Straight after the end of term celebrations closed, 30 keen Cadets boarded the coach to Swynerton training camp for a week of fun packed activities provided by the 160 Brigade Cadet Training Team.
The week started with a bang as the Cadets went trough drill for house clearing using paintball markers. This tested their military skills but mainly communication and leadership skills. Especially when we returned to the buildings in the evening. All the drills were then put into practice as they entered a pitch black building using night vision goggles with loud noise and smoke to add to the confusion. All participants preformed brilliantly even if left and rights were sometimes mixed up.
Monday was the navigation day where Cadets had a remind and revise session on navigation before setting out in small teams to complete an orienteering course on the training area. In the evening they took part in a lazer clay shoot in which Eva was the stand out shot.
Tuesday was range day. After months of weapon safety training the Cadets finally got to fire the Cadet GP rifle and took part in a syllabus shoot. Not only did they all pass but 18 achieved a first class badge with Ruari B-S. obtaining a perfect 70 out of 70 and a marksman badge.
We then went on a 36 hour exercise onto the training area, after a lesson, Cadets occupied a harbour area and set up their bashas and organised sentry positions. From here they send out patrols to different areas to gather information. Section Commanders briefed the Platoon Commander on what they had seen and heard. Ruari then came up with a plan, delivered a full set of orders to go out and ambush a supply drop that evening. The ambush was set and all the Cadets lay silently (I’m sure they were not asleep). The enemy tripped a flare which lit up the whole area and the Cadets fired their blank ammunition and achieved their aim before heading back to the harbour under cover of smoke as flares were set off adding to the excitement. After a few hours’ sleep interrupted by sentry duty and Apache and Osprey helicopters flying low over us. It was decided now was the time to attack the enemy with a Platoon level attack which tests all forms of leadership and personal teamwork skills.
Camp finished with the final parade and prize giving. The awarding Officer said that not all education happens in the classroom and I think everyone would agree the Cadets learned a lot over the camp. Cranleigh won the shooting, Ruari won top shot and we won best Contingent on exercise. Our own parade followed this. Congratulations to all those promoted.
It was a great week, the Cadets worked really hard with loads of enthusiasm for everything they did. They were such a pleasure to be with.
Many thanks to Maj Reed, CSgt Walker, AUO Rayer and especially to Miss Rigden for stepping in at the last moment to help out – Welcome to the team.
Special thanks to our outgoing RSM, Ruari B-S. who led the Cadets all week.