9 Company May Weekend

9 Company in the field at Thetford.

29 May 2019

The long May bank holiday weekend saw 9 Company staying at Thetford in Norfolk for a weekend of fieldcraft skills and knowledge consolidation across the different star boards. There was a lso a surprise in store for a key member of the team.

The seven detachments and Company HQ made its way out of Sector HQ in Blackheath on a rainy and none too auspicious traffic clogged Friday start to the long bank holiday weekend in three coaches, 4 minibuses, a van and a 4x4 vehicle! But despite doom and gloom news reports of 22 million people being on the move that Friday we made good time and the rain even cleared to reveal clear skies over East Anglia.

Saturday morning greeted us with blue skies and 9 Company made preparations for deployment ont the training area located a few hundred yards away from the camp. The One Stars were nearest next to a Fob emplacement and compound, next to be dropped off were the Two Stars who set up in a wood of conifers and finally almost at the northern limit of the training area the Three Stars were deployed next to an old airstrip. The culmination of the exercise was the three groups coming together in a scenario of attack and defence which was thoroughly enjoyed by all and was an exciting climax to the fieldcraft element of the weekend. For many of the junior group this was to be their first night spent outdoors and the apprehension of the night before soon turned to excitement the next morning.

Sunday afternoon saw the return to camp and after weapon cleaning many departed for a much longed for shower made all the better after a night out. This applied to both adults and cadets alike! Drill practice followed in anticipation of the final parade to be held on the Monday before departure for home stations. A chance for the Company to come together and share a sense of pride and belonging across the detachments.

The party arrived back at Blackheath on Monday afternoon, tired but proud of a good quality weekend where all achieved a great deal and the cadets gained a wider experience of fieldcraft at their given star level,

A highlight of the weekend was a visit on the Saturday by our Commandant Col. D Smith to inspect the cadets and see how the weekend was progressing, however he had a surprise in store for Colour Sergeant Pete Kallend, pictured above. Colour Kallend was awarded the prestigious Cadet Forces Medal which celebrates 12 years on the Army Cadet Force. A well deserved accolade for a hard working and popular member of staff. This was also one of the first presentations to take place in the field which was fitting as this is a place where Colour Kallend is often most at home. Colour Kallend is currently with 95 Detachment London Scottish but was previously at 98 Rifles in Thamesmead where he led the detachment as its detachment commander. Congratulations Colour, here is to many more years ahead!