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Archive for the ‘Waterloo Company’ Category

By Major Peter Hilton, Media Ops Team, GMACF

Today marked the middle-point of Camp – by night-time, four days gone and four to go. Aside from the Corps of Drums (for whom this was their Adventurous Training Day) and the Adult Instructors (for whom this was the dreaded Assessment Day), the main theme of the day was the cycling around of training cadres, two of whom – the Two Star Training and Assessment cadres – came to the end of their Fieldcraft sessions, as evidenced by the multiple blank-firing exercises erupting across the training area, as Cadet patrols bumped against their adult instructors, now playing the part of the villainous enemy with a frequently dubious dress-sense.

As these exercises drew to a close, the Three and Four Star cadres were preparing their Cadets for a deployment into the field in the late afternoon, where they will live for the next two nights, under shelters they were completing as the light faded.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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By Major Peter Hilton, Media Ops Team, GMACF

The third day of our Annual Camp saw training cadres all around Crowborough Camp and beyond as the tempo of Camp began to rise.

Decidedly out of Camp were the two Two Star cadres, who had moved out onto the training area last night and had spent the night in shelters they had rigged for themselves. Despite the brief excitement of a pre-dawn shower, this had passed by breakfast time (at least breakfast time for normal folks not wearing camouflage gear and practicing more war-like regimes), and the remainder of the day was warm and sunny. One of the Three Star cadres, along with the Four Stars had meanwhile moved to the adventurous training site some 40 minutes up the road, spending the morning falling into a lake, or causing others to do so, all in the name of canoeing and raft-building; the afternoon was spent biking and orienteering.

The remaining Three Star Cadre had spent part of the morning in Camp, only to mount their Great Escape later, disguised as a Navigation Exercise, returning to camp before they got too hungry. Following the previous day’s shooting practice, the Corps of Drums spent several hours on Tuesday on band practice, whilst the Adult’s training cadre took their place on the 25m and Shotgun ranges, supervised by the County Shooting Officer, Lt Paul Anderton and his increasingly veteran team of coaches, some recently returned from national competition at Bisley. The adults had the opportunity to develop their own marksmanship skills, whilst coaching each other. In a few months’ time, they’ll be passing these skills on to Cadets.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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Crowborough Camp Welcomes Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force

By Major Peter Hilton, Media Ops Team, GMACF

“The Training Event” of the year has once more come around! GMACF has set up Annual Camp at Crowborough in East Sussex. After a day’s sometimes fraught travel on the country’s motorways, everyone has arrived safely in Camp and the initial settling in and muster parade are behind us.

This year’s Camp will be conducted to an entirely new formula. First off, it will be to a shortened, eight-day format, secondly, we are without our newest Cadets (our training One-Stars, who camped earlier in the year, at Easter), and finally, rather than training by Companies, we’re training by Cadres. Each training cadre is focusing on a particular level of skill or qualification and the Cadets in each cadre are drawn from all over Greater Manchester, so that it will be a completely new experience, giving everyone the chance to make new friends and develop their general Cadet skills, and their leadership skills, because this is very much a camp for potential and current junior Cadet JNCOs.

The Cadet training cadres are:

  • Two Star
  • Three Star
  • Four Star – preparing them especially for the most challenging of the ACF external courses, the Senior Cadet Instructors’ Course, the Cadet Leadership Course and the Master Cadet Course
  • The Corps of Drums – who in addition to their musical skills, will also undergo other forms of training including a range practice

And, behind the scenes – at least for now – is a training cadre for future Adult Instructors.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

 

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By Lt Wayne Harrison, Waterloo Company, GMACF

With the assistance from members of staff from across the County with local knowledge and experience of central London and the surrounding areas, Lt Emma Harrison (OC Waterloo Company) embarked on planning an opportunity of a life time for a number of cadets from the Company.

A group of Cadets accompanied by staff set off late morning on Friday 9th June on the journey south. The main aim of the trip was to attend the Colonel’s Review of the Queens birthday celebration parade (in non-Army, a full dress rehearsal).

On arrival at South London Scout Centre everyone was given an orientation of the accommodation and facilities, dropped their kit into rooms, freshened up and headed out to a local eatery. Back at the centre, it was off to bed ready for an early start the following day.

In the morning,  with blazing sun coming through the curtains everyone was up, ready and raring to go.

