Report by Cadet RSM Louis S
On 23 September, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) started their 24hr Exercise. We departed at 11:30am, shortly arriving at our training area in Colchester to conduct the field exercise. This was the first such opportunity for the CCF since the COVID pandemic, so everybody was rightly excited to be getting out and putting what had been learnt every day during CCF at school, into practice out in the field.
The new recruits were led around stands by our U6 cadets, learning different skills, ranging from the importance of camouflage to cooking using military stoves. The more experienced cadets in the NCO sections also had to put their knowledge into practice as they had to make their way through battle scenarios, such as section attacks and fire and manoeuvre drills, whilst operating their weapons safely and firing blank ammunition.
After a long day out in the field, the recruits headed back to the barrack room for the night, whilst the NCOs set up a harbour area in the field to sleep out in ‘bashas’. They competed in sections against each other to see who would get the honour of demonstrating a section attack to the recruits the next morning.
Well done to the NCO cadre champions, lead by our new RQMS Dom B, they gave an excellent demonstration of a section attack, showing great speed and energy. Plus a mention to Luke S and Hamish I, for their brilliant performance of playing the enemy. After the demonstration was concluded we cleaned our weapons, then reassembled them, ready to head back. On behalf of myself and the CCF cadets, we would like to thank all the staff for organising such an incredible 24hr exercise, we all had fun and learnt a great deal.
Report by Cadet Maxime G (new recruit)
The CCF exercise was great fun and very interesting. When we got to camp we organized our dorms for the night. We then got organised into the sections that we were going to be in for the day, each consisted of 9 cadets. We then conducted a number of activities to help prepare us for the night exercice. These included first aid, face camouflage, concealment, and judging distances without any tools, hand signals, preparing bashas, and obstacle crossing. We had dinner in our sections and the section commanders showed us how to cook our rations in the wild.
It was very exciting and something new that we all enjoyed. It was made even better as we were sharing this experience with friends and classmates. Then came the introduction to operating at night. As dusk came, and the Moon rose, we were taught about using our senses to identify sounds (that the section commanders were making) and we all had to guess what the sounds were. Major Palmer then explained how to improve our night vision, which was going to be an important tool in the night exercise. The exercise involved each section trying to sneak up to checkpoints without getting caught. Finally we all headed to the base to get some well deserved rest. In the morning we headed out into the field again to cook our breakfast. We then watched tan NCO section perform a section attack whilst Major Palmer explained what was happening. The exercise was a great experience, I enjoyed learning new stuff and spending time outside with friends and classmates.