Exercise Warminster Warrior was no walk in the park for our CCF cadets as they spent the weekend in Okehampton on a joint training exercise with cadets from Plymouth College CCF.

After an early start, they braved the Dartmoor microclimate facing rain, bitterly cold temperatures, gale force winds and an occasional lashing from horizontal sleet. Cadets walked two routes around Dartmoor completing activities along the way. There was a navigation stand with Miss Carbin; cadets honed their map reading skills, finding jigsaw pieces to make the Warminster School crest. The jigsaw piece on top of the tor was notoriously difficult to find, many claiming it had blown away. There was an activity to develop cadets observation skills, shooting using Scorpion air rifles and paintballing in the woods. Cadets had to find an airman who had ejected from his plane, track down vital supplies and take an injured soldier through a minefield to his helicopter. After a busy day, cadets were able to relax with soft drinks and snacks in the Tri Bar, catching up with old and new friends from Plymouth College.

Although some of our cadets are skilled at map reading, this is an area we can continue to develop. A few cadets learned a hard lesson – it is important to have both a map and compass when navigating across Dartmoor. Thank goodness for mobile phones and trackers! Two groups claimed they had made a navigational error on Sunday morning as they walked along the road rather than climbing up a tor. I’m not convinced and commend their initiative for trying to follow a flat, direct route.

I was impressed with our CCF over the weekend. Cadets arrived on time for activities and on the whole, were wearing and carrying correct clothing and equipment. They worked together as a team, and senior cadets rose to the challenge, leading their Sections under testing conditions. Warminster School CCF cadets were resilient and should be proud of their achievement. Thanks to our Chaplain, Reverend Becky Ayers-Harris, who drove to Okehampton on Sunday morning bringing morale for cadets and a glimmer of sunshine.

Ange Garner​, CCF Contingent Commander