11 January 2020
As we come to the end of 2019 and you head off for your Christmas holidays I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to you all; CFAV; Non-Uniformed Civilian Assistants and Cadets alike, for contributing to what has been an extremely successful year for Norfolk ACF and a memorable one for me in my first year as your Commandant. Notable achievements have included being crowned the best ACF team at the 7 Brigade 2019 Combat Cadet competition; 10 x Master Cadet course passes; participation in the ACF National D-Day 75 Battlefield Tour and an excellent Annual Camp in Swynnerton. Moreover, we are now stronger in numbers than we were a year ago, 123 CFAV (and with another x11 attending F&A in Jan 20) and 554 cadets, both of which represent an increase of almost 15%.
As I look to 2020 the year ahead looks even more exciting. Increased county and sub-unit training events; opportunities for CFAV & Cadets to go to Canada and the Baltic States; opportunities for us to enter a team in to the National ACF skill at arms shooting meeting at Bisley in July; a fun-packed Annual Camp in Altcar, Merseyside, from 28 July – 7 August and a chance for us to defend our crown at the 7 Brigade Combat Cadet in March. Neither I, nor the CFAV who serve you hold the monopoly on ‘good ideas’ for event planning so please do forward any ideas you might have through your respective Detachment Commanders for them to share with the County’s command team. With all our successes we should not rest on our laurels as the year ahead will not be without challenge. The Government will be looking to secure a suitable BREXIT deal for the Nation which will in all likelihood entail a review of Public spending priorities which in turn could impact on the resources available to the ACF, both in terms of funding training experiences and maintaining our aging estate. Therefore, we must remain agile and imaginative with our event planning to ensure we always get the best value for money in everything we do. We must look to self-help to maintain our estate where we can. The new APC Syllabus will place extra learning demands on both adults and Cadets so we will all have to embrace change with a positive attitude. Finally, digitalisation is here to stay so I would encourage you all to embrace the benefits that the Defence Gateway gives us, including most recently the launch of the new Cadet Portal.
In closing, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year wherever you will be. In keeping with the selfless commitment you all show I would urge you to spare a thought for those that will keep you safe during this period, many of our former cadets are serving around the world in our Armed Forces and a large number of our Adult Volunteers will be ‘on duty’ as members of the Emergency Services (Police, Fire, and Ambulance) and Prison Services. I hope they too will enjoy some much deserved rest with their family and friends when they can take it.