After the short journey into the city we headed to take our seats on the parade ground at Horse Guards ready for the parade to begin. With the weather warming up, the emergency supplies of  water and sun cream were open up, our spirits improved further by news of the rain back home in Manchester.

This year, the Colour being parade belonged to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, supported by the soldiers of all five Regiments of Foot Guards, resplendent in the traditional scarlet of the British Infantry.

It took the Cadets a while to notice His Royal Highness, Prince William on horse-back ride onto the parade to take the salute. This would be the only difference to the following week’s parade where the Queen would, as for decades past, take the salute.

On completion of the parade we headed over to Wellington Barracks to take Lunch and have a look around the famous Barracks. After lunch it was off see St James Park,  Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace, Clarence House,  Churchill’s War Rooms, Admiralty Arch, Downing Street, finishing off with a guided tour inside Horse Guards.  What a day!

Back at the Scout centre everyone enjoyed some downtime to relax and freshen up then out again to a famous chicken restaurant chain for dinner. This was followed in the evening with a little more downtime followed by a briefing from Lt Harrison on the next day’s activities.

The following morning again began with glorious sunshine. After breakfast and handing back the accommodation, we headed out to Windsor. The first stop on the list was a visit to the home of the Coldstream Guards – Victoria Barracks. On walking onto the parade square a comment came from a Cadet about how Victoria Barracks is HAD to be a Guards camp as everything was so clean, tidy and symmetrical.

After having a look round various places within the Barracks, we headed off to Windsor Castle. As we pulled up to the entrance, the Sovereign’s flag was flying which identified that a Royal was there. The Cadets had the opportunity to explore the Castle with the assistance of an audio guide.

On leaving Windsor a quick pit stop for lunch was followed by  the lengthy journey North, with our Cadets’ heads stuffed with happy memories if a weekend well-spent.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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By Major Peter Hilton, Media Ops Team, GMACF

At a ceremony held recently at Gorton Monastery in Manchester, the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Colonel Warren J. Smith presented awards to cadets and Adult staff of the County. They were:

  • Cadet Colour Sergeant (now Cadet CSM) Emily Hoyle
  • Cadet CSM James Burns
  • Cadet Corporal Jonathan Spencer
  • Colonel Mike Glover (formerly Commandant GMACF)
  • Major Rob MacDonald
  • CSM Dougie Craddock

CSgt Hoyle’s citation recorded her achievements as follows:

“Cadet Colour Sergeant Hoyle has been a member of the Army Cadet Force since the spring

of 2014 … she has represented her Company and County on several military and non-military events, including advanced First Aid, swimming, football and cross country. Her commitment to the ACF is exemplary. Her experience is put to good use on training weekends where she is a member of assisting the adult staff … In 2016, she successfully applied for the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Exchange programme and spent six weeks in Whitehorse. Since returning she has inspired other cadets to apply for the RCAC in 2017”

Cadet CSM Burns joined the ACF in the autumn of 2011. After progressing steadily through the APC syllabus, he successfully completed the prestigious Master Cadet Course in spring 2016 … he has represented his Company and County on several events including Shooting the Cambrian Patrol Competition at Sennybridge in 2016 and the Champion Cadet Competition at CTC Frimley Park. In addition to assisting adult staff on Company training and Annual Camps he is also the Cadet CSM for the Senior Cadet Training Company (Waterloo Company). A pleasant young man whose manner and hardworking ethos are an example to his peers and the junior cadets, he exemplifies all the Values and Standards of the ACF.

Cadet Corporal Jonathan Spencer Cpl Spencer, while serving with the Cheadle Hulme Detachment, has been heavily involved with the annual RBL Poppy Fund. His help has enabled Cheadle Hulme to become RBL Cheshire’s top achieving youth organisation in terms of fundraising –  in 2016 Cheadle Hulme collected £14,000 and in 2015 £18,000. As part of the 2015 collection presentation Cpl Spencer received the top collectors award. His progression through the ACF APC syllabus has not been as he would due largely to his other commitment to sailing – recently he was part of 12-strong crew of a 74-foot which sailed from Plymouth to Roscoff in France. His sailing has provided the opportunity to achieve his Yacht Master Competent Crew qualification and Level 2 Power Boat licence and First Aid on Water qualification.

