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  • Devils 951

Training Weekend - November 2016

With 17 team members in attendance, the November training started late on the Saturday afternoon with a demonstration of hand held and rocket launched flares. The latter demand particular caution as they travel up to 300 metres before floating to earth giving 30 seconds or so of intense light. An excellent tool for night searching.

The main exercise started just before dusk with teams of three and four heading on to the ground around Beinn Bhreac and Meall Lundain for a session of night navigation. As well as navigating between their allotted contour features, the teams also had to practise radio communications, often having to use a relay to transmit their messages. Most team members also set off parachute illuminator flares and hand held night signals in the course of the evening.

Weather conditions deteriorated as the evening progressed and those teams on the highest ground experienced full winter underfoot conditions, cold, darkness, mist and falling snow before dropping to a pre-arranged point to rendezvous with the others.  Here the focus of the training changed to a casevac scenario and after negotiating snowy slopes and very icy paths, we arrived back at Derry with the stretcher by 2300.

A good test of a variety of essential skills and of new equipment and a great opportunity to work together on the hill in the dark. 


Words by Kenny Webster

Photo by Jamie Greig