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Challenging Times

Article posted: Jul 08, 2011 by Sqn Ldr Wilson

The annual NCO Team Challenge held at Laser Force in Leicester is designed to test all the team members’ abilities in a fast moving dynamic environment. In particular each team’s leader faces many leadership challenges. The difficulty in communicating ideas and instructions to a team moving through a maze and maintaining a plan of action when ambushed by one or two opposing teams are just two of the problems that make the NCO Team Challenge unlike any other Air Cadet leadership exercise.

209 (West Bridgford) Sqn entered a team and Corporal Barnaby Taylor gives an account of the evening.

On the 28th of June, our team of Corporals Stephanie Willett, Serena Linely, myself, with Cadets Mitchell Ward and Eddie McManus, lead by Sergeant Emily Tring took part in the NCO Team Challenge at Laser Force in Leicester.

We all received our briefing before we had our practice round, everyone for themselves in order to get used to the equipment. Then we moved onto the competition. Sgt Tring received her briefing before passing it on to the team. The challenge had already begun with Sgt Tring being comprehensively marked the whole time on her briefing. After 15 minutes we went into the armoury and were handed our equipment, a ‘lasergun’ and chest pack. Each member had a different function in the team and had a designated chest pack for that role.

During the first game, many of us lost quite a few lives and Cpl Willett, our designated medic, shot us to restore our lives. However, we all died quite early on and left the game. It was only then that we realized that we’d been handed the wrong chest packs and not only had Cpl Willett shooting us not restored any lives, but we had lost points!

However, we all put our game faces on and formulated our plan for the next game. This time, we managed to get the right packs and entered the arena confidently. Throughout the game, we didn’t lose a team member and we managed to rack up enough points to come second out of three.

The last game had a similar story, although every one of our team died pretty close to the end! Amazingly, though, we still secured second place and came second out of three overall as a result, although we are still awaiting the results for the leadership and teamwork that we were being marked on.

Well done to everyone involved, especially Cdts Mitchell Ward and Eddie McManus, who signed up at the last minute because we didn’t have enough NCOs