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CCF Field Day

On Friday 25 September, a gloriously sunny day, cadets from all three CCF sections enjoyed their first Field Day of the year.

Thirty cadets from the RAF section took advantage of the excellent weather by spending the day on an RAF station. New recruits each enjoyed an individual 30-minute flight with an RAF pilot in a Grob Tutor aeroplane, followed by a visit to Air Traffic Control and the station Fire Section. They were then given the opportunity to climb all over one of the new Puma 2 helicopters in the company of a pilot recently returned from active service.

More experienced cadets spent the morning conquering their fear of heights and working together to master the high ropes course at RAF Halton, before moving onto RAF Benson for their flying slots. Every cadet also tasted (literally) life in the RAF by spending the night in military accommodation at RAF Halton and seeing how much they could eat in the Maitland mess.

Army section Year 10 recruits split their time between the Downs and Memorial Ground (only recently vacated by the South African rugby squad).  Instead of scrummaging and lineout practices, the 87 cadets undertook archery, air rifle shooting, a leaderless task, and a drill session with their newly appointed NCOs from the Lower Sixth. Up on the Downs they encountered a second teamwork challenge of using metal detectors to clear a safe route through a mock minefield, an introduction to platoon harbours and the duties of a sentry, a test of their observation skills, and a familiarisation lesson on the British Army rank structure used within the cadet movement.

Throughout these various activities, each section was scored on its turnout, attitude to the activity, the skill level attained and their overall effort. The leadership standard set by the accopanying NCO was also scored, while individual cadets could receive a nomination for Best Cadet.

When the scores were calculated at the end of the day, Section 1-2 (led by Lance Corporal Hugh Turnbull) emerged as the winners just fractionally ahead of Section 2-1 (led by Lance Corporals Martha Piper and Eden Higgins-Stockden), with Section 4-2 (led by Lance Corporals Will McNeilly and Dan Young) in third place.

The following cadets received one nomination for Best Cadet:

Libby Carpenter, Olly Carr, Charlie Chatterton, Tess Donnelly, Barnaby Flint, Phoebe Henrick, Monty Hinge, Rosie Kelly, Nikita Malkov, Ceci Mann, Lucy Martin, Daisy Mayhew, Izzy McIntosh, Joe McIntyre, Olivia Nurse, Beth Piper, Joe Pocklington, Alex Pollock, Max Redman, Marcus Winston, Will Wright, and Steven Yuen.

Joint runners-up, with two nominations each, were Oscar Boulter and Alfie Pagram.

Nominated in three activities, and this year’s winner of the award of Best Cadet, was Finlay Dexter.

Twenty-six Royal Navy CCF cadets travelled to Whale island in Portsmouth for their Field Day activities. They stayed overnight on HMS Bristol, a destroyer class vessel now used by the Navy for training and accommodation purposes. On Friday the cadets spent the day sailing yachts and driving powerboats around Portsmouth Harbour and out into the Solent.