Monthly Archives: February 2017

Sussex Sea Cadets Drill and Piping Competition – 19 Feb 17

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Ordinary Cadet Oriana Anane-Dumfeh, 15 – TS Eastbourne SCC

“I’ve been a member of the Sea Cadets for three years after I saw the advert on TV; I love all the sailing activities and making new friends. It’s great to be taught how to sail properly – I’d really recommend joining it’s so much fun”.

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Family shot L-R: Able Cadet Elisha, Chief Petty Officer Karl  and Ordinary Cadet Camron.

Chief Petty Officer Karl O’Keefe said: “We’ve had three generations in the Sea Cadets, I also have another daughter who has also joined and my father was in too! It’s a great hobby for young people to get involved in, it helps to develop well rounded and mature young adults and also gives them so many fantastic opportunities”.

Ordinary Cadet Camron O’Keefe said: “I really enjoy meeting new people, going on all of the courses and learning something different – there are so many qualifications you can do”.

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Ordinary Cadet, Tamsin Pendry, 14

“I had the opportunity to go to Canada for six weeks with the SCC which was life changing, I learnt about boating, competition shooting and more. Sea Cadets is just so much fun, there are lots of competitions and courses, and I love it”.

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L-R: Junior Sea Cadets Spencer Ruxton Cocker and Liam Hunt.

Liam Hunt: “Piping is my favourite you wouldn’t get the chance to learn it anywhere else, Sea Cadets is so much fun”.

Mum Tracey Hunt said: “Liam is just so more confident since joining the Sea Cadets, he’s now able to go out on his own and broaden his circle of friends outside of school – it’s fantastic for him”

Spencer Ruxton-Cocker: “I really enjoy marching, kayaking and making new friends”

Mum Carri Ruxton Cocker: “His behaviour has improved massively since being in the sea cadets; the change is discipline is noticeable! It’s great, both my sons attend”.

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Ordinary Cadet Catherine Boorman, 15

“I’ve been in for four years – I’ve learnt so many things and had some great experiences. Sea Cadets provides so many opportunities that you wouldn’t get otherwise. My proudest achievement has been leading my squad today”.

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Cadet 1st Class Corrina Hopkinson

“I’ve learnt catering here and was involved in managing a buffet for 20 people! I love seamanship and have new life experiences – it’ll look great on my CV”

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Sub Lt Paul Huggett

 “I joined Sea Cadets at 10 and became a member of staff at 18, I joined the Royal Navy at the age of 23, and I now work in Air Traffic Control. You not only learn self-discipline, respect but strong core values from your peers. At 12 not many young people have a sense of responsibility and the Sea Cadets teaches that.

My highlight as a Sea Cadet has to be flying in the back of a Red Arrows plane at Cadet150 over Buckingham Palace – not many people can say they have done that!

There are just so many opportunities that certainly help young people later on in life and in their careers.”

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 the Civil Service”

A gunner from Basingstoke works in the Civil Service.  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.  The gunner 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.

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“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: