First Field Day
CCF cadets from the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy sections recently took part in their first Field Day of this academic year. A group of pupils from year 10 and the Sixth Form attended and took part in a range of activities within each section.
Year 10 recruits to the Army Section participated in a circuit of seven activities: air rifle shooting, archery, a drill session with one of their newly appointed NCOs, a teamwork challenge (using metal detectors to clear a safe route through a mock minefield), an introduction to platoon harbours, an introduction to the observation skills required for good fieldcraft, and a familiarisation lesson on the rank structure used within the cadet movement. Also taking part was the Sixth Form Section of new Lower Sixth who have chosen the Army Section as their service option for the year. Three of the activities were led by Upper Sixth NCOs, the others by adult officers. For each activity, the eight sections were assessed and scores awarded. Results were announced, and prizes given by the contingent commander, at a presentations parade during our next training afternoon.
All RAF cadets participated in the first Field Day, staying overnight at RAF Halton. The trip enabled them to experience life at this station, which is the home of new recruits into the service. The following morning, they travelled to RAF Benson for air experience flying (AEF) in the Grob Tutor aircraft. Cadets were given the opportunity to spend 30-40 minutes with a pilot (one of whom turned out to be a service air vice marshal), with the chance to fly the aircraft themselves as well as experience aerobatics if desired. Despite some poor weather, nearly every cadet was able to fly, which is great testament to the service offered by this AEF squadron and its pilots.
Around 40 Royal Navy CCF cadets travelled to Bristol for their activities. The cadets slept on HMS Bristol (a decommissioned destroyer) on Whale Island, a Royal Navy base. The following day cadets were able to explore HMS Victory and also the Mary Rose, learning about her rich history.
The experience was very positive for all cadets and NCOs involved and a great start to the CCF programme for this year.