F is for…

Fieldcraft, Football, Fencing and First Aid!

Last weekend, staff and cadets from the squadron teamed up with a number of other units from the wing to organise a Fieldcraft training weekend at Defence Training Estate (DTE) Warcop. The purpose of the weekend was to test a programme of Fieldcraft Lessons with Weapons, with a view to this becoming the normal training practice. Cadets and Staff were issued with L98A2 weapons, with blank firing attachments and blank magazines, but no Blanks or Pyrotechnics were used. All Cadets and Staff also operated in the field from Saturday Lunchtime until Sunday Lunchtime, including overnight sleeping in Improvised Shelters. The activities undertaken were taken from Chapter 1 of the Fieldcraft Training Material, with the emphasis on the later lessons in that chapter, whilst recapping on the early lessons. All Staff and Cadets who attended were unanimous in their enjoyment of the weekend, despite the heat, and agreed that it was the direction they would like to see Fieldcraft Training moving in. Fieldcraft, like most activities, is progressive, with lower levels of Fieldcraft training conducted at squadron level prior to attending weekends like this. This allows the skills and knowledge to be developed before heading out into the field.

Each year, the wing competes in a variety of sports competitions, competing against other wings to represent the region, and onward to corps matches. One such competition is football. Cadets from the squadron have the opportunity to join others from around the wing for football training sessions which happen throughout the year, with the opportunity to be selected for the wing team. Although competition can often be tough, cadets have previously been selected to compete, as did FS Riley earlier this year, competing at the inter-wing event held in Blackburn.

Another sport which cadets have experienced a taster of this year is Fencing. While at Kingswood, the group tried their hand at the sport, with some having previous experience. This is a sport which the squadron will be looking at running again at the squadron, utilising qualified instructors from local groups.

First aid is a vital skill for anyone, but especially the staff and cadets of an organisation such as the Air Training Corps (ATC) who are active in the community. The first aid training within the ATC teaches life saving skills, using one of three courses: Heartstart, Youth First Aid (YFA) and Activities First Aid (AFA). Heartstart is a two hour emergency first aid session, provided by the British Heart Foundation, and covers dealing with an unconscious casualty, recognising a heart attack, recognising cardiac arrest, performing CPR< deal with chocking, respond to serious bleeding and provides an awareness of defibrillators. All of these skills are taught to cadets and staff members within the first three months of joining the ATC. The next stepping stone for cadets is the 12 hour St John Ambulance course, teaching the topics covered within Heartstart as well as a whole range of other key topics to give cadets the confidence to help in an emergency. Upon reaching the age of 16, cadets and staff members have the opportunity to complete the 2 day St John Ambulance AFA course, which is an industry recognised course at an equivalent level to a first aid at work course. All of the training and assessment is provided in house, with no charge for any of it to allow the training to be accessible to all. Hopefully the training never has to be used, however if it did, the cadets and staff members would have the knowledge and skill set to do so effectively.

Do you fancy getting involved in any of these activities? Are you up for fun, adventure, incredible experiences and making new friends? Aged between 12 (and in year 8 ) and 17? JOIN AIR CADETS. We are recruiting now, send us a message to find out more and join us next week as we continue our #WhatWeDoWednesday articles.

Durham Northumberland Wing Air Cadets
North Region – Royal Air Force Air Cadets
Commandant Air Cadets

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