Army Section

Upcoming Events

7th May - Biennial Inspection and CCF Annual Dinner
9th-15th July - Army Annual Camp, Warcop
10th-16th July - Bisley Shooting competition

Exercise Bare Necessities 8th - 10th April

On the 8th of April 17 cadets from King’s and Birkenhead went to Nesscliffe training camp for a survival weekend. After a late start due to transport problems, the cadets arrived at the camp in the evening, cooked food from ration packs on hexi burners and set up bashas for the night. Rather than going straight to bed, which was considered too easy by the officers, there was then a lesson in Night Navigation to familiarise the cadets with the area in which the exercise was taking place. While this was an enjoyable activity, it did mean going to bed at midnight or later which made getting up at 0630 the following morning difficult for some.
            On the second morning, cadets again cooked food over hexi burners before taking down their bashas and going to the first lesson. The lesson was from Mr. Bates and was on the subject of fire lighting and shelter making. The cadets learned the importance of collecting enough of the right material for a fire and were able to practice by lighting their own, something many found more difficult than expected. The lesson then moved to building shelters from only what they could find in the forest. In groups a site was selected and, having been shown the basics, they got to work on building their own.  
            The cadets then had a first aid lesson to teach them many important aspects of medical practice, learning skills such as how to make a stretcher and how to deal with conditions ranging from life threatening heart attacks to, given the weather, the more likely threat of sunburn and sunstroke.
            The cadets then finished most of their ration packs and went to carry out a reconnaissance patrol, to gain intelligence on the “enemy”. The patrol was a success with the enemy unaware that they were being watched, due to the cadets’ attention to moving tactically and skill at applying cam cream. The mission also served as a practice to another, night time patrol that was planned for that night.
            The cadets then practised the skills they learnt in the morning to cook their own meals over an open fire they lit and to build shelters in which to spend the night. The day ended with everyone having some form of shelter to sleep in and having eaten a meal that had been declared “edible”.
            The cadets then prepared their kit for the night time reconnaissance patrol, which started well but was unfortunately cut short by an “incident” involving a helicopter in the training area which led to them being called back and told to get some sleep while search and rescue teams were in the area. Unfortunately, after only 30 minutes sleep, cadets were woken and told that they would be joining the search. Accompanied by an officer, fire teams were allocated search areas and given a radio to report any findings. Fortunately the pilot of the downed helicopter had the presence of mind to leave pieces of paper explaining where he was going, these were found by cadets and led them to work out where the pilot was.
            With this information, they returned to the harbour area and then all proceeded to the bunker identified in the pilot’s messages. On arrival, cadets found an injured person and   treated him for mild hypothermia before constructing a stretcher and carrying him back to the harbour area. Having rescued him the cadets were finally about to get a few hours sleep.
            After being woken characteristically early, breakfast was cooked over an open fire and the cadets prepared for the last day. The final lesson was in setting up an observation post to watch enemy movements in a nearby building. Cadets were taught about what was required in a good OP and were then told to choose locations in pairs and occupy them without being detected. Many pairs achieved this and were able to closely observe the “enemy”. After that the only thing remaining was to take down their shelters and march back to the car park around a mile away to return to school.
The exercise was enjoyed by all and special congratulations go to those who were promoted: L/Cpl Mareen Zacharia, Cpl Ed Newman and Cpl Charles Geary.  

Exercise First Steps, 18-19 March 2011 - a report by Cadet Marion Vickers

On 18th March a group of 40 new cadets went on Exercise First Steps. For many of us it was the first time we had done something like this, involving cooking with boil-in-the-bag rations, building and then sleeping in our own shelters. After sorting out all our kit and getting separated into sections we set off for the exercise. We walked to the woods behind our school with our 65 litre backpacks on, it was tiring after a full day of school, but after we had eaten a few sweets we all felt happy again!

On arrival at the harbour area we set to work on building our shelters. We were working to a tight schedule as the sun was setting quickly. After we had made our shelters we went into the field for a lesson on patrol formations. It was really interesting and was to prove extremely useful for the evenings activities! After this we started cooking our meals. They weren’t very tasty but everyone was really hungry and so it was eaten without too much grumbling!  After this, In our individual sections, we went for lessons in patrolling, moving around at night without detection, duties of a sentry and, for a bit of fun and leadership skills, a night line. It was thoroughly enjoyable and all the people in charge were very helpful and engaging.  After a night of running around, we were all offered hot dogs and hot chocolate. It was about 0030 before the whole camp was asleep!

In the morning we made our own breakfast and took down our shelters. After the walk back to school we organised our kit and then prepared for our passing out parade. Lots of family turned out of the parade and everyone, although they were exhausted, had a smile on their face. Then we were issued our half stars and we were all very proud of ourselves. I’d like to thank the section commanders, platoon commander and sergeant as well as the teachers and NCOs that made it a really great night.

Sealand Ranges Day, 30th January 2011

Cadets from both the Army and RAF sections took part in a range day at Sealand Ranges to start training for the Cadet Skill at Arms Meet. The morning consisted of the cadets being divided into four sections - two of which firing the rifles at one end of the range, and the other two sections working in the butts underneath the targets, scoring their friends after each shoot, before swapping round.

During the morning, cadets shot 20 rounds each at targets 100m away with L98 Cadet GP Rifles, many achieving very high scores.

After lunch, the cadets once again formed four sections, and took turns shooting a further 20 rounds at targets 300m away - this was much more challenging, and combined with a strong wind, cadets were lucky to get even a couple of shots on target!

By the end of the day, all the cadets had a successful day's training to start off the year putting into practise the weapon handling skills they have been learning and fully enjoying the event.

L/Cpl Matt Cook writes about the Exercise Winter Warmup - January 2011

In the morning, cadets completed the assault course at Dale barracks which involved climbing over walls, walking over planks suspended high above the ground, climbing ropes and jumping over trenches. Everyone performed well, conquering their fears of heights and finding unknown strength to traverse the obstacles.

After the obstacle course, cadets honed their shooting skills at the range, shooting the L98 (a semi-automatic) assault rifle. The targets were set at a range of 30m and cadets were given a few rounds to get the feel of the rifles. The targets were inspected (They were found to be full of holes) and advice was given by the range staff. Then came some “snapshooting” in which targets were turned sideways and cadets were told to only fire on them in the few seconds when when they turned to face them, allowing the cadets to practice making accurate shots quickly. Again the targets were inspected, revealing even more bullet holes and showing that there are many good shots in the section.

We returned to the pavilion to eat lunch and found a welcome meal of chips had been bought from the nearby shop. We then had some time to clean the weapons we had fired earlier and prepare our kit for the exercise in the afternoon.

Full of chips, four groups set out at intervals, tasked with meeting several informants positioned around Dale’s woodland. Unfortunately, each group was captured and questioned by a fifth “Hunter” group a few minutes after setting out. Fortunately for them, the enemy was good natured enough not to interrogate them too brutally and deliver a brief lesson on what to do if captured before sending them on their way.

Only slightly shaken by their 10 minute capture, they were soon out moving through the wood and grassland, meeting the agents they were supposed to. Here, their skills at moving without detection were tested to the extremes as the armed hunter group which caught them earlier were now following them, trying to find the location of each of the agents spilling secrets. This led to several groups resorting to lying low in muddy ditches for long periods of time until danger had passed.

With all sections successfully completing their objectives, the cadets returned to the pavilion to celebrate their victory with a warming mug of hot chocolate.