On Wednesday 10 October 2012, staff and cadets from 2071 (Stamford) Squadron held a night exercise at the Vigo Wood Operational Training Area at RAF Wittering, code named ‘Exercise Sandringham’.
The scenario was that a pilot had been forced to eject from his stricken aircraft over enemy territory and taken hostage. A rescue effort was planned, but before this mission could take place, remote radar equipment had to be set up near to enemy lines.
Radar components had been dropped by air (simulated), all of which needed to be located within the woods, brought to a central point, assembled and then activated.
The Squadron was split into 5 teams, all of which had a specific role or task to complete, including setting up a Headquarters with radio communications, building the radar site to locating the various components.
An enemy team was also operating within the area with the task of preventing one or more of the components being delivered and activated. Teams then had exact timings in which to place the radar components within the radar site, which was activated at exactly 20.45hrs, signalled by the illumination of an amber beacon.
Cadets receiving their initial briefing prior to deploying within the Vigo Wood Training Area at RAF Wittering
The project officer for the exercise was Pilot Officer Paul Ferguson who commented “The cadets were given a SMEAC type briefing, put into teams, given radios and were deployed around the site to complete their various tasks.”
The exercise was intended to give cadets experience in team working, the use of radio communications and searching in darkness using maps. The cadets all enjoyed their experiences and whilst the enemy team did have some success, all of the radar components were delivered on-time with the amber beacon lit as planned at 20.45hrs.
By Plt Off P Ferguson
2071 (Stamford) Squadron