independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

RALLYING THE TROOPS

RINNELL MENDOZA SPENDS A GRUELLING DAY UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE DEFENCE FORCES AT THE CURRAGH

LAST YEAR, I experienced a taste of what the Army is all about. On November 9th and 10th, I travelled to the Curragh Camp for TY work experience.

I was feeling both excited and nervous on my journey to the Curragh. As we started the day with an introduction in the Watertower Conference Block I noticed that everyone looked rather scared, including me.

First on our agenda was a cadet training exercise. This is one of the activities that left my spine tingling. We were introduced to a cadet who briefed us on what we were about to see and he was eager to answer our questions. Before the exercise, we saw how they were planning the attack – some of them were on guard, everyone was cleaning their Steyr Aug rifles and they were busy camouflaging themselves.

During the exercise we walked along behind the cadets. A couple of times we heard them shout, 'Man down!' There was a lot of smoke, explosions, yelling and running. It was amazing how they planned and accomplished the task. After the activity we faced a gruelling jog in military formation from the training school to the Cavalry Corps. We saw the vehicles that the Cavalry Corps have like the 'Scorpion,' and the 'Reconnaissance'. The soldiers explained the different parts and function of each vehicle. We were allowed to hop on the vehicles and have a feel of what it's like to be the driver, commander or as part of the recce detachment. Our last activity of the day was with the CIS Corps. We received a presentation from a member of the corps; we were shown the different rooms of the school and also got to try out some of the devices. This corps is very important to the army because they provide support to the infantry by passing on crucial information that they will need in their mission.

After the end of tiring day I felt I had gained a valuable insight in the life of a soldier. The army is not just a job, it is a career. I salute the troops!

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