 

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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By Cadet Sergeant Major Josh Kinsella (Section Commander)

The day was here. Three months of preparation, training and build up had led to this and on Friday 31st March, the Greater Manchester Cambrian Patrol Team consisting of eight cadets and four members of staff assembled under what was an unnaturally pleasant sky at Holcombe Moor. After a brief last minute kit check we packed our kit onto the mini-buses and set off for the Sennybridge Training area. Any nerves which the team felt weren’t shown during the ride with the normal humdrum of cadet activity being present in the van. The moment we crossed into Wales the heavens opened, something which I know now to be characteristic of Wales. On entering the training area, the bus was filled with a deathly silence, unusual for Greater Manchester cadets, so to remedy this, myself and Cpl Short led the team in a rather rousing rendition of “Sweet Caroline” before disembarking from the vans to walk with our kit to Farm 5 (or FOB Cambrian for the duration of the weekend). Once there I was taken away to be briefed on my orders for the weekend whilst the team had their kit inspected and assessed. When I returned, I was greeted by beaming faces, the weekend had got off to a great start with us scoring maximum points on the kit check. After planning the route for the following day, the team bedded down in a large barn accommodating all the other teams and drifted off for a well needed few hours’ sleep.

With reveille at 04:30 we didn’t feel completely rested upon waking up but c’est la vie. After taking our kit to the buses and wolfing down a breakfast courtesy of the field kitchen, we set off to our drop off point in the crew buses. Stepping out into the wet and dark Welsh countryside I suddenly realised what we were undertaking. We were the Greater Manchester team, standard bearers and bar setters for future cadets, away from our home turf with all of Waterloo Company and more having faith that we would do them proud. Feeling the pressure, we set off into the bleak hills of Sennybridge and following a slight realignment of the compass we even headed towards the right ones!

The object of the patrol is to follow a route around the training area, with the route being punctuated by checkpoints (water replenishment points) and stands (activities that are assessed by the DS). Whilst this all sounds easy, I can assure you that the hills and valleys of wales add to the challenge considerably. Throughout the day we encountered hill after hill, hardly ever seeming to come down, hitting checkpoints and completing stands along the way. The mind numbing boredom of patrolling through the open country was eventually broken by the need to cross a rather deep body of water, admittedly not performed tactically and I imagine our laughs could be heard for miles around, accompanied by the occasional scream as a few of us(including myself) fell in. Luckily, by this point the cold and soggy morning had transitioned to searing midday heat, forcing the team to ditch most of their layers and take on lots more water. During the rest of the day the weather switched back and forth between blistering sun and driving rain, which was actually quite effective at cooling us down. As the light began to fade over the hills of Brecon we finished what should have been our final stand for the night. However, the military has a penchant for changing plans and this was no exception. We were told that the patrol was to be extended by another hour, not normally a great amount of time, but after 12 hours of continuous walking it was nearly enough to force us to stop. We craved a sit down on our bergens and waiting an hour till the transport arrived. Nearly, but not quite. After a brief period of rest we once again loaded ourselves with kit and started the yomp over the final few hills, eventually finding a road to walk down where the minibus could collect us from when the time came. When I saw headlights travelling down the roads in our direction I got the team to sit down. Spirits bolstered by the provision of sweets  and the fact that we were done walking for the day, we clambered into the van. Inside, our staff told us how proud they were and how well we were doing. Lt Harrison had heard from some of the DS that we were doing brilliantly and passed this onto us. Then more sweets were handed out by the staff followed by even more words of encouragement and they must have worked. We were sat in the same van as we had in the morning, 13 hours, 21 miles, over 2,540 feet of climbing, 45,000 steps and an average of 6,000 calories burnt later and we were still there smiling. It was with immense pride we found out that we were one of only a handful of teams who lost no members during the patrol, which stood as a testament to the pure grit and determination shown by all of us during the exercise.

That night, we set ourselves up in the harbour area and whilst I went away to receive orders and CSM Burns made the model, the rest of the team completed a test paper and and were then supposed to cook the ration packs. It came as an enormous surprise to me that when I returned after the orders session, none of the team had started to cook rations. Instead, our staff had utilised their hidden talents to make the greatest spaghetti bolognese I’ve ever tasted (although that may just be because of how hungry I was). With a belly full of warm food I began to prepare my orders for the following day, whilst Burns finished off his model(a near scale model of the training area) before heading off to our bashas for a well- deserved rest.

