Cadets and staff from 1359 (Beeston) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, recently spent a weekend at the MOD’s Beckingham Training Camp near Newark. The focus of the weekend was to teach 1359’s latest recruits various fieldcraft techniques as well as provide leadership experience to the squadrons newest NCO’s.
The weekend commenced early on Friday evening to load up the equipment required for the weekend into two minibuses and a trailer followed by an hour’s drive to Beckingham. Following room allocation and settling in a health and safety brief was given by Warrant Officer (WO) Gary Tinsley and then the squadron’s training officer, Pilot Officer (P/Off) Marie Grant gave a presentation to the cadets on the timetable for the weekend. The cadets were spilt into two flights for the weekend and flight commanders were assigned to each. The rest of the evening was spent playing bingo and a general knowledge quiz was held to start the weekend competitions off.
An early PT session on a frosty Saturday morning for the cadets was followed by breakfast at 0650 and despite the early hour they were all in good spirits. Various sessions were held during the day, including camouflage, concealment and movement and ration pack cooking. These sessions were all aimed at providing the newer recruits with a taste of what happens on a cadet camp to prepare them for future expeditions both with the squadron and the wing.
The highlight of the weekend was the night exercise on the Saturday evening. WO Tinsley had devised a scenario that saw the two flights acting as downed aircrew who had to recover four pieces of specialist equipment before it fell into the hands of the enemy. The flights were briefed on the scenario and the flight commanders, along with their second-in-commands (2IC), were provided with maps of the training area and rough co-ordinates of the location of the equipment. Their task was to safely recover the equipment before it, or their flights, were spotted by the enemy who were patrolling the area. The winning flight, led by Cadet Corporal (Cpl) Lawton and his 2IC Cadet Cpl Gibson, managed to recover all their items within the allotted time. Cadet Cpl Bates, 2IC Cadet Ruffin and their flight recovered one item due to having to take evasive action to avoid enemy patrols. The main aim of the weekend was achieved though, to provide leadership and fieldcraft experience to 1359’s future leaders.
CI Mike Hill
Media and Communications Officer
1359 (Beeston) Squadron