Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sussex and Kent Cadets visit Cypus


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Cyprus April 2017: On Friday 7th April Sussex ACF, Kent ACF and South West London ACF took 27 cadets and 8 instructors to Cyprus to train with 2 PWRR .   It was a packed week starting of On Saturday by visiting Recce Platoon and Sniper Platoon – Brilliant Demonstrations were given by PWRR and a familiarization session of the the kit used was a highlight.   Afterwards Camouflage & Concealment – with 12 cadets in each group,  they went and hid themselves in the area the using techniques taught to them. To test them the Snipers got out there Telescopic Sight Hardware and started to see if they could spot them (only 2 cadets found in the Sussex team – Go Sussex!).  The day was far from over as they them moved onto Building Clearing using buildings marked out with tape and were shown how a room should be cleared using 2 soldiers.   Then onto Contact Drills –  They practiced left flanking, right flanking and frontal assaults working as a platoon. Each cadet took it in turn to be the Platoon Commander or Section Commander whilst also practicing the 2i/c duties of each into the bargain.

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Next Day Sunday,  kicked of with a Demonstration from Mortar Platoon on the beach near Alexander Barracks. Afterwards the cadets were taught certain aspects of Mortar Fire and then got to have a go themselves!   Then onto Javelin Platoon who also gave a first class demonstration and afterwards the cadets got to look at and try using some of the sights and technology used.   In the afternoon the 2 star cadets were taught about model building and used a giant sandpit to help visualise the ground for the exercise later.  In parallel the 3 star cadets  were given some orders revision and practice.

Monday was spent on the ranges firing the A3, working on zeroing and application shoots. All cadets competed in a shooting competition with some very impressive results. This was confirmed when a number of professional soldiers came to zero their rifles before heading out on operations and some of the cadets achieve higher scores than the soldiers- well done!  Much to their delight cadets where also taken through a wide range of other weapon systems – The Minimi, GPMG, AK47, Thompson submachine gun, Marksman – sharp shooter, Glock 17, Webley Service Revolver .38, A Baton gun and finally the LSW

In the evening the cadets where taken to a local restaurant for a mezzanine night for a 20 course meal, to experience the local cuisine.   All this and they are not even half way through the trip!

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http://www.serfca.org/Cadets

Oxfordshire CFAV wins Citizen of the Year


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The Army Cadet Force has always been good at rewarding its cadets, whether that be through achievement of APC star passes, Promotions, or Annual awards, but in recent years it has become apparent that we may not be so prolific when it comes to rewarding our CFAV’s, of course without these selfless volunteers much of what we do for our cadets simply could not happen.

This year I was contacted by the Chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council Norman MacRae MBE and invited to submit and entry for his “Citizen of the Year” award, this was a first for me personally and for Oxfordshire ACF, Councillor MacRae MBE has always been a great supporter of the Cadet Forces and this was recognition at the highest level in recognition of Volunterring, so I put my mind to thinking about candidates, of course all our CFAV’s are worthy but I could only select one.

I studied the criteria and instantly had the perfect nominee, I nominated SSI Naomi Godfrey, She had been a CFAV for over 20 years, Been a Detachment Commander in Witney for over Half her service and during this time had really brought the Detachment into the Local Community, in addition SSI N Godfrey had put on Several Charity Events to raise money for Cancer Research and the NSPCC and was heavily involved in the local Rugby club in various capacities. How could I not nominate her, I wrote my citation and submitted it, it was then a case of wait and see.

A few weeks later I received and email with an invite to the presentation evening and was asked to pass an invite on to SSI Naomi Godfrey, at this point we knew the nomination had been put forward but were still in the dark.

On the 06/04/2017 at 18.30 we arrived at the Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney for the Mayors and Chairs version of the Oscars, everyone was smartly dressed with their chains and mayoral appendages polished and  shined and we were ready for the awards ceremony to begin, there were many awards throughout the evening and Chairman’s award for “Citizen of the Year” was last on the bill, (saving the best till last of course) we sat and watched many inspiring people go up and collect their awards for outstanding service and acts of selflessness and bravery. Then it came time for the chairman’s award.

We were all nervous as the hypothetical envelope was opened, and the winner is………SSI Naomi Godfrey from Oxfordshire ACF, part of the citation I had written was read out and I was just waiting for the La La Land Moment but thankfully it never came and SSI Naoimi Godfrey had been awarded “Oxfordshire Citizen of the Year”, what recognition and what a great achievement.

I would encourage everyone to get involved with local Councillors, Mayor’s and Chairs as the support they can offer is invaluable and they are always looking to recognise good service and our CFAV’s fit the bill.

 

Major N Baigent

OC Somme Company

Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force

 

https://armycadets.com/county/oxfordshire-acf/ 

Service of Dedication and unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial


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WO2 Lenachan and SSgt King of 871 Sqn, 162 Regt RLC were invited to attend the unveiling of the memorial by H M The Queen on Thursday the 9th March 2017 at Horse Guards Parade. Having both served in Iraq and Afghanistan they were invited by Her Majesty’s Government to mark the unveiling at Victoria Embankment gardens. Fortunately, despite being March in the UK, the weather was glorious.

The memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens recognizes the contribution of both civilians and Armed Forces personnel who served their country in Iraq and Afghanistan and who supported them back home. It also honours those who worked on the humanitarian side of operations, whether in a military or civilian role including areas such as aid distribution, education and healthcare, infrastructure and governance. The memorial is for these men and women and for their families, as a national monument recognizing, praising and remembering with gratitude the unstinting and selfless commitment for all those, military and civilian, who served their country in support of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The memorial itself was designed by sculptor Paul day which features two large stones – one representing Iraq and the other Afghanistan linked by a giant, two-sided bronze medallion depicting the theme of duty and service.  One side of the medallion portrays the military effort and the other side pays tribute to the UK civilians and their contributions.

