David Edwards, GPO, 23 Bty
It was a particularly wet and miserable weekend at Pucka. Both 2 Fd and 23 Fd Bty’s were live firing with deployments. On the Sat night we had to move into a new position and fire quite a few rounds of Illum before the ranage closed at midnight.
23 Bty had got into position and setup for firing, but 2 Bty got bogged getting into position (to the delight of many in 23 Bty) but we had to fire off all the Illum. So the BSM disappeared down to retrieve 2 Bty’s illum rounds.
Because of the need to fire off all the rounds, the BC had the FO perform a Range and Lateral Spread mission where four rounds would be fired at once to provide a greater illuminated coverage. It was the first, and last, time I’d been involved in this mission and we technically challenging.
Once we’d gone through all the adjustments so each gun was firing to the right spot in the spread, it was “expend all ammunition”. You would have twelve rounds in the air at any one time. Once the firing started there was no-one in the CP, everyone was outside watching the show with apporpriate “ooh”s and “aah”s.