I have just experienced what is known to most of you as a bloody good week!
I’m back from RAF Kinloss, a (huge) RAF base right up at the top of Scotland, where I looked at planes.. and.. erm.. shot things.
For real now, there was far more to it than that. There were visits to various parts of the base, shooting (with a real rifle) and various other things like the Inverness Aquadome (incorporating the most soul-destroying water slide in the known universe) and ten-pin bowling.
Yes, I’ll admit it publicly here. I am crap at bowling.
Well, let’s start off with my favourite part, the Night-Ex.
Due to the secretive nature of an RAF base, I have been told I can’t tell you certain things. So I’m not going to tell you about the base itself or any of the equipment on it, but I’m going to be safe about this. Some of the stuff I censor may well not be restricted, but I’m playing safe. It’s restricted for a reason and I don’t want to be prosecuted for accidentally releasing something I shouldn’t.
Ok then, the night ex. Basically, we go out into a forest at night, do all the sort of jungle warfare – hand signals – keep down sort of things and ambush the enemies. And try not to get ambushed. And get some boxes which were playing the part of ‘important parts’ and the like.
We started with a practice, IE no ambushes or anything and just to go over the moves/ hiding etc. We all went into various parts of the forest and practiced hiding. Then we all came back to our rendevous point and were briefed. I must say, the scene was a bizzare one.
One of the Staffs was wearing Debbie’s DPM hat – a womans hat it appeared – and looked very silly, Mattheus had affixed some grass to his head and the other Staff had pulled a massive BB rifle out of hammerspace. Pretty much everyone else had applied the wrong type of camo stuff and looked like they’d been assaulted by a five-year-old armed with poster paints.
We were then breifed about getting some boxes, and we all set off into the forest. Running. In a forest. In summer. Resultantly, I was attacked by a herculean bout of hayfever and had to go sit in a van for a while while a cocktail of tablets got to work.
After my head had been released from it’s invisible concrete block, Debbie (or Flight Sergeant as I should be calling her) showed up and asked me and Lucy (who had also had to drop out) if we wanted to go and ambush people. I readily agreed. I quickly found out there is nothing that much more fun than jumping out in front of a load of unsuspecting people and shouting ‘BANG BANG BANG’ until they ran away. As a group, us three ambushed four other groups. It was then EndEx and we were given a cup of mercifully hot green soup. Nice.
Well, that about wraps it up for the Night Ex. Or ‘Murky Twilight Ex’ as I should call it. Damn you British Summertime.
Keep an eye out for RAF Kinloss – Part 2 – Inverness Aquadome!
© James Plant, 2008.
All Trademarks Acknowledged.