We were quite fortunate in that we were the last team to deliver orders, giving us a relatively late start compared to the rest. Once we did wake up we were led in stretching exercises by Lt Harrison, a novel but useful way of waking us up. After a brief psych-up session, I followed Burns to the orders pit were I presented my orders and plan to the rest of the team, under the watchful eye of the DS. It was a simple section attack, we had practiced to death at Holcombe and everyone knew what they had to do. Full of confidence we boarded our transports and set off to the final stage of the exercise.

From the drop off point we proceeded to move up to a woodblock which would be our line of departure. A quick final check to make sure everyone knew their arcs and axis was conducted, before we moved off up towards the crest of the hill in front of us. Almost as if it was planned, the moment we were silhouetted against the sky line our enemy opened up on us. We responded to this rather aggressive attitude as we had trained, engaging the enemy with one fire team, whilst I led a flanking fire team to fight through. Months of training on section attacks and the real thing was over in no more than five minutes! With the finish now in sight at the foot of a valley a mere two kilometres away, we headed off, kit and equipment on, for the last time.

The final Kilometres were hard, feet pounding and backs aching but we made it. The pickup point was just across a stream with a bridge to the other side, however according to Cpl Short this was just a bridge too far so instead we went through the stream, which admittedly cooled us off and gave Lt Townson some great photo opportunities. Kit thrown on the bus we headed back to FOB Cambrian for brunch (a grandiose term for beef burgers) and prepared ourselves for the prize giving, presided over by the General Officer Commanding. Being the first call sign we were also the first to be called out during the parade, the pause between being shouted and the announcement of what award we had achieved seemed to last forever. But it eventually came and it felt fantastic.

Greater Manchester was leaving with a Bronze Medal. This was truly impressive and I was proud to be able to lead the team that did it. By the time the parade was over my cheek bones actually hurt from smiling, not just from the fact that we had come and won a medal, but the fact that we all managed to complete it. We had never worked in that terrain before and the going was tough, but not one person ever gave up. It was a truly impressive display from start to finish.

The ride home was quiet due to most of us being asleep for the duration of it, until our stop at KFC perked us up. From then on we were awake, singing along to the speaker and laughing about the things which had happened in the last 36 hours. It was a great experience. As we pulled in to Holcombe on the Sunday night the bus was filled with the team singing the most appropriate song for the occasion, ‘We are the champions’, a song that couldn’t have been more perfect for the occasion.

I’d like to thank the staff who have helped us through the last few months, training us and keeping us motivated during the Patrol. We were hard work at times but you’ve stuck by us and this wouldn’t have happened without you. To any senior cadets out there who want the chance to prove themselves as one of the best eight cadets in the County, Cambrian patrol gives you the chance to challenge yourself beyond what is normally possible in the ACF and the sense of pride which you take from the Patrol, regardless of your ranking at the end, is second to none and I would encourage you to try for next year’s team.

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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By 2 Lt Chris Townson, Media Team, GMACF

This last weekend saw Waterloo Company conducting a Junior Cadet Instructor Cadre (JCIC) with 28 students and the Cambrian Patrol Team’s final selection weekend.

Despite a distinctly soggy, cold weekend (ideal preparation for the contest itself at (Sennybridge in a few weeks’ time), the Cambrian Patrol Team deployed on Saturday morning into an OP from where they then conducted a Hasty Ambush and three section attacks.

On Sunday morning they then went into a 7km Navigation Exercise in the driving rain with most of the route obscured by low-lying clouds, which tested their map-reading skills and stamina.

Once again, we must thank WO2 Jim Kenworthy and Cpl Sam Wilde from 1 RRF Recruiting Team who assisted this weekend and have supported most of the Cambrian Patrol training weekends

Do you have what it takes to serve with GMACF, either as an Adult Volunteer or as a Cadet? Are you looking for an opportunity to work hard and develop new skills? If so, why not contact GMACF County HQ on 01204 512600.

Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force can also be found in other locations on the Internet 

… at our official ACF Web Page at:

https://armycadets.com/county/greater-manchester-acf/

… on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/GreaterManchesterACF

… on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/gmanacf

on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxPYwSoMWLE8hN8CBkdim0Q

on SoundCloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/gmacf-891255911

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