Operation Cold Start took place this weekend on Aldershot Military Training Area. A small, but select, band of enthusiastic cadets formed two sections led by Elliot Canham and Katherine Plewman. Upon deployment on the area a patrol went out to explore the area of Caesar’s Camp and, despite an enemy ambush, a harbour area was efficiently established in some low lying woodland. By mid-evening the whole platoon was assembled (after various sporting commitments) and, under cover of darkness, recces went out to probe suspected enemy positions. These were stealthily located and the necessary information brought back to HQ, setting the scene for the following day.
After what proved for some to be a chilly night (even though the mercury did not drop below zero) we were rudely awakened by an enemy counter-attack upon our harbour. Despite a rather hesitant start, this eventually served to spur out intrepid force onwards, through a series of small “pairs, fire, manoeuvre” skirmishes, a couple of section attacks and finally onto a full-scale platoon attack. As ever we were victorious, the enemy were destroyed and, despite one nameless section commander’s timidity with all things bovine, we all lived to fight another day. Perhaps more importantly a lot was learnt about leadership, organisation and field-living with the nuts and bolts of various attacks on a larger scale than is possible at School.
Well done to all the participating cadets for their enthusiastic participation and to the staff (WO1 Bryant, Capt. Reed, Lt Lane, Lt Webb and PO Leech) for giving up their weekend and sleeping out with the troops at a particularly busy time of the year. A particular thank you goes to Mr Bryant for all the behind the scenes admin before and after the event.
Maj SAH Young
OC Cranleigh School CCF