On Sunday 09 July Cadets from the Sea Cadet Training Ship Vanquisher and Air Cadets from 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron Air Training Corps joined forces once again as they 'Ran the Gun' at the 30 Signals regiment open day at Bramcote barracks near Nuneaton.
The Sea and Air Cadet display teams provided a demonstration of teamwork and discipline in the main arena as they conducted a Field Gun run using scaled replicas of the equipment traditionally used by the Royal Navy at the Royal Tournament since 1912. Hundreds of spectators were held spellbound as the two teams of 10 cadets disassembled, reassembled and manhandled their replica guns and limbers around a gruelling obstacle course.
This years run provided a rather different result from all the previous competitions between the Sea and Air Cadets, you could say a change in tradition. After winning the Ivan Davys trophy for three years running the sea cadets finally met their match as the Air Cadets stormed to victory for the very first time.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks Training Officer for 121 Squadron said, "We have waited four years for this moment. Every time we have run the gun against the Sea Cadets both at Bramcote and at the Nuneaton Carnival Gala they have always beaten us but this year everything just fell into place for the Air cadet team who really pulled out all the stops with an outstanding display of teamwork.
He added "The Field Gun Run is traditionally a Naval activity however this year Royal Air Force personnel from the Joint Force Harrier stations at RAF Cottesmore and Wittering competed in the Royal Navy Field Gun Competition at HMS Collingwood, near Portsmouth . Apparently they put on an impressive maiden performance, narrowly missing entry into the finals. With the RAF and Air Cadet teams doing well in the Field Gun Run the Navy will have to look out for the boys and girls in RAF blue next time they 'Run the Gun'.
The cadet Field Gun display which is now an annual event has been made possible by the Rotary Club of Arbury who presented the Ivan Davys Field Guns to the Sea and Air Cadet units in recognition of the close working relationship between the Rotary Club and the two cadet organisations.
Following the display Krishna Prasad, president of the Rotary Club of Arbury presented the Ivan Davys cup to the Air Cadet team and congratulated them on their first ever win in the competition.
1999 was the last year for the Royal Tournament. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Arbury the Cadets from the Sea Cadet Training Ship Vanquisher and Air Cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron Air Training Corps can do their bit to keep the tradition of the Field Gun Run alive.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Crewe officer commanding 121 Squadron said, "This was a fantastic public relations opportunity for both cadet units. The cadets have all worked extremely hard to perfect what has proved to be a spectacular demonstration. What's even more impressive is that this was the second time our cadets had been in the main arena. Only moments before the Gun Run most of them were in their full Band uniform having just completed the musical routine which took them to victory in the Air Cadet Band competition held here at Bramcote two weeks ago. Our civilian committee members have also done us proud this year with all the effort they put into our balloon race.