DIARY OF THE TRIP TO NORWAY.......
18th Feb Today sees the completion of our first day’s training. The cadets have been given the opportunity to get to grips with the Norwegian kit, barrack life and getting to know their Norwegian counterparts. Today's training has taken the form of learning and understanding how to combat Cold Weather followed by a practical demonstration of dealing with a member of the group coming down with hyperthermia.
19th Feb The cadets have been learning how to ski on Norwegian military skis. The moral of the group is extremely high, and they have all had an amazing day. They all worked extremely hard and every one of the them put in 100% effort. The days are long so they're extremely tired, but they are learning new skills in the outdoors and making lots of new friends. The cadets have been learning how to prepare cross country skis and learning various new skills and techniques on military cross-country skiing. This was followed up by a session on navigation and understanding the Norwegian terrain.
20th Feb The cadets and staff have been practicing more Norwegian military skiing, downhill and uphill, and towing the Polk (kit sled).
This evening they will be packing and preparing for tomorrows exercise.
21st Feb The team had a good night's sleep in the section tents. Today the cadets have been skiing a circuit with different competition stands. These included building a fire, building a stretcher, and moving a casualty, communication without a radio across a distance.
The team have skied out to the training area this morning and will pitching their tents in the harbour area before dark.
Final day of military cross ski training which saw the introduction of the Polk (sled) for carrying equipment, squad tenting and various multi-fuel burners. The cadets have learnt new skills and gained many new experiences in 3 action packed days.
23rd Feb The exercise phase is now complete just maintenance of the group kit to finish and a well-deserved naffi and bed.
Last night we had a couple of inches of snow, so the cadets woke up to fresh snow on the ground and covering the trees.
Today the packed up their tents and kit from the harbour in good time this morning and started skiing back to camp through the woods.
24th Feb After a few days of taking part in the Fieldcraft element of the exercise and putting into practice all the skills they have learnt to become more skilled at military cross country skiing, the cadets have come away with an experience of lifetime. they demonstrated their abilities to survive and combat cold weather living in squad tents and maintaining multi-fuel burners. Part of the exercise was a round-robin competition to test their skills and bringing out the importance of teamwork.
The exercise ended with the cadets having the opportunity of been towed by a tracked vehicle called a BV. A great way to end the exercise.
Following on from the Fieldcraft we had a day out of camp and hit the downhill ski slopes. This is yet other skill to add to the ever-growing list of skills the cadets have gained and if you ask the cadets which is easier, military cross country or downhill skiing? I’m sure the answer will be downhill as the skis do what you want them to!
Our last day sees us taking in the sights as we head to the fort of Oscarsborg which is situated in a fjord south of Oslo and a short ferry trip to gain access. The cadets certainly are using a verity of modes of transport.
Below is a little description of the fortress:
Oscarsborg Fortress (Norwegian: Oscarsborg festning) is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak in Viken county, Norway. The best-known part is situated on two small islets. The main artillery batteries are on the island Håøya and smaller batteries on the mainland to the west and east in the fjord and was military territory until 2003 when it was made a publicly available resort island. The fortress is best known for sinking the German heavy cruiser Blücher on 9 April 1940.
On the last night we had our final dinner with our Norwegian hosts and a time to cement the friendships that have come from this experience.
All the Cadets and Adult volunteers have had the time of their lives and look forward to seeing our hosts in the Summer of 2024 when they come to visit us.
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