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Military nurse in training

On the low ropes

Hello, Alex here at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire.

The second week of basic training has been ticked off on my Chuff Chart, and it went much quicker than the first!


We have continued doing two physical training sessions every day which has been really hard work, and the group has picked up a few injuries along the way (nothing major so far fortunately).


We have done three 1-hour runs, and I have realised how important having a little breeze is whilst running to help keep cool! Yesterday was fun because we did Low Ropes and it was great to work together as a team.


Low Ropes

Our designated low ropes course at RTS is designed to bring out and test some of the values important to the Royal Air Force: teamwork, listening, and problem-solving skills. The low ropes course affords the instructor some scope to stop the exercise, discuss any points that have arisen and then allow the recruits another go. The low ropes course consists of various problems and exercises, which are all approximately 30 centimetres from the ground. The problems are not difficult but normally take the brainpower of a team to resolve.


The boys’ ‘flight’ arrived on Wednesday this week and all Attested and had their hair cut off!  We saw them briefly at lunch and they seem nice; we will be doing a lot together over the next nine weeks and it will be crucial to work as a team.


We are all looking forward to getting started with the full training and finally getting to wear our Camo CS95 uniform, and learning the drill. Since I joined I have been wearing what are called ‘denims’- they are not made of denim but are all-in-one green jump suits and I can’t wait to be able to proudly wear the uniform I have been issued with!


I am quite apprehensive about the next few weeks as I have heard many stories and know it’s going to be tough, but that is the point of basic training – to prepare us for anything.


One of the highlights so far is definitely the range of people I am meeting and even though it has been a bit of a shock to share a room with 13 other girls, I am starting to get used to this aspect of life on the base.


Another highlight is definitely receiving letters through the post, and even in these days of emails and text messages, receiving a letter or parcel is a wonderful boost to morale and always good to hear from family, friends and supporters.


We won’t have a weekend off again now for around five weeks and even then it will be good behaviour dependent! It is going to be difficult not having weekends off.  I am also adjusting to the long days – getting up at 05.30 am and doing a full day of activities and generally ironing kit each evening ready for the next day.


We have Block jobs which have to be completed once a week, on Sunday evenings; this involves sweeping and weeding outside of the building, cleaning stairs, the bathroom, baggage and kitchen rooms. We all try to keep these areas squeaky clean during the week so we don’t have a huge task on Sunday evenings! The expectation is that every day, all areas should be left at inspection standard.


Every other Thursday there is a Muster Parade and Squadron Leader Inspection. At 07.30 am we stand in our flights at ‘Shun’ until told we can stand at ease! We stand very still and wait until the officers and the Commanding Officer inspect each line of recruits. The first week we were told that we lacked ‘military bearing’, however this week was greatly improved. The Commanding Officer selects one barrack block at random, and he chose ours this week and I am thrilled to say that he said it was excellent and better than some when nearly at the end of the basic training!