On Friday 9 th October, 50 Air Cadets abandoned their normal parade night, donned their DP (disruptive pattern) uniform and cam cream and headed off to Gamecock Barracks near Nuneaton for some Fieldcraft Training.
The two day Fieldcraft Training and Radio Navigation Exercise involving cadets and staff from 121 (Nuneaton), 163 (Coventry Phoenix) and 198 (Hinckley) Squadrons was held within the training ground of the 30 Signals Regiment Gamecock Barracks and was the culmination of weeks of training and preparation.
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.
During the first stage of their fieldcraft training the cadets were shown how to use both Trangia & Hexamine Stoves and introduced to the delights of the 24hr ration packs, which they would be using throughout the exercise.
Then it was straight into action with a demanding Night Radio Navigation Exercise designed to test basic radio communications skills and accuracy of message transmission in field conditions. As messages were transmitted between the 11 different mobile handsets, the cadet teams had to successfully navigate their way around the training area only to find themselves faced with multiple scenarios intended to further test their leadership, fieldcraft skills and their ability to work as a team.
With only a few hours sleep and a ration pack breakfast to prepare them, the cadets were up at first light for the next days activities, which included Camouflage and Concealment and the Assault Course.
The 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron training officer Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks 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 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 to live off the ration packs and cook for themselves so that was a bit of an eye opener for them, but I think the highlight of the exercises for most was the opportunity to go over the Assault Course”.
“The 30 Signals Regiment PTI staff LCpl Jenner and Pte Fisher who gave up their Saturday morning to take the cadets over the Assault Course did an excellent job in motivating the cadets and getting them to push themselves well outside of their normal comfort zone both physically and mentally to complete each obstacle. One thing is for sure, they loved every minute of it and no doubt they will have plenty to tell their family and friends when they get home”.
“I would like to thank 30 Signals Regiment, the PTI staff, the staff from all three Squadrons and especially the Cadets themselves for making this a truly successful and enjoyable exercise for all involved”.
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