106 Regt – Longmoor – PNCO Course – Sat 10 Feb 17

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“The Knowledge that I have gained from being a Reservist has helped me to get my current job – working as a Defence Analyst with DSTL”

Gunner Andreas Iliopoulos from Basingstoke is a Civil Servant and works for DSTL.  He has been in the Reserves for 3 years and is a member of 457 Battery (part of 106 Regiment) based in Southampton.  He said, “The Civil Service is also very generous, helping with training time with my Regiment and they give me 15 days a year, in addition to my normal holiday.  Gunner Iliopoulos was taking part in the Potential Non Commissioned Officers Course on Longmoor at the weekend, he is also currently training for his HVM (High Velocity Missile) Course, and is preparing for his first live firing weekend which will be held in Wales in March.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTONwww.stphotos.co.uk 07778 334771

“Following in his family’s footsteps”

Gunner Callum Hawksey who lives in Fareham is a Reservist with 106 Regiment Royal Artillery and is a member of 295 Battery based on Thorney Island, in civilian life he is a fitness instructor and has been in the Army Reserve for 3 years.  Callum said, “My family have served with 12 Regiment Royal Artillery who are based on Thorney Island and that was what motivated me to join the Reserves, in particularly the Royal Artillery.  Callum exercised in Canada last year with the Royal Artillery and is hoping for more opportunities for oversea travel with the Regiment.

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“I joined the Reserves at 40, a bit late but I love it, and I have managed to progress with my training quite quickly, as I can put in the extra time”

Gunner Russell Haley, is a member of 457 Battery based in Southampton, and lives in Pool.  Russel works as a Data Developer for an Insurance Company in Bournemouth so enjoys the diversity of his Reserve career.  Russell was taking part in the Potential Non Commissioned Officers Course being held at Longmoor last weekend.

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“I had hoped to join the Reserves earlier in my career but somehow it never happened, I thought I had missed my opportunity, when I spotted the age limit has been increased I jumped at the chance to fulfill an ambition”

Gunner Phill Ashby from Bassett in Southampton is a member of 457 Battery based at Blighmont.  Phill works in the construction industry as a self-employed builder and has only been in the Reserves for 18 months, and is working hard to progress in the Royal Artillery.  Gunner Ashby is hoping to do well in is Potential Non Commissioned Officers Course which he has been attending at Longmoor training area over the last 4 weekends.

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My employer is very supportive of my Reserve Career, it can be tough juggling them both, but if you manage your time properly it can be extremely rewarding”

Troop Commander Second Lieutenant David Fuller from Southampton works as a City Councillor in Southampton and also works for the MP Royston Smith as a Parliamentary Assistant.  David has been in the Reserves for 6 years – he joined the University Officers Training Corps whilst at University and then when to join the Royal Artillery.  He completed his Officers Commissioning Course at Sandhurst in 2016, and said, “It was one of the toughest experiences in my life but well worth it.”

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One Army regular and Reserve Members of the Armed Forces from 12 Regiment and 106 Regiment Royal Artillery taking part in the first jointly run Potential Non Commissioned Officer Course, run by 106 Regiment Royal Artillery and held over 4 weekends at Longmoor Training Camp

Commanding Officer 106 Regiment Royal Artillery Lieutenant Colonel Tim Pennett TD, who visited his Reservists and members of 12 Regiment at the weekend.  He said, “We are paired with and we support 12 Regiment Royal Artillery – as they support us.

Working and training together at this level is important we get to know each other and we get to see how we all operate, so the understanding and bonding of both Regular and Reserves has already taken place.”

He added, “So when we take part in operations the ground work has been done.”


Donnington Bridge – Oxfordshire Sea Cadets – Naval Parade 7 Feb 17

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Donnington Bridge Sea Cadet’s Ship’s Bell

HMS Euryalus was a 1941 war time Royal Naval Cruiser. The Bell from the Cruiser was presented to the Oxfordshire based Donnington Bridge Sea Cadet Unit by a Jersey Sea Cadet Unit some 8 or 9 years ago.  The Bell is proudly on display now in at the home of TS (Training Ship)  Euryalus.

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A volunteer who wears two uniforms – “Being in both the Sea Cadets and a musician with the Army Reserve offers me different experiences and I can make a contribution to society in more than one way.”

