8 November 2017
Corporal Oliver O’Loughlin and Corporal Thomas O’Loughlin from Wenlock (RAMC) Detachment, attended Exercise Science in Action (S.T.E.M Course) on 22-27 October 2017 at West-Down Camp, Salisbury Plain.
Cpl's Oliver and Thomas O'Loughlin take up the story:
Day 1 (Sunday)
After a long drive to Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain we arrived at 1500hrs. We got settled down into our billets not knowing what the week would have instore for us. We went to the opening brief, where we were informed of our itinerary for the exciting week ahead.
Day 2 (Monday)
After a good night's rest, we went to meet our platoon staff and the cadets we would be working with for our time on the course. We then got a lecture by a representative of the Land Warfare Centre which had the influence on the maths side of the STEM approach. We used a top trumps technique to rate soldiers and equipment from all armies over the world to see what was the most effective asset in combat. Later that day we had a different lecture from the Defence Science Technology Labs (DSTL) where they talked to us about the research and development behind the British Army.
Day 3 (Tuesday)
After an exciting first day, the Tuesday morning we had lessons on the equipment and technology used by the Royal Signals and how it is all used on the battlefield, the equipment includes things like a signal jammer which works by putting a stronger signal into the surrounding area to overpower any other signals. In the afternoon, we put our practical heads on. To help and build, different things to solve challenging problems such as making an improvised antenna from telephone wire to make a phone call. We also an aerial to help locate transmitters for an orienteering task.
We then visited the Royal Air Core at Middle Wallop where we had a demonstration of how to marshal a Bel 212 aircraft and then had a go at it ourselves. Then we were lead to the high-tech flight simulators the Air Core use to train their recruits. Next, we had a tour of the Apache Squirrel gunship weapon system which was amazing and a once in a lifetime chance for many of us.
Day 4 (Wednesday)
Today we travelled to Shrivenham where the Royal Logistics Corps showed us different ammunition that has been used in the past and present day by the army. We also looked around the different vehicles and weapons systems that the army has to offer.
Later that day we travelled to MOD Lyneham where we received an insight into the Royal Electrical Mechanical Core (REME) and had a go at adjusting the firing pin if the L11A3 Sniper Rifle. We then moved on to fault finding on the Army’s Land Rover's. Next, we looked at flight Aviation within the REME. Lastly, we took part in a practical task of recovery work and a competition of boys versus girls where the boys came out on top by a matter of seconds.
Day 5 (Thursday)
This morning we travelled to Upavon where we met with representatives of the Royal Artillery who took us through some of their unmanned aerial systems (UAS). For example, the Desert Hawk 3 and the Black Hornet - 2 pieces of equipment which are used regularly to aid and support all aspects of the military. We also took part in a session with a civilian drone racing team who taught us how to control a drone.
Later that day we were transported to Tidworth, where we received an insight by the Royal Engineers. They took us through numerous stands including designing and constructing a bridge out of a variety of everyday items (e.g. paper, string etc). We then moved on to a water filtration task where there was a competition to see which group could produce the cleanest water by making a filter from the materials provided. After this, RE Geotechnicians led a session where we estimated distances using our maths skills to estimate distances accurately. Finally, we had a tour of a selection of RE vehicles including the Trojan, Titan and Terrier which were all assets of the Royal Engineers.
That evening, we were privileged to receive a presentation by WO1 Cox, the representative of leadership from RMA Sandhurst. She spoke inspirationally about her journey in the army, the true meaning of being a leader and the core skills that a leader must possess.
Day 6 (Friday)
Today was a day for fond farewells and preparing for the long journey home.
We received a final address from Col Lamb and Col Nash who spoke about the successes of the week and we had the chance to give our thanks for the many opportunities that we had been given. We also had a final chance to speak to representatives of various regiments that we had worked with throughout the week.
We would highly recommend this course to any cadet, in any organisation, if they ever had the opportunity to take part in it as it made a huge impact on us in so many ways. Not only have we learnt new skills but also made may new friends. Furthermore, it has made us think more clearly about our hopes and dreams for the future and what we need to do to achieve these.
If you want to aim higher, feel more confident and get a head start on your future. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a cadet or adult volunteer, call 01377 253548 or visit www.armyacadets.com/humberyorkshireacf or enquire at your local detachment