learned by all. We will now hopefully progress to a longer survival exercise involving some escape & evasion.”