Adult Volunteer Petty Officer Joseph Yu, is a student at Oxford University studying anthropology, and not only is he an Adult Volunteer working with the Oxfordshire Sea Cadets, he is also a member of the Army Reserve.  PO Yu is a member of the Waterloo Band, of the Rifles and plays the Clarinet.  Joseph who joined the Sea Cadets in October 2016 was born in Hong Kong and came to the UK in 2012, he proudly explained that he was in the Sea Cadets in Hong Kong, which is where he got the bug.

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Cadets can join the Sea Cadets as young as 10 and there is no shortage of youngsters wanting to join 

Junior Sea Cadets – with the length of service ranging from 2 weeks to 8 months.

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Very much a family affair and something to celebrate

The Family Long have a very lengthy history with Donnington Bridge Sea Cadets, Dad Keith joined the Cadets as a Boy and went on to become an Adult Volunteer, Mum Jo is also a Volunteer, and helps out with all the catering, and then there are the 6 Cadets.

Brother Kieran, and his five Sisters, Jessica (next to Dad), Amie, Isabelle, Catherine, Sophie.

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“I enjoy being a Sea Cadet, it makes me feel good, I like the courses and I am always learning new things, I enjoyed my catering course the best.”

Sea Cadet Raage Mahamed joined the Sea Cadets 6 months ago and has never looked back.  Raage who goes to Wheatley Park School, in Oxfordshire, has completed his basic First Aid class 111 course, enjoys drill and has made some really good friends.

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Cadet Chloe Harvey – responsible for the junior Cadets on Parade during the inspection from Commander Trevor Price. She said “I do this for the fun of it.”

Cadet Harvey is a Cadet First Class and lives in Oxford and goes to Gosford Hill School, Chloe was the Parade Commander for the evening.

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Sister and brother – Junior Cadets at Donnington Bridge

Isabella and Luke Humphreys from Heddington in Oxford, have just moved from Guildford.  Both Cadets have recently joined the unit at Donnington Bridge, and are enjoying taking part in the many activities on offer.

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Adult volunteers and Cadets from Donnington Bridge Sea Cadet Corps with Commander Trevor Price, Sea Cadet Southern Area Officer after their very successful Royal Naval Parade inspection held on Tuesday 7 Feb 2017.  Commander Price said, “This evening has been a pleasure, it has been good to talk to the Cadets, they have been bright and engaging, and the Unit should be very proud.”


Pte Hobbs – My year at Joint Service Parachute Centre (Netheravon)

picJSPW(N) Exercise Intrepid Sky ’17 – My 200th Jump at Skydive Miami, Florida, USA

I joined JSAT junior staff at Joint Service Parachute Wing at Netheravon in January 2016, and a year later I have just returned from Exercise Intrepid Sky 2017. Here is a brief outline of the training I have undertaken in that time, and the qualifications and experience I have gained during my time at JSPW (N). Intrepid Sky is our annual staff training exercise for all staff working at JSPW(N). The exercise was held at Skydive City in Zephyr Hills, Florida, and at Homestead USAF Airbase near Miami. During this time I received some world class coaching from world champion skydivers, and got to jump with the Golden Knights, the US Army’s Parachute Display Team. The three weeks spent in America was incredible, and my skydiving has improved massively, which I’ll cover in more detail later.

The Aim of Joint Service Adventurous Training

“To promote, through the conduct of arduous outdoor activities with exposure to hardship and danger, the Army’s core values, leadership, teamwork and other qualities necessary to enhance the Operational effectiveness of all military personnel.”

The Definition of Adventurous Training

“Challenging outdoor training for Service personnel in specified adventurous activities, involving controlled exposure to risk, in order to develop leadership, teamwork, physical fitness, moral and physical courage, among other personal attributes and skills vital to Operational capability.”

I qualified as an AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) skydiver in Florida immediately after joining JSPW, and on return to the UK began my normal daily work routine. Primarily the job of junior staff is to assist with training delivery to basic, intermediate and advanced parachute students from across the tri-services. Courses run from the end of February through to November, and in 2016 over 40 courses were delivered.

A big part of my job involves teaching students to pack their parachute rigs safely, which at times can be challenging, especially when, following a lengthy packing lesson students are sent off to start packing their own rigs (usually after their first jump), and all you can then see are blank confused looks on their faces! It really is rewarding to see that “light bulb” moment when everything you’ve taught them falls into place.


