On Saturday 5th October Air Cadets from 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron abandoned their normal blue uniform, donned their DP (disruptive pattern) kit and cam cream and headed off to Gamecock Barracks near Nuneaton for some Fieldcraft Training.
The Fieldcraft Training Exercise, involving cadets and staff from 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron and supported by ex-service helpers, was held within the training ground of Gamecock Barracks, home of 30 Signals Regiment and was the culmination of weeks of training and preparation.
On arrival within the training ground the cadets received the pre-exercise briefing which set the scene for the operation
Following the briefing the cadets went straight into action with some demanding activities which were designed to improve their basic fieldcraft and communications skills in preparation for the final inter flight exercises.
The Fieldcraft Training exercise was split into several elements each designed to give the cadets the opportunity to put their classroom-based training into practice under field conditions. The cadets spent the morning learning how to patrol as a section and search an area before establishing a secure location that could be easily protected. Once they had selected the area for their base the cadets set about building their own Bivouac shelters using materials found within the woodland area of the training ground.
The section patrol and search element of the exercise was made somewhat more of a challenge thanks to civilian committee member Alison Parson who agreed to dress up in the Gilly Suit and act as the enemy observer. Alison took to this role rather enthusiastically and even managed to evade the staff prompting fears that they had lost her. However Alison finally revealed her position as she came wandering out of her hiding place in the woods looking like some sort of strange Yeti.
During the second phase of the exercise the cadet teams had to conduct a covert reconnaissance of the enclosed exercise area and construct a scale model of the site using natural resources found within the surrounding area. Having constructed the model the team leaders had to use it in order to brief their teams in preparation for the final phase of the exercise which required the cadets to put everything they had learnt during the day into practice in an attempt to locate and penetrate the opposing teams secure area.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks Officer Commanding 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron said, “The cadets always enjoy these fieldcraft training Exercises, it's amazing how eager they are to get their disruptive pattern kit on, cover themselves and for that matter everything else in cam cream and get stuck into the tasks they've been given. For many of the cadets this was the first time they have had fieldcraft training under such conditions so it was a bit of an eye opener for them”.
He concluded, “I would take this opportunity to thank 30 Signals Regiment for permitting us to use the Gamecock Barracks training area and would extend special thanks to Len Hardy and Paddy Garner who delivered most of the training and all the other Squadron staff & cadets who helped to make the whole exercise such an outstanding success”.
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