SPRING CAMPS HEAD OUT
CCF Cadets braved high winds and low temperatures to complete a demanding weekend training programme on their Spring Camp.
Army cadets were out for three days with just ‘bashas’ to sleep under as they completed training in field craft, section in defence, fire control orders, ambush, close quarter battle, radios, first aid and night navigation. RN and RAF cadets undertook weapons handling training in preparation for live firing on a range, mountain biking before tackling leadership training and an assault course at HMS Collingwood.
ARMY SECTION FIND IT 'NIPPY'
The CCF Army Section deployed to Bramshott Common for their Spring weekend camp 2019. With the prospect of high winds and potentially ‘nippy’ conditions, all checks were made at Muster on the Quad to ensure all cadets had their appropriate tog sleeping bag and bivvy bag. This was the first time our Year 9 cadets were to sleep in the field in a Basha, some were nervous of this.
Morale was high and on arriving on Bramshott Common, cadets were allocated into their sections and the section commanders were briefed on the activities ahead. The first role was to occupy the harbour area and to build their bashas in pairs. With the bashas fit to withhold the elements, they were then off to navigate the local P1 area with an orienteering exercise. With not too many wrong turns, everyone returned for the cooking in the field lesson and issuing of ration packs for a well-earned hot meal.
The night patrol started with a ‘noise at night’ demonstration before patrolling into the local area to refresh the moving at night lesson. With everyone safely back to harbour and the prospect of the rain commencing at 2100hrs, everyone headed into their bashas for the first time and settled for the night.
We woke on Sunday morning having had wind and rain most of the night, but fortunately all the cadets Bashas had withheld the weather and no one/personal equipment woke wet.
The wind at this point had registered 55-65mph gusts plus the odd hailstorm thrown in and the decision was made to move harbour areas due to the movement of trees. The second night patrol aim was to gain intelligence over at P2 and feedback to the DS. On arrival back at the harbour, lessons were delivered for the duty of a sentry and then it was off to the bashas for an early night as the temperatures were dropping.
All the cadets on waking, dismantled their bashas and packed away their kit and were in definite need of a warm brew and breakfast as it was a chilly morning of 3*C. The weekend finished with a final 3 training stands of: Ambush, First Aid and command tasks.
All the Cadets worked well, pushing themselves to do new tasks, working as a team through all the year groups and enjoying skills that they never knew they had. The SNCOs stepped up and developed their leadership and navigational skills and everyone was looking forward to getting home for a warm shower. Congratulations to all the cadets for an excellent weekend and we look forward to the summer weekend camp.
VARIETY IS LIFE FOR RN AND RAF CADETS
RN and RAF cadets were involved in a varied programme of training over the weekend. This included an intense day of weapons training, preparing cadets to be able to fire the L98A2 Cadet GP rifle. They learned to name the parts of the rifle, how to take it apart and reassemble it and safe handling drills.
Cadets also experienced an introduction to mountain biking around the New Forest and navigation and expedition skills based at West Wittering.
Finally, the cadets had the opportunity to experience the training in leadership and teamwork that all naval ratings undertake at HMS Collingwood. This included practical leadership challenges as well as a run through the assault course, where success required cooperation and team work as well as a good head for heights!
HMS Queen Elizabeth Visit
RN section cadets were fortunate to be able to visit HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier. This proved to be a fascinating experience with visits to the flight control and main bridge ‘islands’, as well as the distinctive ski ramp and aircraft hangar. The visit gave a great insight to life on-board a Royal Naval vessel and we are very grateful to Cdr Jenny Curwood for making it possible.