Originally an ordinary piece of land, training areas have gradually risen and the top 500m or so of crust is now formed from a composite of Compo Anacondas, rations, Bungees and, if you believe the legends, RMAS Arab cadets' weapons. Noticeably absent is spent brass; not because of any genuine effort by exercising troops to pick the stuff up, but because of a complex process known as the pikey effect. On the other hand, vast quantities of 'live' blank are often to be found buried just beneath the surface, particularly in areas regularly used by RMAS. This is because RMAS Cadets know that if they fire their weapons they will be sitting up cleaning them until the early hours. In consequence, the wily cadet places two rounds in the top of each magazine and buries the rest of his issued ammunition on arrival at the Training Area.
Individual training areas have their own unique qualities (contributions please):
- Sennybridge - quite unbelievably bad weather and some serious hills.
- Salisbury Plain - Rules preventing the use of any type of military equipment. Very hard (flint-bearing) chalk with about an inch of topsoil, and thus ideal for defensive exercises. Huge and open - so freezing cold.
- Sennelager. Perhaps the most frustrating of the major training areas because you are never that far away from a Mess, a Junior Ranks' Club or a decent topless bar. On a clear summer evening, you can almost smell the beer and bratties being enjoyed by fat krauts in Senne and Paderborn, while you're sweating your nadgers off in your hideous, slimy Sleeping Bag.
- Catterick. Hills. Snow for most of the year, with intervals of sleet. Most potential harbour areas conveniently already have trackplans and shellscrapes.
- Warcop. Not quite as cold and wet as Otterburn
- Holcombe Moor. Formerly the site of the Krypton Factor Assault course. Not so much cold and wet, more chilly and damp.
- Argarten. Next to Garelochhead, but stretching from sea level to 700m+ peaks in a couple of km. Amusingly described as an "Arduous Training Area". In other words, prepare to suffer.
- Cinque Ports: not the greatest training areas in human history, but not bad either. chickenpunk came as close as he ever wishes to meeting his maker at the hands of an RCT Major with an HK53 at Hythe Ranges; but putting aside these negative waves, CPTA remains the only training area where it is possible to finish work at 6.00pm-ish, get changed, get on 'Le Shuttle', stock up with industrial quantities of cheap beer, fags, wine, spirits and decently produced French food; get outside a big French restaurant meal; and still be tucked up inside one's Sleeping Bag in Merrie Englande by 2300.
My most depressing memory of Lydd was running over miles and miles of pebbles, expecting to see the sea over the next crest and seeing yet another unassailable ridge. Lydd is the kind of place where the tide went out a hundred years ago and never came back!!
- Longmoor - Covered in sand, woods, old and broken armour, trenches and one of the grottiest FIBUA villages in NATO. The village is usually inhabited with bored, jobless people with nothing better to do than drive the 237 year old Ford Escort about the area at high revs and low speed, this is to simulate the CHAV environment. It is advisable that never, under any circumstances should you go into the trenches around Longmoor as they act as an RV for all the Compo Anacondas that haven't been absorbed into the subsoil yet.
- Thetford - One of the army's better training areas, flat and small, but situated in God's toilet, it is blessed with good weather most of the time. You can dig a trench with a plastic knife here. It does however, have a sinister history to it, being at one time a big witchcraft haunt for the occultists out there.
- Dartmoor - Pack your water-wings - it is wet. It is easy to lose your whole green fleet down a bog if you drive off-road.
- Woodbury Common - Is in fact one large gorse bush, with a layer of pebbles for added 'ouch'. Frequented by dog walkers from god knows where, normally walking through harbour positions at 0600.
Men of Harlech stop complaining,
Wales was meant for tanks and training,
And it's always fucking raining,
Welshmen are all ****s