On 26th-27th June, No.3 (Ironsides) Company held a very successful Pre-Annual Camp Training exercise at our County Headquarters at Waterbeach.
65 Cadets attended, supervised by 18 qualified instructors. This was a non-residential weekend, with cadets being dropped off and collected each day. The training was socially distanced as far as possible, masks were worn indoors as needed, and cadets remained in their training ‘bubbles’.
Cdt LCpl Mia Hamilton of Soham Detachment, takes part in rifle drill. She said; 'its great just to be seeing people again, and training'. Picture: Doug Stuart
The weekend was planned by newly appointed 3 Company Staff Officer Lt Chris Annis, during his change over period with the new Company Training Officer Lt Vicky Houghton. SSI Rudderham was acting Company Sergeant Major for the weekend. Lt Annis said: ‘ we need to look for the holes in our cadets training in fieldcraft, Skill at Arms (SAA), first aid, and ensuring they are up to date with Weapons Handling Tests (WHT), and we need to bring our Basic Level cadets up to the right standard.’
Cadets complete a WHT with the air rifle. Picture: Doug Stuart
As with previous Company weekends, the key focus of the weekend was Skill at Arms training, with the principal intention of ensuring as many cadets as possible completed a Weapons Handling Test (WHT) with the Scorpion Air Rifle and the L98 A2 rifle, this effort being supported by a dedicated and expert team of SAA Instructors. WHTs involve being able to demonstrate that the safe handling of the weapon according to army procedures. This was a new experience for the Basic Level Cadets, and a vital refresher for the more experienced ones.
Cdt Sgt Dwight Bruno, centre, with Cdt Jorja Double-Williams (left) and Cdt Daisy Tempest. Cdt Sgt Bruno said: 'Im enjoying myself along with everyone else. Its great to be back on the ground with lessons.' Picture: Doug Stuart
1 Star First Aid Training was taught by SSI Dave Moller. This included a wide variety of important (and in many cases life-saving) first aid skills, such as Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), putting people into the recovery position, dealing with minor and serious bleeding, stroke recognition (FAST), bandaging, broken bones, poisons, anaphylactic shock, bites, stings, and choking.
Cdt Pinto puts Cdt Richardson in the recovery position. The ACF places great emphasis on teaching young people life-saving skills. Picture: Doug Stuart
SI Karen Pavitt, SI Ian Pavitt and SI Nicole Pavitt taught Military Knowledge, (including ranks and history of the ACF), basic navigation, heart start and SAA. Additionally, they took a group of 12 Basic cadets to the Army Training Ground at the Army Reserve Centre, Coldhams Lane for expedition training. Before setting off, they taught the cadets how to take care of their maps, and plotted a route. Once at the training ground they walked the route, orientating the map as they went and following ‘handrails’ (features on a map that can easily be followed, such as the edge of a lake). This was a new and interesting experience for these cadets, with SI Karen Pavitt saying: ‘it was really successful, the cadets finished the exercise full of confidence because of what they had achieved.’
LCpl Carpenter and Cdt Sarpong. Cdt Sarpong said; 'Im enjoying just holding a rifle again!' Picture: Doug Stuart
SSI Nathan Drummond worked hard throughout the weekend conducting WHT’s and running a shooting range. This was an air rifle range range for the 1 Star and Basic cadets, assisted by SSI Rudderham, SSI Reynolds, SMI Jones and SMI Harris. All the cadets who took part passed the shooting element of their training, with an opportunity for some of the adults to do some shooting as well. Additional WHTs were carried out by SMI Sarah McConnell.
Newly promoted Cdt Staff Sgt Charlotte Wallace, instructs Cdt Collins in disasembly of the L98 A2 rifle. One of our many outstanding cadets who play a vital teaching role in our organisation, Cdt Staff Sgt Wallace said; Its really good to be getting back to normal!' Picture: Doug Stuart
Major Sandy Grogan, Officer Commanding 3 Company, said: ‘Its fantastic to get back to face to face training, and great to see so many cadets returning, as well as many new faces. Its important we get the cadets skill levels back to pre-Covid standards, in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable annual camp. It has been particularly great to see all our adult instructors doing what they do best.’
AUO Whyall (front row second from left) leads a group of cadets in Skill at Arms. Picture: Doug Stuart
Text by PI Doug Stuart.
Thanks to: Lt Vicky Houghton, SI Karen Pavitt, SI Nicole Pavitt, SSI Dave Moller, SSI Nathan Drummond, Lt Chris Annis, Major Sandy Grogan.