1. Pre-course study This is essential at all levels. The instructors at IBS have a very limited time to get across a vast amount of knowledge. Many students turned up not even knowing what the Section Battle Drills were, there is no time to revise subjects, which as Section Commanders, students should already be conversant with. Annex A details topics, which Section Commanders attending the PSBC should already be fluent in, as well as other subjects it would be useful to know (might just give the student that ‘edge’ over others!).
2. Pre-Brecon Course This is a very useful weekend, so much so that it is suggested that one weekend is not enough. Having now attended SCBC and PSBC and the Battalion run Pre-Courses for both, there are some subjects that could be covered that weren’t and some subjects that would benefit from more detail.
a. The Seven Questions Estimate
b. The Service Support Paragraph
c. Pl Sgt in the Advance and Attack
d. Pre-deployment checks
e. Principles of Administration
3. Transport If there are large numbers attending the course, it makes sense to co-ordinate one or two vehicles. We had a minibus and driver, this came from Dorchester with three pax, it stopped at Wyvern Barracks, and picked up four others (including one from Cornwall). It should be noted that we could not have got anyone else in the vehicle, and kit was tightly packed. For the return, there were separate vehicles to go to Dorchester and Wyvern. One car for four was entirely unsuitable, there was absolutely no-way we could have all got in there, it was fortunate, therefore, that one of the guys had gone home the previous weekend and picked up his car. As a guide, each individual will have belt order, a full bergan, a daysac, and a large civvi grip, those attending PSBC and PCBC will have a suit carrier, in addition to this many will have extras (laptop, Laminating machine etc).
4. Fitness and Physical Robustness It is vital that students turn up for this course as fit as possible. If you are not at the front of the squad, or carrying your equal share, not only do you stand out to the DS, it also means you can’t do your job, ‘lead from the front’, is the watchword. This was most notable in some of the young officers attending the course. Frequently Sergeants in appointment could be heard encouraging ‘Sir’ along. The CFT completed on the pre-Course should be reviewed with this in mind, trundling along with the recruits on a weekend is an insufficient test of fitness for this course. Many found the CFT on the Course to be emotional. Starting at Cilieni Village, there was a water stop at X Range Car Park, the route then turned South over the bridge and up hill for a little over a mile, eventually finishing at Black Hut. There was a second water stop at the top of the hill. Either due to a lack of Physical Robustness or a poor mental attitude, some 70 - 80% of the course found the hill particularly demanding, and caused others to work extra hard to stay with the main body. If they had arrived on the course better prepared, this would not have been as much of an issue as it was. NB - since writing the CFT distance has now increased to six miles, and may well increase to eight in 2008. Be ready for it!
5. Mental Attitude By the end of the course, some 25 students had been RTU’d, largely through their own choice. Although they say the Brecon Myth is no more, students should be aware that this is a testing and intense course. There is a vast amount of information to impart in only two weeks. This is not a nine to five course, some evening’s lectures did not finish until gone 1900hrs and there is still a lot of work to do in the evenings, students should arrive with this in mind. If students do not have a positive mind-set, they will not perform as well as they might.
6. The ‘Seven Questions’ Estimate The young officers from this unit benefit from various Tewts run by the Battalion, with regards to the 7 questions. The students attending PSBC don’t necessary benefit from this, and therefore it was an alien subject. Many students didn’t have the latest TAM insert relating to the 7 Questions, or knew it existed.
7. TAM inserts, cards and maps All of these are issued in the squad rooms on the first night at Brecon. However to save hours of fabloning and carving up the floors of the accommodation, Students should turn up to IBS with all these completed, all necessary paperwork is issued on the pre-course (this will also save a lot of time on those precious evenings in camp). It would be useful if the Battalion had some means of fabloning maps (both sides!) prior to attendance, as this is a big problem (the SPAR on camp stocks only very small rolls of fablon).
8. Patrol Report It should be noted that the format for the Patrol Report has changed, and IBS has adopted this.
9. Equipment Only issued kit is used on this course. In terms of webbing this means belt order, however, the use of chest rigs is allowed during the FIBUA phase. Jet packs are the only form of daysac allowed in the field. All equipment should be checked for serviceability at least a month prior to attendance to allow for any necessary exchanges. Strictly speaking, only issued boots should be used unless a medical chit is presented saying otherwise. It was made clear, however, that nothing would be said if you wore your own boots, as long as they were serviceable, and weren’t going to impede the individuals soldiering capability (the CQMS made it clear that he would not re-supply a pair of LOWA’s in the field, unless you gave him the £130 first!).
PRE COURSE STUDY SUBJECTS (PSBC)
Students should remind and revise the following
Judging Distances Fire Control Orders Target Indication Fire and Manoeuvre Section Battle Drills Platoon Battle Drills Infantry Mission Aim and Principles of Battle Procedure Composition of Warning Order Fire Mission Situation Report Contact Report
Students should familiarise themselves with the following
Principles of Administration Ranges and Frequency Ranges of Clansman Radios Effective Ranges of Weapons, both Infantry and Supporting Arms Illumination and Smoke Characteristics Familiarise self with Pre-Deployment checks and the Service Support Paragraph
Core topics covered on PTC
Advance and Attack Patrols FIBUA Defence Ambush Withdrawal
From an original post by OnTheBus