Detachment Profile; Huntingdon

Detachment Profile; Huntingdon

2 April 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF
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Detachment cadets and staff.

In 2022, Huntingdon Detachment moved into impressive new premises in Brampton. This fantastic new building has helped reinvigorate the Detachment after the Pandemic, and it is now growing and thriving.

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The Detachment building.

The new building first opened in 1991 and was originally used by the RAF Regiment. Later, it was taken over by the local Air Cadet Detachment, and after a recent refurbishment, it is now shared with the Army Cadets. The previous building was old and inadequate, with no outside grounds, whereas the new building is much more modern, spacious, and with areas for parading and outdoor training.

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Detachment Commander SSI Andy Phipps.

Detachment Commander SSI Andy Phipps, an MOD firefighter and Falklands veteran with decades of military experience, said; ‘We now have the best Detachment building in the County. I work closely with the Air Cadet OC (Officer Commanding) and we get on very well. Our cadets are from a variety of backgrounds, but we treat them all the same and give them the same opportunities.’

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2nd In Command, SSI Anna Smith, in the office.

Detachment 2IC (second in command) SSI Anna Smith said; ‘we are much happier with the facilities here, which includes a proper office and storeroom. The detachment is happy and growing.’

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Waiting for parade to start.

Cdt LCpl Tranter said; ‘it’s a much nicer environment, much more space. The Detachment is a nice place to be, people are friends with each other, but able to be serious when needed. Cpl Wagstaff agreed; ‘it’s a really nice atmosphere’ she said.

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Basic Level cadets learning to march.

On Wednesday 22nd March, multiple lessons were being taught by cadet NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers). Cdt Cpl Wagstaff and Cdt Cpl Tranter were teaching 2 Star Level cadets Patrolling; Planning and Preparation. Cdt LCpl Lawrence was teaching 1 Star cadets Aids to Judging Distance, SSI Lester had taken a group of cadets out into the local neighbourhood to teach navigation, and outside Basic Level cadets were being taught drill. Other lessons included Target Indication taught by Cdt Sgt Clarke, and meal planning for a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition. All the cadets appeared to be enjoying themselves and were enthusiastic about the new premises.

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Cdt Sgt Clarke teaches Target Indication

SSI Phipps said: ‘My priorities going forward are to continue to work on increasing our numbers, and to make sure the cadets who are already with us keep enjoying it and keep coming back. We have a number of cadets who will clearly go on to senior roles. I am really proud of them all.’

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Cdt Cpl Tranter teaches a lesson on patrolling.

Huntingdon Detachment has made huge progress over the last few years, rebuilding its numbers, seeing multiple promotions and inspiring more young people. It is clearly a happy place to be, and its cadets are in the process of achieving great things that will benefit them throughout their lives.

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Cadets exercising in the Detachment's grounds.

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart