2397 Flying at Colerne

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Cdt Lockwood E after her first flight

On Wednesday the 26th of August, four cadets from 2397 Sqn took to the skies in the Grob Tutor. Two of the cadets were flying for the first time and were looking forward to their flight (as they ate their McDonald’s breakfast!) the weather caused a few hours delay but the cadets played Jenga, Pool and Table Football matches to pass the time.

Colerne

Colerne from the air

Eventually it was flight time and the two first time flyers got to go first,  Cdt Lockwood E flew above Devizes and Chippenham during her first Air Experience Flight and Cdt Weston got the “Avatar Experience” where he got to dip in and around the clouds during his. For Sgt Cockrem it was a more dramatic flight as he completed a series of aerobatic moves such as loops, rolls and stall turns, he even managed not to be sick! For myself (Cpl Owen R) it was my last flight and I got to fly over a few of the Wiltshire White Horses before successfully brushing the clouds.

It was a brilliant day of flying and a great success for all the cadets, it’s what the Corps is known for and I would highly recommend it to any cadet, new or regular to sign up and take to the skies!

– Cpl Owen

Lacock At War

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Fun on the Land Rover

On the weekend of the 15th-16th of August 2397 cadets attended the Lacock At War Military Vehicles show and aided the organisers in raising over £10, 800. During the event cadets got involved with selling tickets at the front gate, aiding members of the public and guiding the different vehicles around the show ground including motorbikes, trucks and variations of tanks.

The weekend was a great success with cadets finishing the weekend happy with bags of sweets, it’s safe to say that a lot of them will be returning next year for more last night exercise fun, McDonald’s fine dining ‘al fresco’ experience and an all round laugh in  Giz’s Land Rover.

Thank you to all staff and cadets who attended and special thank you to Giz and Lucy who made it all possible.

– Cpl Owen

Ten Tors

Congratulations to Cadets from 2397 who took part and completed Ten Tors on the 10th of May, those in the 35 mile team completed at 13:00 after months of hard training and a weekend of team work and setting a strong pace, they were cadets Carson, Trowbridge, Marchant, Chidwick and Wiles. Also congratulations to the 45 mile team who truly showed the spirit of Ten Tors, from 2397 they were cadets Flynn, and Cpl Cockrem and the story of their walk is described by Flt Lt Bell below:

“A Lt Col Para at the end insisted they have this (photo) done to shake their hand. They were behind because two of the team were struggling to walk at the pace they needed to. Both were struggling because of tiredness and because of blisters. The team didn’t know this and kept going hoping things would ‘click’ and refused to allow them to drop out. This jeopardized the chance of them completing the challenge. But they kept going with them until medics declared them unfit to continue at Tor 5. 

At the tor they had to wait while the medics dealt with others before they could see them. Overall, this probably cost the team about an hour.They probably knew at that point they had missed their chance of completing. When the team reached the tor they had a decision to make – go on without them or wait until they saw the medics. They chose to wait. The whole team were devastated the two were not allowed to continue.

The 4 then continued after quite a lot of tear shedding. By Sunday at Tor 9 the team were faced with another difficult decision. Go to the final Tor and be pulled off the moor or head to the finish for an “emotional line cross”. They chose the latter knowing full well they probably would not receive a medal. The Lt Col summed it up, “You should feel proud of yourself, your perseverance to try to stay as a team cost you a medal. That shows the true spirit of what the Ten Tors Challenge is about.””

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The 35 mile team

All of 2397 Sqn are proud of what these cadets did and are inspired by their success  Cpl Owen

The 45 mile team

The 45 mile team

Brize Norton Visit – 26th of May 2015

2397 larks in a fake cargo hold

2397 larks in a fake cargo hold

On a grey Tuesday some of the cadets from 2397 got up early and headed over to the squadron, ready for a day at the UK’s largest base Movements Squadron in the RAF.

Being guided around RAF Brize Norton was a great honour as we had heard a lot about it’s capabilities as a support base specialising in Air to Air Refuelling, Air Transport and MoD civilian charter flights, as well as being host to Royalty and celebrities such as Gary Barlow and (to some of the cadets delight) Cheryl Cole. In the survival equipment section we got the chance to try on gas marks and different American and British equipment, and learnt about the importance of each item, we also got to pile into the blown up liferaft, I think we fit as many as 11 cadets in! The guided tour also included a look inside and out of a Voyager, which is a large passenger aircraft that doubles up as an Air to Air Refuelling tanker, and we also got to fly some of the transport aircraft in very realistic simulators. After a few simulated crashes (and some were spectacular…) and a talk to our guide about his time in the RAF with the Air Movements Squadron, we were guided into a room with comfy chairs to have a presentation from a recruitment officer about potential futures in the RAF – she had a very long question and answer session with a select group of enthusiastic cadets that led to awards of memory sticks being given out to the most…talkative.

After a busy and jam packed day at RAF Brize Norton the minibus was full of starving cadets and most bravely stayed for the normal parade night and feasted on boxes upon boxes of pizza. All in all, each cadet that attended enjoyed the experience of meeting RAF Personnel and gaining knowledge on different aircraft and their uses.

Thank you Sgt Cockrem for organising this trip.

2397 Easter Camp at St. Mawgan

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During the Easter Holidays 2397 (Devizes) Squadron took a trip down to Cornwall to stay at the RAF base of St. Mawgan from the 29th of March until the 4th of April.
 
During the week all cadets experienced different aspects of the Armed Forces due to the busy program drawn up by Sgt (ATC) Cockrem:
 
Sunday:
After a 6 hour journey in the mini-bus (due to traffic, window dilemma and Sainsbury’s stop off) the cadets got to settle into their accommodation and the Ten Tors cadets got to have a relax before card games and a brief at the Atlantic Club on base.
Monday:
Visit to RNAS Culdrose where the squadron got to find out about Sea Kings from the SAR Unit, try out the Firemen’s equipment and vehicles, take a tour around the Navigation unit’s King Air training plane, sit in the cockpit of Culdrose’s fast jet training aircraft the Hawk T1 and got to get close to the five Sea Harriers in a hanger on the base.
Tuesday:
Day at Newquay where cadets got to explore the town and eat varying lunches (from Burger King to traditional Cornish Pasties) and then complete a raft building competition in the afternoon which became a resounding victory for B Flight despite A Flight’s insistence that “HMS BAE” would carry them into the History books. 
Wednesday:
Day at the St. Mawgan Range shooting the cadet rifle L98A2 and the No. 8 bolt action rifle with a lunch break at the Nimrod Mess featuring lots of well deserved chips! This was all followed by a great night of bowling.
Thursday:
Trip to the RNLI in Padstow where cadets got to look around the new lifeboat and have an in-depth talk from volunteers about the History and the inner workings of saving lives on the sea in all weathers, 365 days a year. The afternoon of Thursday was spent with three Welsh Squadrons completing fieldcraft training and various exercises before a long awaited Wales vs. England football match…
Friday:
The morning was spent at the theme park Flambards with lots of drizzle, spins, turns, loops, hyper cadets, and of course, the trials of courage on the “Death Slide” – despite the constant drizzle all cadets enjoyed the break and in the afternoon headed back to the accommodation to pack and relax before a fish and chip supper and the Paper Plate Awards Ceremony.
Saturday:
After a long, busy but brilliant week the cadets of 2397 returned to Devizes (after a stop off at McDonalds…) exhausted but happy, and definitely looking forward to no more morning room and uniform inspections!
 
Cpl Owen
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Celebrating Success at 2397

On Tuesday 14 April 2015 the cadets paraded at the Town Hall for the annual Presentation Evening and the Civilian Committees Annual General Meeting (AGM). It was well attended by parents and cadets alike.

Well done to the following cadets who won awards:

Gower Shield (Fundraising): Cdt T Cooper

Shooting Trophy (Best Shot): Cpl J Gilbert-Stone

Clarke Shield (Best Sports): Cdt A Carson

RAFA Shield (Best on Camp): Cdt O Trowbridge

Stephen Churchill Trophy (Most Promising New Cadet): Cdt G Lockwood

TA Shield (Best Female Cadet): Cpl R Owen

Brian Swallow Shield (Best Male Cadet): Cpl B Cockrem

Roberts-Phare Shield (Best Overall Cadet): Cdt A Carson

Cdt Hunter Award (Most Improved Cadet): Cdt B Amor

With shields