CCF Newsletter- Autumn 2023
The main event this term was our October Camp at Pippingford Park Training Areas in Ashdown Forest.
It was a hugely successful camp with a vast amount of work and effort put in by all the cadets and the staff. For a few of our cadets it was their first camp and all learnt a huge amount and enjoyed it immensely. The initial plan was to be accommodated at Crowborough camp and only go out for a 24hr field exercise but due to operational priorities we were no longer able to stay at the camp. Rather than cancel, we opted to go straight into the field for a 48 hr field exercise instead.
One of our senior cadets (Sgt Duke) joined us immediately after completing his weeklong Master Cadet Course and Frimley Cadet Training Centre. This course is the most challenging leadership course a cadet can do and is the pinnacle of any cadets time in the CCF, one that most adults would find challenging. We commend his commitment and efforts and we look forward to reading his course report.
Sgt Duke and Sgt Chick were outstanding in assisting the staff in instructing our younger Cadets for which we are immensely grateful. Lewis will also be completing his Master Cadet Course in the spring which he is very much looking forward to.
This year we decided to challenge our junior (and potential) NCO’s and give them some command roles to prepare them for future responsibilities as senior cadets. This involved giving their sections a set of orders for a recce patrol and also leading the patrols.
Others were given command during the night ambush and the section attacks on the Sunday. L/Cpl Wilkins, L/Cpl Hallatt, Cdt Jewell and Cdt Baird with the assistance of L/Cpl Delaney performed admirably and they have given us a lot of confidence for the future.
As you may know that weekend did not have a favourable weather forecast and we were subjected to some persistent rain for the bulk of Friday night and all of Saturday. Thankfully, we were greeted with a beautiful sun rise on Sunday morning and we were blessed with some welcome sunshine for the rest of the day.
A huge amount of credit goes to all our new recruits who were experiencing a field exercise for the first time and were incredibly resolute. Not a single one of them complained about the wet and cold and got stuck into the activities with smiles on their faces.
On arrival at the training area the cadets occupied the harbour area (Camp site) tactically with great skills and stealth. Once complete the set about setting up their Basha’s and cooking their rations for dinner.
As stated earlier, on the Saturday morning the contingent executed reconnaissance patrols on suspected enemy positions. There were some navigational issues (some fingers may be pointed at staff for this!), but navigation is a difficult skill to learn and practice is all important so much was learnt from the experience.
They also learnt how to work on pairs, fire and manoeuvre, firing their weapons in order to engage the enemy, preparing them for the section attack on Sunday morning. On their return and after a hot, well deserved brew, they then practiced the ambush routine ready for the night ambush, which went off without a hitch.
The exercise ended with a section attack on an enemy position. A great initiation in leadership for our NCOs and a real exciting blank firing experience for our younger cadets.
The remainder of the term the contingent will be focused on the remembrance season collecting for the Poppy Appeal at Asda in the Marina and the remembrance parade at Rottingdean on Sunday the 12th November. Our affiliation with the RBL goes back many years (since 1986) so it was an honour for us to take this on behalf of the contingent now and for all those staff and cadets over the years.
Parade nights will be taken up with learning some Map and Compass skills and under the tutelage of the senior cadets who have been teaching the younger ones some Drill (marching).
It is always pleasing to see former pupils returning to continue their membership with the CCF while at college. Attending these camps and turning up regularly on Thursday afternoons presents a healthy example to all the younger cadets and hopefully will continue in the future. Without their help it would be a struggle to run the activities. We very much appreciate their efforts.
A final thankyou goes to all our staff. Particular thanks go to Lt Durant and Sgt Hewling-Huggett for their huge commitment to the Contingent this year.
Maj A Pringle
Longhill School CCF