A one-of-a-kind army training event was enjoyed by Year 13 Combined Cadet Force boys and girls from across the Loughborough Schools Foundation earlier this month.
‘Exercise Generation’ provided Year 13 cadets with a one-stop-shop army experience in KENDREW Barracks, Rutland, as a response to the disruption in the training activities caused by Covid. The unique offering was supported by the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment “The POACHERS” during which cadets were thrown into real life training, alongside some bespoke army education.
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Hawes MBE provided a presentation on current world events in the Officers’ Mess which was followed by the cadets having the opportunity to inspect a range of historical artifacts including regimental silver and the Mons Drum, which was last played at the battle of Mons in August 1914.
Cadets were also able to tour the weapons room in the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess to see various items confiscated from terrorist groups during previous campaigns.
Bacon sandwiches provided much-need sustenance for some teamwork and outdoor training activities which included a drill lesson with a Drill Corporal, a blank fire trench clearing exercise using a system modelled on trenches, as well as the opportunity for cadets to practise live firing on the ranges.
Loughborough Grammar School student Patrick said: “It was such a great day. The highlight was definitely the trench clearance. It’s the most realistic opportunity that you will get in terms of trench warfare, and I feel really lucky as no other CCFs offer this type of real life training.”
Loughborough High School student Eve said: “I’m quite new to CCF so this was a good experience to catch up to where the others had got to in terms of their training. It also gave me the opportunity to get to know the rest of the cohort better. I had a fantastic time!”
Alex Dart, Head of Army CCF, organised the event and expanded on the views “as Royal Anglian sponsored cadets, we are lucky and grateful for such local support in the Regimental home of both Battalions. An incredible experience for the cadets to develop knowledge and skills, whilst understanding the Regular and Reserve Army component. We are delighted by Col Ben and his team leaning in- one to certainly be repeated!”