On Friday 27th July cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) squadron donned their DP (disruptive pattern) uniform and cam cream as they conducted an overnight exercise designed to test their fieldcraft skills to the limit.
The exercise which was held within the training area of the 30 Signals Regiment base at Gamecock Barracks near Nuneaton was the culmination of a series of previous training sessions. This exercise however was somewhat different in that the cadets now had to put everything they had been taught into practice.
The cadets had to cook for themselves using Hexamine stoves. They also built their own Bivouac shelters using materials found within the woodland area of the training ground. They had constructed shelters on numerous occasions during their training so building another shouldn't be a problem, but on this occasion they weren't going home to a nice warm bed. No this time they knew they had to get it right because they were sleeping out in their own bivouacs and with the recent bad weather they could expect the next rainstorm at any moment.
The exercise also incorporated a range of scenarios involving Camouflage and Concealment, Casualty Evacuation, Radio Communication and Night Navigation.
The Squadron training officer Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks said, “The purpose of this exercise was to test the personal skills and fieldcraft knowledge of the cadets and give them the experience of fending for themselves within the field. The cadets managed to complete all the tasks and they should all be very proud of themselves.”
“This exercise was planed and authorised before the introduction of the new Manual of Fieldcraft Training (ACP 16). We will be looking to make extensive use of the new training material contained within the manual and will be incorporating some of the Consolidated Practical Training lessons into our future exercises. In the terms of ACP 16 this exercise would have been designated as an ‘Advanced Deployed Exercise' (ADE) being greater than 8 hours duration including an overnight stay with some activities being conducted in the dark.”