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Long Eaton Air Cadets on the Drill and Ceremonial Camp "Were going to drill camp lefty, righty, lefty."

Article posted: Aug 11, 2015 by Sqn Ldr Rayson-Flynn

Four Long Eaton Air Cadets, Cadet Warrant Officer Rebecca Parr, Cadet Sergeant James Bland, Cadet Sergeant Nicole Walker and Cadet Sergeant Craig Harrison, and one member of staff Flying Officer Kment had the opportunity to attend the Air Cadet Organisations (ACO) Drill and Ceremonial Camp. Where, for a week, they got to learn new skills in rifle drill/sword drill (for the officer) and ceremonial drill. They said a continuity drill display to this size couldn’t be done… but we proved them wrong.

Over the past week a gathering of 270 Air Cadets, from across the whole ACO, gathered at Bodney camp to participate in the biggest drill camp ever organised.

The Air Cadets are well-known for their precision drill displays and once again the Air Cadets showed their determination and skills to pull of the daring drill sequence in front of important dignitaries, including their very own Commandant of the ACO.

By numbers 1.
The quiet-Bodney Camp was turned into a buzzing centre for Rifle and Ceremonial drill when all the Cadets from across the ACO gathered, raring to go and learn rifle drill and ceremonial drill for their first time.

The first evening saw cadets from different regions have opportunities to meet other cadets from across the ACO, who they do not usually see. Cadets were immediately assigned to their billets for this hard-enduring camp for the week.

In the late afternoon cadets were located to their Flight’s and their Squadron’s, this was the start for the Squadron’s and Flight’s to bond and become a family. Late evening all 270 cadets were informed to go to the parade square, where the Camp Commander and Warrant Officer for the Commandants Air Cadets gave a full briefing and expectations from the cadets. And at this point the staff admitting that this was a new challenge and they had never gone to this extent.

By numbers 2.
The second day saw cadets get up at an eye-rolling 6 o’clock getting ready for breakfast and their first ever rifle drill session, which was four hours long. At this point cadets got to meet there impressive but scary Drill Instructors and Warrant Officers who would be training them for the week.

The first session was an introduction to rifle drill but also the start of basic rifle drill. After their first intense session the Squadron’s were set to their afternoon activities which could consist of; Cadet Drill Course, Heartstart, Archery, leadership, Radio Communication and if you were the lucky squadron a full day of drill.

By numbers 3.
The third day of the Drill and Ceremonial Drill Camp saw a repeat of yesterdays activities. However, cadets were taught further rifle drill movements. On their second day of rifle drill, cadets were understanding that this wasn’t going to be easy but that if they can could execute this it would be rewarding.

By numbers 4.
The fourth day and the cadets had learnt all the rifle drill they required. The day was like the others with rifle drill in the morning and the rotation of activities in the afternoon. However in the evening the Cadets had their first run through of the parade with all the officers with their swords.

By numbers 5.
Day 5, their last day of training and preparation before the big revealing of the continuity sequence and final parade in front of the important dignitaries. You could see the sweat and stress in the Warrant Officers and even the Warrant Officer of the Commandants Air Cadets in our final hours of practice.

By number 6.
“remember elbows, wrist, forearms” Final parade day has arrived. As cadets did their last uniform preparations and remember the continuity sequence, Bodney camp went to its quiet self again as the cadets moved to RAF Honington.

The Cadets met up with the marching band who were also in camp, and complete their first real practice on the parade square it’s self. It was then back for lunch, with the Commandant of the ACO, before getting changed into wedgewoods for the parade.

The Cadets then lined up in their drill Squadrons, Flying Officer Kment and Sergeant Harrison in No. 2, Sergeant Bland in No. 3, Cadet Warrant Officer Parr in No. 4 and Sergeant Walker in No. 5, all ready to march onto the parade.

The drum beat started and the parade began, it started with an inspection then a march past before the members of staff marched off the parade and their big moment was about to begin. The music restarted and they were off with their continuity sequence.

It was a success! Every performed excellently and the Commandant was very impressed and expressed so in her speech and later on social media.

After the Drill Camps continuity display it was over to the marching band to show off their new pieces. They also perform very well.

It was then one more march past before marching off the parade square to celebrate.

After the cadets were back at Bodney they all got changed ready for the final camp disco.

The next day it was pack up time, as well as a quick final parade where the best cadet was represented a trophy he could take home and the best male and female were also presented. It was then a wait for the bus, and then on the way home.

Sergeant Bland said “I loved learning rifle drill, it was different but so much fun, and the final parade felt amazing when I managed to pull off the sequence. I definitely want to go next year.

‪Written by Sergeant J Bland
2195 Media Team‬‬