Recently Felsted's elite Combat Cadet squad participated in the Combat Cadet competition in Thetford.
Once we reached Thetford we quickly settled into the aeroplane hangar where we would be setting up camp for the weekend along with the other CCFs and ACFs. We got our beds made, day packs sorted and rifles oiled so we could get to sleep and be prepared for what was to come the following day.
We woke up on Saturday at 0500 and with our equipment prepared from the night before, we started cooking breakfast and were soon deployed into Eastmere town for the morning. While there the team faced the first task which was fire support in which we defended a building by firing at pop up targets (Ranging from 20-150M) that we would be assessed on our reaction to the enemy presence and our firing skills. Next, we started the house assault which we were given time to prep in a demo building before being assessed on the real building. I briefed the team and we quickly approached the building, remaining vigilant before clearing the building of enemies then reconvened outside, marking the end of the assessment.
Following this, we had our casevac (casualty evacuation). We were patrolling along a street when we came under fire from a building at the top of the street. The two scouts (Tom and Noah) quickly pushed on past an entry point in a building so that we could all get to cover, once we were inside we layed covering fire out the door to cover the scout’s retreat into the building.
In the building we found the casualty and a stretcher; The medic (Oscar) quickly treated its wounds so we could leave the building. As we tried to leave via the back there was an open window from which we faced more firing. The scouts returned fire through the window and I returned fire from the back door so the rest of the team could evacuate with the casualty, once out of the building we moved away from the street into a safe location. Myself and my 2IC (Hugo) remained at the back to protect from any threats from the rear, as did the scouts from the front. The boys completed this task with professionalism and excellence as they followed orders and got the job done.
We then had a new task which was to pass through a twenty-meter underground tunnel one by one and then regroup behind a building to avoid drone patrols. Finally, we had a platoon assault in which we combined forces with the five other sections in our platoon and were given orders to destroy the enemies that had taken power over the town. Section by section we cleared buildings and eventually regained control of the town.
In the afternoon, we were tested on our skill at arms in which we as a team had to strip and reassemble two cadet GP rifles while blindfolded. Following this, we were tested on our ability to perform an ambush on two enemy personnel who were on patrol. After this success, we then performed a section attack in which we were attacked twice. However, due to our training we were prepared and managed to neutralise the second enemy threat.
Then, in pairs, we tactically went through a forest while being tested on our close quarter battle tactics by firing paintball guns at pop up targets. Finally, we had a kit check and military knowledge test which allowed us to gain further points in the competition. After an exhausting day; we headed back to the hangar, cleaned our rifles and got ready to settle down for the night. Waking up once again at 0500 we made breakfast and then packed up our bags into the minibus so we could get on with the day.
At 0730, we were dropped into Smokers Hole base camp where we proceeded to carry out some range tasks by locating the target's distance and bearings, and then wrote them down on range cards. The next task we had was the march and shoot, this was broken down into the 2K run and a shoot immediately after. Although only eight members would be assessed I as commander decided to make all nine of us run so that we could support each other. After the run we did the air rifle shoot; I would like to especially mention Oscar and Noah who didn't miss a single shot. Furthermore, I am extremely pleased to say we were only three seconds behind the fastest time and all the boys should be extremely proud of the effort they put in.
Our penultimate task was a navigation task, we were split into four groups of two, three groups were given bearings and paces to find letters that would then be collated together to find two words, we successfully figured out the word was ‘battle preparation’. The final group was tasked with map skills as they faced a navigation map test.
Our final task was the 5K patrol that we had one hour and forty minutes to complete. Our orders were to gain enemy intel, while out on patrol we successfully gained the intel that the enemy had four tanks. However, during the patrol, we were ambushed three times. The team managed to react in time and eliminate all the threats we were faced with, we completed the patrol with ten minutes to spare.
After the patrol we headed back to camp where all sixteen CCFs and ACFs were out on parade ready to receive rewards, Felsted CCF was rewarded with bronze medals. I would like to thank Lieutenant Galvin for spending many hours training us prior to the competition, Captain Mollison for accompanying us through the weekend and last year’s RSM Rebecca who is volunteering for her Sandhurst application to which I wish her the best of luck on behalf of all the CCF. Finally a huge congratulations to the boys, I'm beyond proud of all of your efforts and I hope you continue to thrive in CCF.