The thing about Exercises is that you know they will end. A bit like a tour away, you know, at some point, you will be going home.
The thing is just…when. Here, people are milling about (where would the military be without milling about) waiting for the best sound. ‘Endex’ and then NSPs.
The NSPs, or Normal Safety Precautions, are when all weapons and magazines are checked for (blank) ammo, and then ‘cleared’ to be taken off the range. This is followed by a statement about it being an offence to take off the range any blank ammo or any empty cases and then each person gives a declaration saying just that (and I bet any military or ex-military people reading can say the next bit without looking)…
‘I have no blank rounds, empty cases, pyrotechnics or parts thereof in my possession, Sir!’
And with that you can go home to begin the unpacking of the kit we’ve just loaded onto the 4-tonner truck, before we can head off.
Let’s hope we can give that declaration soon. There’s a bottle of Bud in my fridge with my name on it…