The drumhead service started at 11.00 am with H M The Queen in attendance along with a large number of other Royals including his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The service was led by the three Armed Forces Chaplains with music from various bands including the Band of H M Royal marines Collingwood and the Band of the Scots Guards. The readers were from a variety of backgrounds including an MOD civilian.  Music was played from 10.25 am and at 10.40 am the drumhead was built and the Colour placed upon it. At 10.58 H M The Queen arrived followed by the playing of the National Anthem with the Chaplain of the Fleet, The Venerable Ian Wheatley welcoming the congregation. Various readings and prayers were read out along with a poem.

On the closing of the final blessing and The National Anthem the Queen’s Piper played as H M The Queen departed to the memorial in Victoria Embankment gardens for the short unveiling ceremony.  A prayer of dedication at the memorial was read out along with several other prayers. On completion of the ceremony at the memorial the Colour was recovered and the Drumhead on Horse Guards deconstructed followed by the departure of the Royal Family.

Guests were then invited, including service personnel, to a small buffet until 2.00pm.  Guests were talked to by various dignitaries including various members of the Royal family. WO2 Lenachan and SSgt King then took the opportunity to have photographs taken at the memorial before departing on what was a very memorable day in London.

Major Mike Deck QVRM

OC 871 Sqn, 162 Regt RLC

http://www.serfca.org/Reserves/Army-Reserve/Royal-Logistic-Corps/871-Postal-Courier-Squadron

Southern Area Sea Cadets Navy Board Cadet


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The 2017 Navy Board Cadet for the Southern Area of the Sea Cadet Corps has recently been announced as Petty Officer Cadet Emily from Portsmouth Unit SCC.

Emily, who has been in the Sea Cadets since the age of 12 was recruited by her mother who was a cadet at Farnham Unit in her teens and is now the Commanding Officer of Portsmouth Unit.

Throughout her time in the corps PO Emily has taken part in almost every activity that it is possible to do in the SCC but has a passion for Drill (which she gets from her mother). For the last three years Emily, along with other team members from Portsmouth, has represented Southern Area in the National Drill at HMS Raleigh in the Colour Party Competition which they have been victorious in each time. This year Emily will be the Unarmed Drill Squad Commander at the National Championships in April as Portsmouth beat off stiff opposition to become the Area Champions in March. She has also followed her mother by becoming a qualified Drill Instructor.

As well as being adept at Drill, Emily isn’t a bad Football Player or Dinghy Sailor, she represented the Area in the National Football Competition in 2016 once again becoming a National Champion when her team were victorious in a hard fought final.

A Navy Board Cadet is selected from each of the six Areas of the SCC to represent the corps at the highest level. They mix with Senior Officers from the Military including Admirals on the Navy Board and are effective ambassadors for the organisation having reached the pinnacle of their SCC Cadet career.

PO Cadet Emily along with her colleagues is a shining example of what the Cadet Forces can do for the youth of today.

Note: Every year The Royal Navy Board appoints a Sea or Royal Marines Cadet from each area to be a Navy Board Cadet (NBC) to represent Sea Cadets at official ceremonies and functions. This is a prestigious role as it provides the chosen cadets a privileged insight into higher naval policy and work of very senior RN serving officers.  NBCs start their role from 1 January until 31 December each year, and are normally aged 15 – 17. NBCs must be of a senior rank: Leading Cadet, Corporal, Petty Officer or Sergeant Cadet. They receive an arm badge with a certificate and letter from Captain Sea Cadets, and a letter from the First Sea Lord.  The six chosen NBCs attend ceremonies and functions alongside a Royal Navy Board member and other senior RN officers. This can include formal parades, ship visits, royal occasions, opening ceremonies and presentations and awards.  NBCs are a member of the National Cadet Forum. The forum meets throughout the year and discusses key issues from across the Areas. At the end of their appointments NBCs remain on the National Cadet Forum until they reach 18. 

http://www.sea-cadets.org

Rest is Best Surf Kayak Competition


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An intrepid team of Sea Cadet Kayakers from Southern Area travelled to Porthcawl in Wales at the beginning of April to take part in the Rest is Best Surf Kayaking Competition. The team led By BCU Surf Kayak Instructor Darcy Muncer & Headquarters Staff Officer (Paddlesports) Monty Smedley took part in a handicap competition for all ages and some age/boat related competitions over the course of the weekend. Both Darcy and Monty have been training cadets in the various Kayaking disciplines for a number of years but have a special affinity to getting out in the Surf. The team comprising of staff and cadets from Cowes, Southampton, Salisbury & Reigate put on a great showing and came away with a large haul of 8 Trophies and some spectacular prizes which included a set of Celtic Paddles, some protective clothing and a Peak UK Kit Bag.

The team were accommodated at Neath Unit for the weekend courtesy of the Commanding Officer -Lt (SCC) Simon Oglesby RNR. All of the team had a fantastic time in some great surfing conditions with one gaining his 3 Star Surf Kayak Award

The cadet team of George, Elizabeth, Sophie & Morgan are pictured with Monty, Darcy and Therese who all took part in the adult class.

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Further pictures of the event can be found on the Southern Area SCC Facebook Page.

http://www.sea-cadets.org/