In addition to parachute packing lessons and assisting instructors, staff also deliver other lectures and presentations to all ranks, including the History of Parachuting, and briefs on the Category system and progression within the sport.

The OC at JSPW(N) recognises that staff development is crucial not only for ensuring soldiers remain fully fit for deployment during their time at the centre, but also for maintaining good relationships with parent units who allow their soldiers to join the staff. Additionally he is also keen to recruit more reserve soldiers at the centre, as he appreciates the additional skills and experience they can bring to the team.

One of the main aims for JSPW is to create a new generation of parachute instructors both from within the staff and also the students who attend courses. The aim is to make sure everyone who jumps is given every opportunity to continue the sport, and personal development for staff includes regular phys sessions, MATTs training, and of course skydiving. All staff are developed to ensure they return to their parent units with new skills and hopefully as potential instructors and leaders.

In April 2016 an advanced parachute course was run at our sister site in Cyprus, which I attended. Here I consolidated some of the jump skills I had learned as a student doing AFF in Florida, and was able to attain my FS1 qualification.

Whilst in Cyprus I was also interviewed by Forces TV for a report they were doing on military skydiving, and later appeared on TV!

On return from Cyprus, and in keeping with my agreement with my parent unit to maintain my infantry competency, I had been booked on the Assault Soldier Cadre, which was to be run by 1 PWRR. Unfortunately at the end of the first week of the cadre I broke my ribs in a Go-karting accident whilst on R&R, and had to be returned to unit.

I hope to complete the Assault Soldier cadre at a later date, as this was my trade when I previously served in the TA with 5PWRR. Following my injury, I was off sick for a while then out of jumping for a period of around 3 months.

When I started jumping again in September 2016 it took me a few jumps to get back into the swing of things, but finally I was fit and ready for our next challenge, Exercise Skyfall ’16 – a basic parachute course being run in Cyprus in November. With my new downsized canopy (175 square foot Triathlon) I was looking forward to some quality jumping.


Our staff assisted with the instruction for the course students, but I did manage to squeeze in a few jumps myself, including jumping with a couple of members of the famous Golden Knights, the US Army’s Parachute Display Team.

On return from Cyprus it was time to close down JSPW(N) for the season, and then we had Christmas leave. Almost immediately on return we were off again, for this year’s 2017 Staff exped to America. Ex Intrepid Sky ’17 would be a staff training exercise and bi-lateral exercise with the Golden Knights in Florida.

During this exercise I completed my 200th jump, I received coaching from World Champion skydivers, and I jumped with one of the most famous parachute display teams in the world.

All in all, it’s been a great year. I’ve now completed 205 skydives, gained multiple qualifications, I can deliver briefings and lessons to large groups irrespective of rank, and my self confidence and ability to overcome fear have improved immeasurably. All this has been attained by working at JSPW(N), and I hope it will continue for the foreseeable future.


Margate Cadets Raise Money for Odyssey Challenge and Battlefield Tour


Margate cadets recently carried out bag packing in their local Asda and raised over £580. They have kindly donated £60 of this towards Odyssey a charity that helps people overcome confidence issues after recovering from cancer treatment.

The detachment were also raising funds for a forthcoming educational and historical trip to visit the Battlefields in Ypres.

Cadet Sergeant Matthew Driver, 17 raised over £90 during the event.

The cadets will be holding more fundraising events and their chosen charity for the next one will be Tickled Pink.

2nd Lt Alison Green Detachment Commander said:

“I’m really proud of all the cadets taking time out to help us raise money for our forthcoming activities – it’s great that we are also able to donate a small amount from that which we raised to other charities to help other people”.

Hugo Iffla, Odyssey Project Director said:

“We are very grateful to the Margate cadets for this donation. All donations go towards enabling more cancer patients being able to benefit from attending one of our courses. Many thanks to all for your efforts”.

Celia Pett received the cheque on behalf of Odyssey; she has been on their courses and fundraised for them previously”.

Anyone wanting to find out more about joining Kent Army Cadets should visit: www.kentarmycadets.com

Sussex Sea Cadets Adult Volunteers


Sussex Sea Cadets recently held an Adult training weekend at Crowborough training camp.

The course was aimed at new civilian members of the Sea Cadets including management committees and new instructional staff.
We wish them every success as Adult Volunteers.


