Author Archives: Flt Lt Burnham RAFAC

MARCH CADETS COMPLETE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S EXPEDITION IN YORKSHIRE MOORS

Seven cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps recently completed a three-day expedition in the Yorkshire Moors, which forms the expedition section of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

1220 cadets after their expedition.

1220 cadets after their expedition.

Prior to taking part in the expedition the cadets had attended various training sessions, which included practical navigation lessons in Snowdonia and the Peak District. They had all completed a short overnight expedition in Cambridgeshire to finalise what equipment they wanted to carry and what food to have on the menu.

Having decided to complete their expedition in the Yorkshire Moors they spent several evenings planning their route. They included locations they particularly wanted to visit such as the interestingly named Blue Man i’ th’ Moss and a waterfall called Falling Foss.

The routes were submitted to the Yorkshire Moors Duke of Edinburgh’s award wild country panel for approval and to request an assessor attend the expedition and make sure the regulations are adhered to.

The team and their supervisors set off to the Yorkshire Moors on Wednesday evening to arrive at the campsite that was to be their base camp. The cadets then had some time to prepare their kit before getting a good night’s sleep ready for the morning.

The assessor arrived the next morning, just after breakfast, and spent time going through the twenty conditions they need to meet to complete the expedition section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. Most of these had already been completed in the planning stage so now they had to actually complete their route.

They spent three days journeying through the Yorkshire Moors, starting at Rosedale and working their way towards the coast to finish at Robin Hoods Bay. They were self-sufficient throughout carrying full expedition rucksacks with tents, sleeping bags, food & drink plus other kit required.

Their navigation training paid off as they rarely went off course and when they did, they recovered from their errors quickly. They kept to the timings planned on their route cards, finishing on time each day.

Having reached the end their assessor debriefed them and discussed what they did well and what they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. She complimented them on their competence and encouraged them all to continue on to complete their Gold Awards.

After saying goodbye the team then returned to the base camp where they enjoyed much looked forward to fish and chips. They spent the evening winding down before packing up and travelling home the next day.

A week before the expedition Cadet Francis Perks broke his arm. He completed the expedition with his limb in plaster, which added an extra challenge for him. His fellow team members helped him with tasks he found difficult, such as packing away his sleeping bag. He commented that “My arm was quite an annoyance to begin with however, with help from the team, I pulled through and managed to complete it with a smile on my face.”

Sergeant Kyle McLean said he enjoyed the challenging terrain and landscape, and that completing the Silver National Navigation Award earlier in the year really helped him prepare for the trickier elements of the route finding.

AIR RIFLE EXPERIENCE

Air cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron recently gained experience on a new weapon type. Making use of the facilities at 2524 (Oakington) Squadron they learned how to use the BSA Scorpion Cadet Air Rifle.

1220 cadets with FS (ATC) Goodall

1220 cadets with FS (ATC) Goodall

Following conversion training the cadets put the lessons into use on the indoor range. Firing from 5.5 metres they started with a grouping practise to zero the weapons to themselves. Both Cadet Warrant Officer Katie Dickson (19) and Sergeant Alex MacRae (18) achieved Squadron Marksman standard with the first rounds fired.

Having zeroed the weapons the cadets went on to fire deliberate shoots where the objective is to score as many points as possible by hitting the centre of the target. All cadets showed an improvement during the day with marksman awards at Region and Wing level being earned.

Flight Sergeant (ATC) Brian Goodall, who was the range conducting officer for the day, commented “It was a very useful day and the weapon rewards good use of marksmanship principles”.

AIR EXPERIENCE FLYING FOR MARCH AIR CADETS

Five air cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps went to RAF Wyton on Saturday morning for a flight in a Grob Tutor, which is the primary trainer of the Royal Air Force.

Cadet Callum Willox in the cockpit of a Grob Tutor aircraft at RAF Wyton

Cadet Callum Willox in the cockpit of a Grob Tutor aircraft at RAF Wyton

The cadets had been looking forward to flying – for some the first time with the Air Cadet Organisation. During an Air Experience Flight (AEF), cadets are encouraged to learn about the controls and instruments of the aircraft, and are invited to take control of the aircraft; sometimes they are able to perform aerobatics themselves.

Each of the five cadets 30 minutes in the air, which is sufficiently long enough for them to navigate to and fly over their own houses in March.

Corporal Joe Goodman said. “Although it was my third time flying, it was just as great as the first time.”

SNOWDONIA ADVENTURE FOR MARCH AIR CADETS

1220 (March) Squadron spent its Easter break in Snowdonia National Park. Arriving late on the Thursday night, the cadets set up the campsite in the beautiful surroundings of Lynn Crafnant.

1220 cadets at the summit of Cnicht

1220 cadets at the summit of Cnicht

On Good Friday and Easter Saturday, ten cadets and one member of staff completed the Silver National Navigation Award Scheme syllabus. Good Friday was a training day spent in the Carneed region, where the cadets learnt navigation techniques such as contouring, handrailing, and using compass bearings.

The next day they travelled to the Moelwyns to undertake their assessment. After reaching the summit of Cnicht, they used their navigation skills to navigate between Lynns before reaching a disused quarry. From there they descended to the finish point. All eleven participants were successful in completing the silver award.

On Easter Sunday, the Central and East Region Adventure Training Technical Officer joined the Squadron to climb Mount Snowdon.The group took the Rhyd Ddu path and descended via the Snowdon Ranger path. The summit was shrouded in cloud, but lifted sufficiently for the cadets to get a brief view from the top.

Cpl Aleks Deaves said, “It was a fantastic opportunity to climb Snowdon and I am now more confident with bearings and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The scenery was amazing!”

During their time in Snowdonia, the 10 cadets were able to use new day sacks specifically designed for a long day of training in a challenging environment. The Squadron has been able to purchase these invaluable items with a generous grant from Fenland’s Youth District Council.

LYNX FLIGHT FOR MARCH AIR CADETS

Three cadet corporals from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps recently had the opportunity to fly in a Lynx helicopter with No 7 Regiment, 671 Squadron, Army Air Corps.

1220 cadets with a Lynx helicopter.

1220 cadets with a Lynx helicopter.

Cpl Joe Goodman, Cpl Alfie Jaggard, and Cpl Kyle McLean were among those lucky enough to have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly in a Lynx, and all three thoroughly enjoyed it. Other cadets from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing took part, including some from 115 (Peterborough) Sqn.

The cadets flew from RAF Wittering, and took a 20-minute journey around Rutland Water. They particularly enjoyed flying with the side door open.

Cpl Alfie Jaggard said, “It was such a great experience, something I will never forget.”