In April, Norfolk cadets went to Skydive Hibaldstow for their introduction to the sport of skydiving via an Accelerated Freefall course. They are joined by the OIC Major Stopford Pickering and Staff Sgt Richards who are qualified solo skydivers overseeing the expedition.
Norfolk ACF arrived at Skydive Hibaldstow and were met by their new instructors and started with a safety drill refresh and intro to packing. Prior to this the cadets attended a mandatory 1 day ground school, also at Skydive Hibaldstow. Following on from their ground training, the students were split into groups for their continued training and their first jumps. The students progress through levels for their qualification starting at level 1 until level 8. To start each student gets two instructors who ensure they are safe and offer guidance on the way down via radio and hand signals. When the students can demonstrate they understand the movements and can maintain stability during freefall (and safe landings) they can then move up to the next level. The quicker a student grasps the requirements at each level, the quicker they can progress. Norfolk cadets started fundraising in 2018 for this expedition and raised £70,000 to fund the trip (which was due to take place in 2020 at Skydive Spain, sister company to Skydive Hibaldstow). As this was not possible due to the pandemic the Expedition had been relocated to North Lincolnshire. Norfolk is the first and only Army Cadet Force to run skydiving courses taking cadets to licence level. Norfolk ACF Skydiving was started back in 2012 and has expanded greatly, their last trip was back in 2018, also to Hibaldstow.
Norfolk is the first and only Army Cadet Force to enter the Armed Forces Parachute Championships – and in addition the only one to win medals!