As we drove into Copehilll Down Village for the final CCF weekend of the year, one of the cadets exclaimed, “This is sick!”. Positive feedback indeed.

Cadets were out to impress this weekend and did not disappoint. Junior cadets demonstrated their leadership and organisational skills as Section Second-in-Commands. Also, nine cadets taught fieldcraft lessons to their peers under the shelter of some trees on Salisbury Plain, planning in teams and selecting resources to enhance their lessons. Senior cadets led the way during Training In Built Up Areas (TIBUA) training, conducting clearance through a purpose-built house and firing blank rounds at enemy targets along the way. A true test of communication skills and team work – senior cadets were not found wanting. Something to aspire to for junior cadets watching from the balcony above. 

As part of their broader education, cadets value opportunities to meet soldiers from the regular army, better understand their roles and of course, to get hands-on with equipment and vehicles. This weekend, cadets were in for a treat! 5 RIFLES brought their WARRIOR Infantry Fighting Vehicle, a £7 million vehicle complete with 30mm Rarden cannon and 7.62mm Chain gun. Cadets were fortunate to clamber over the vehicle, sitting in the drivers’ and gunners’ seats and dismounting quickly from inside. As if that was not enough, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, who were training nearby, kindly brought a JACKAL reconnaissance vehicle for cadets to explore. 

On Sunday, cadets stepped outside their comfort zone when tackling an urban obstacle course under, over and through buildings in Copehill Down village. There was lots of laughter and plenty of cursing, as cadets crawled through the completely dark and wet tunnel system. For once, cadets were grateful for the lack of 4G, as I had tried to play the sound of squeaking rats to cadets as they neared the end. There was also the opportunity to hone weapon handling skills firing blank ammunition at enemy targets  dotted along the street as well as paintballing in a purpose-built Afghan village. Phew! What a weekend. Warminster School CCF is certainly well prepared for Annual CCF camp in a couple of weeks. 

Thanks must go to a number of people who made this weekend such a success. The Operations Officer and Serjeant Abraham from 5 RIFLES gave up their free time to support cadets; Serjeant Abraham was still supporting lessons on Saturday night at 9:20 pm – such commitment. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards spared time during their busy exercise, for which we are extremely grateful. Thanks to the newly promoted Lieutenant Nick McCormack who once again came from London to deliver training, and the other CCF staff who sacrificed ‘lie-ins’ and time with their own children on Fathers’ Day.

Ange Garner, CCF Contingent Commander

All the action was captured by Jon Edkins, David Wiltshire Photography CCF Survival