Exercise ‘Saffron Cadet’
On Wednesday 4th April 38 Senior cadets and 12 CFAVs from Cambridgeshire, Essex, Beds & Herts, Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire ACF’s took flight to Cyprus with Exercise ‘Saffron Cadet’ hosted by The Second Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment The Poachers who are currently the Resident Infantry Battalion stationed in the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA) Dhekelia.
After an early flight the party landed at Larnaca airport to be met by a transport detail which conveyed them directly to Dhekelia Garrison. After an evening meal everyone settled into their accommodation. Over the following days the programme consisting of Military, Cultural and Recreational was adopted.
As guests of 2 Royal Anglian, cadets participated in range practices including LMG, GPMG and the L81 A2 rifle with over 5000 rounds fired. They where given a very comprehensive overview of the Regimental history and traditions of the Officers Mess at Alexander Barracks by Captain J Powell and his colleagues, were Regimental colours and silver were on display. Finally a round-robin of familiarisation activities gave the cadets a most engaging insight into HMG (Heavy Machine Gun), the Jackal (The New Military Vehicle), AV grenade launching adaptations of the A2 rifle and the use of military quad bikes. For this and the range practices Cpl Atherton and his team we are indebted to.
Visits were arranged to Larnaca, Pafos and Nicosia. The Pafos visit included an opportunity to view the remains and amphitheatre at Kourion. The visit to Nicosia was probably the most striking illustrating the contrast between the Greek and Turkish parts of the city and making it very obvious the work of the UN.
The party had the use of the Victor beach club for recreational time between other activities. An excursion was arranged for the inevitable purchase of souvenirs, a day spent at Waterworld followed by an evening of ten-pin bowling were enjoyed by all. The social highlight of the week was a final dinner of local cuisine (Meze), hosted at a local Taverna which devoted its evening entirely to the cadets.
Throughout a very busy programme every cadet without exception participated with energy and interest. They all conducted themselves in an exemplary manner of which their counties could be justly proud.
The overall response from both cadets and adults was that this was an overwhelming worthwhile and enjoyable experience.
By S/Sgt Lesley Sharp
Pictures - Senior Cadets from Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire ACFs
Cadet SSgt Hutchinson Essex ACF participating in range practices with the GPMG supported by The Royal Anglian Regiment ‘The Poachers’
Cadet SSgt Hutchinson Essex ACF & Cadet SSgt Woodhead Lincolnshire ACF enjoying a ride on the new Military Vehicle the ‘Jackel’
Cadet Cpl Betts Suffolk ACF enjoys a pillion ride on the Military Quad Bike
Exercise Saffron Cadets & CFAV’s at the Amphitheatre Kourion