News Section

The Swynnerton Experience - Training is Fun

Article posted: Jun 14, 2011 by Sqn Ldr Pass

Extremes of weather did not deter over 250 Air Cadets from across the Midlands having a gruelling, yet fun, week of training.

Held at the excellent facilities offered by the Army Training Area at Swynnerton, Staffordshire, the cadets and supporting staff set up and ran a full week of outdoor activities, training and competition.

All who took part were from the South and East Midlands Wing of the Air Training Corps and this annual “Green Camp” is the highlight of the cadet’s busy diary.

Heavy rain at the start of the week did not dampen the enthusiasm of the cadets and the sweltering heat towards the end of the week, although sapping the strength, did not deter the final push during the competition phase. This was very much a repeat of the conditions in 2010.

First day team building

With a full programme that takes in Shooting, Fieldcraft, First Aid, Archery, Confidence Course, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Climbing Wall, Raft Building and the “Gun Run” as well as time to practice Drill movements under the watchful eye of the Wing Warrant Officer, there was little time for relaxation for either cadets or staff.

In the evenings there was sport, more drill and a chance to Paintball and shoot the “Mortars” keeping the cadets occupied until “lights out”.

With Swynnerton “Old Sweats” helping the first timers, the whole event went smoothly with no real problems and the camp was proclaimed an overwhelming success by both the Staff and the Cadets.

Cadets have fun with their raft

Statistically, 258 Cadets attended supported by 87 Staff. Through Boards chaired by Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson, Officer Commanding the Wing, and the Wing Warrant Officer, Rob Phillips, 8 new Sergeant (ATC) were appointed. Seven Cadet Flight Sergeants were promoted to Cadet Warrant Officer.

In the Shooting, the Wing gained 1 Region, 8 Wing and 7 Squadron marksmen and for the Staff there were 20 new shooting qualifications awarded by The Central & East Small Arms Training Team (CESATT). A total of 7,000 rounds were sent down the range during the week.

Altogether a worthwhile camp for all concerned and, as the Wing Commander said during the Final parade, “It was a great team effort by all the staff but with a special mention for Squadron Leader Andy Pass, the Camp Commandant for all the months of hard work involved in getting all the logistics sorted and to Flight Lieutenant James Roberts, the Camp Training Officer and his assistant Warrant Officer ATC, Alan Wiggs for developing and running such a varied and full programme”.

Flt Lt Allan Munns
S&EMids Wing MCO