RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Exercise 7

Stag on! It’s not quite a term of abuse, but it’s not quite
a complimentary comment, but it’s used to describe any form of
guarding or patrolling around a camp… In this case is is the term
used to describe the ‘guard’ we have to provide through the night.
Here, we are safely behind the wire of the training area fences
(keeping US safely in and civvies safely out!) but we still need to
provide a level of security for the building we are sleeping in,
mainly in case of a real time emergency, such as a fire. So whilst
we say that it’s a Stag-on, it’s actually a fire-piquet. And I’ve
got the 3-4am shift. Woken by the previous chap, who quickly runs
to his own slug as quickly as possible, I’ve forced my own way out
of my sleeping bag and put my boots on to spend an hour knocking
about the building, making sure that it’s all ok. And as all of us
on this exercise are ‘of a certain age’ ie in out mid-late 30’s and
into our 40’s, I know that many people are sleeping
soundly…mostly due to the noise from the snorers. There is one
with a fairly constant drone, whilst another has an odd wheeze to
his snores. One I can hear is snoring on his exhale, whilst another
is producing a noise on his inhale! One has the sound of a
repetitive low rolling clap of thunder as the storm fades away into
the distance. And don’t get me started on the bloke who seems to have got a plank of wood that he is very slowly and deliberately sawing… All this noise means that getting back to sleep will
be difficult, and we’ll be up at 6am anyway for our wake up, but a
stag-on at this time does have the bonus of having access, without
queuing, to the one sink here with a plug and HOT WATER. never
underestimate the power to your morale of a shave in hot water.
Never. It even makes crawling out of a nice warm sleeping bag into
a cold, cold room at 3am worthwhile…

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