During the February half term, the Senior Cadets of Essex Army Cadet Force had a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and progress in their training

1 March 2019

. A week of training in Fieldcraft, drill, First Aid an instructional technique. Was hosted by our county training team using our facility in Colchester and the extensive training area its boarders.

The senior cadet week is now an annual event for our cadets and the result of tireless effort from our county training team headed by Major Pete Mills who says of the week

“The week is an excellent opportunity for senior cadets from across the County to come together and receive the training or testing they need to personally progress in their APC syllabus. Unfortunately, not all detachments have the CFAV staff to be able to deliver senior cadet training so the weeks training is invaluable as the County are able to send senior cadets back to their home units who can then assist with this level of training.”

Commencing on the Sunday Weapon safety tests where the first challenge this was carried out on a one to one basis to ensure that the rest of the weeks training would be safe, meanwhile the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation run workshops helping our cadets to turn the skills and experience of their training into valuable BTEC qualifications to help give cadets the edge when looking for jobs in the future or when applying to higher education authorities.

On Monday morning the most senior of the Cadets deployed into the field to start their field craft training, to include an overnight stay in the great outdoors whilst practising communication leadership and teamwork whilst under pressure and enjoying very warm days for the time of year! The rest of the cadets perfected their foot drill leant lifesaving first aid an then moved in to the field on Tuesday to learn the military orders process and develop their communication skills before moving on to the physically gruelling work of setting and springing ambushes and carrying out attacks and raids to practise the tactical ideas that help foster confidence and teamwork in the young adults.

All the while back in barracks a team of 12 cadets were busy learning the technical skills of radio operation and they then used their knowledge to provide a digital communications network to the cadets training on the field! The 12 new signallers learnt how to set ups masts operate different frequencies and provide real time information on the locations of the cadets moving in the field.

Thursday morning saw all the Cadets in the field for the final field phase a co-ordinated attack and blank firing exercise took place, with the skills of the past 48 hours and indeed the knowledge built up through each cadets’ induvial cadet journey being pushed and tested to its limits.

After a post exercise tidy up which included debriefs and weapon cleaning cadets where told they had a treat to look forward to on the Friday the last day of their camp.

As Friday came so did the anticipated treat. The Sgt Major from 33 Engineer regiment who had been assisting the cadets with their training introduced the cadets to some of their most advance kit including battlefield robotics which the cadets got a unique chance to get up close and personal with.

As always successful training relies on hard work from our adult volunteers and also this special half term of advance training was assisted excellent with help from regular troops from 33 Engineer regiment, Major Mills said “The County strives to find new opportunities to retain our senior cadets and give them opportunities to learn new skills, it is also an ideal opportunity for these cadets to engage with a regular unit and I would like to thank 33 Engineer Regiment for their invaluable support this year.”

Indeed, all the cadets where grateful for the help and experience of everyone involved in there training, by the final parade on the Friday It was clear it had been a successful week with 3 cadets gaining complete Three Star Awards and 5 Cadets achieving the prestigious Four-Star Award, the county also gained 12 Cadet Signallers.