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Updates from Antigua

Daily updates from Antigua

Updates from Antigua

3 November 2022

  • Cumbria ACF

Day 1

Cumbria ACF Cadets came together at Carlisle Castle to complete their final admin before their Antiguan Venture. They had fish and chips for dinner followed by a 7 hour coach ride to London Gatwick ready for an early morning flight to Antigua.

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Day 2

The Cadets arrived at London Gatwick at 5am followed by a light breakfast and checked in for their flight to Antigua which departed at 10am. On arrival the Cadets were greated by Major Michael of the ABDF and Lt Samuel Henry who escorted the Cadets to Camp Blizzard the home of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force. Then completed the day with a visit to the beach.

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Day 3

The Cadets familiarised themselves with their new home for the next week and unpacked their belongings while settling in. They all took a quick trip shopping to gather some essentials and concluded the day with another beach trip.

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Day 4

The Cadets had an action packed day.

Starting with some morning drill to get ahead of the sun followed by a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force. Which lead on to a visit to HMS Medway where we were introduced to their operations and weapon systems on board by the Royal Navy, and just to top it off a visit to the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda with the ABDF Cadets.

All to get back in time for a quick beach visit and closing the day with some pizza later in the evening.

So all in all a very action packed and rewarding day for all

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Day 5

The Cadets started the day by visiting the Antigua Grammar School and the Princess Margaret School and staged discussions on climate change and the impact of schools on mental health and wellbeing.

Then in the afternoon they all volunteered at the Antigua Horticultural Society to garden around the 4 acre site and preserve seeds for future generations by collecting and packaging them. Topped off with an invite to the British High Commissioner's for a BBQ for Dinner.

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Day 6

Thursday was an adventure training day with a full day of sailing provided by the National Sailing Academy. The Cadets had the opportunity to learn how to sail in 3 man, 2 man and 1 man Ventures and took the seas.

To end the day they enjoyed a pizza night in downtown St John's.

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Day 7

Today the Royal Marine Commandos on board HMS Medway took the Cadets on a day of training from first aid and why things are seen to stalking and cam and concealment. A full day of activity enjoyed by all.

To cool down after a hot day they all finished off with a beach afternoon.

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Day 8 & 9

After an adventure packed week the cadets spent the weekend at Darkwood Beach enjoying a relaxing lie in and taking in the sunshine and waves of the beautiful beaches of Antigua.

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Day 10

Another day of sailing for the cadets to hone in their skills. This time pairs sailing with a beach landing at Pigeon Point for a quick swim and then a trip back to the marina for a bite to eat and back out again for the afternoon for some more practice.

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Day 11

Finally the day we've been waiting for. The Cadets started early at 4:30am and were invited to take part in the National Independence Day Parade for Antigua and Barbuda at the Vivien Richards Stadium on their day of Independence. Their 41st Independence Day Celebration. The parade was streamed on National TV and they are representing the Army Cadet Force at the event.

After the Antigua and Barbuda Independence Day Parade, cadets were invited by Chief or Defence Staff for the ABDF, Colonel Telbert Benjamin, for a commissioning parade of our very own RSMI Garvey to 2nd Lieutenant Gerry Garvey

After a long day on parade the Cadets went back to camp to freshen up then headed out to the beach to rewind after a long day.

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Day 12

On our penultimate day the Cadets visited Nelsons Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage site. To uncover the history of Antigua and its importance on the world stage. They visited viewpoints and took their final beach visit before leaving.

Then the British High Commissioner treated us to a meal at the Dockyard with the ABDF Cadets.

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Day 13

On our final day in Antigua the Chief of Defence Staff, Colonel Telbert Benjamin, invited the Cadets to a farewell ceremony where we exchanged gifts of thanks and strengthened ties with the ABDF in the aim for a prosperous future with the ABDF.

The Cadets all in high spirits have said their farewells disappointed to leave this wonderful island, but with the knowledge that their work won't be forgotten.

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