As a youngster the more you can gain at an early stage is a great springboard for the future!

Stewart Bryant from Hastings was a Royal Marine & Police Cadet in his earlier years.
Stewart is currently a Senior Environmental Health Officer and has recently volunteered with the Royal Marine Cadets.
He enjoys working and supervising young people seeing them achieve their goals and reaching their full potential.
Stewart gets a sense of fulfilment out of the Cadets and thoroughly enjoys delivering the Cadet experience.


If you are looking for adventure then the Cadets is for you!

Sarah Trundle from Rye was a Cadet in the Sea Cadets for six years. She has a passion for community groups and loves to see young people develop. Sarah is now an Adult Volunteer with the Royal Marine Cadets. She decided to make the transition to becoming an Adult Volunteer from a Cadet because she had been so impressed on the differences it had made in her life that she wanted to pass it back on to others.


Thinking of becoming a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer?


As a youngster the more you can gain at an early stage is a great springboard for the future!

Stewart Bryant from Hastings was a Royal Marine & Police Cadet in his earlier years.
Stewart is currently a Senior Environmental Health Officer and has recently volunteered with the Royal Marine Cadets.
He enjoys working and supervising young people seeing them achieve their goals and reaching their full potential.
Stewart gets a sense of fulfilment out of the Cadets and thoroughly enjoys delivering the Cadet experience.


I recommend the Cadets to anyone who wants to see young people develop and improve their futures!

Andy Gooch from Hastings is an Adult Volunteer with the Royal Marine Cadets.
He decided to volunteer because his son was in the Cadets and of course Andy was driving him to and from events and drill nights. On hearing that the unit was looking for volunteers he thought as he was there anyway he would give it a go and since volunteering has never looked back.
Andy who is a police officer in Sussex found that he had additional skills that he could bring to the Cadet Experience.


Not only has my time with the Cadets been an addition to my CV but those core values and life skills has opened all sorts of doors and opportunities!

Callum Evans from Brighton was a Sea Cadet for 8 years until he decided to progress onwards and become an Adult Volunteer. Callum enjoys sport, video gaming and has become a box set fanatic. Callum is currently a chef but finds time to volunteer at weekends.
He has been an Adult Volunter for two years. He made this decision because he thoroughly enjoyed the Cadet Experience. He would encourage anyone to join the Cadet world, not only is he making new friends but he’s having loads of fun in the process.


Z Company assist at Hell Runner Event


For the tenth year in a row, Z Company assisted with the ‘Hell Down South’ Hell Runner Event on Saturday 14th January 2017. Twenty-three cadets and 6 adults from 11 Platoon Eastleigh, 3 Platoon Basingstoke and 4 Platoon Overton all helped at the event.

The event based at Longmoor Camp has over 2000 participants ranging from ‘Little Devils’ to adults of all ages, take part in the run from hell. The run itself is described as ‘Tougher than Tough Mudder and Grimmer than the Grim!’. Those who finish most certainly deserve their medal, t-shirt and goody bags for their efforts.

SSI Shane Radford, Detachment Commander of 11 Platoon Eastleigh, originally made the connection with Paul from Brooks Sports to get the Army Cadet Force involved. Over the years, with more cadets in attendance, the ACF are able to assist with water points on the run, bag drop off and collection and handing out medals, t-shirts and goody bags at the finish point and packing away.

It was a long day with cadets meeting at 7am to get to the event for 8am. The first race started at 9.30am with the final race at 10.30am. Most runners had finished the race by 2pm. Following this, cadets assisted with the packing away of the tables, tents, equipment and barriers. They finished at around 4pm when they were then given a free goody bag to say thank you. SSI Radford then donated any bags left over to the Homeless Shelter in Southampton as they contained a variety of edible goods.

SSI Radford said: “We really enjoy helping at Hell Runners. Each year we receive a Unit donation from the organisers. We split this between the detachments who help. This is really beneficial to the cadets as monies raised can help with training back at their detachments. It’s great that they take ownership of this and come along and help. It’s also great to see them interacting with the public and being praised for their hard work.

It was a real team effort this year as there were so many people taking part. I would like to thank all the cadets and adults who came to help.”

The next Hell Runner event down south will take place in November this year where Z Company hope to be able to help again.

For more information visit http://hellrunner.co.uk/