It’s hello from Alex from RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire having now completed over 6 weeks of the 11 week basic training course.
It has been a week of highs and lows! The main high this week was completion of a 7 mile walk through Halton which was for a community support project, which in our case was to raise money for a stained glass window in the Chapel on the base. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me. We dressed up as jockeys or horses and had great fun.
We have entered the second phase of the course which is run by the RAF Regiment. There have been some challenging times, such as learning Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) skills. This centres on how recruits identify if one of these four situations is imminent/has already occurred and what they should do in the event of such weapons being utilised. The necessary drills and procedures are rigorously taught and tested, including the testing of these drills in the Respirator Testing Facility (RTF). The facility contains CS gas and once inside, I had to take off my respirator and had to recite my name and service number, which was very challenging as the effects of the gas made it difficult to speak and to see. Fortunately, it is over very quickly and once outside, we all recovered from the experience very soon afterwards.
It felt really good to get this part of the course over and done with as we had all been dreading it!
I passed a test on CBRN and gained a score of 90% which I was pleased with. We also had an inspection mid week which went very well, with only very minor areas for improvement amongst the recruits.
My own personal challenge has been health related. I have been experiencing some back pain, so will be having tests to check out what the problem may be, but it has meant I have been to the medical centre on base regularly this week so it has been rather frustrating. Remaining positive, I have made it through another week and, have home leave this weekend, so am looking forward to some home comforts and I may even make some of my famous cup cakes!