The Section has been training for this as three flights of 8 cadets for most of the year. The winning flight was ‘Tristar’, led by Corporal Yip (L6, Rt), and the individual best flight commander award was won by Corporal Hozzova (L6, G).
Above: RAF Cosford low-ropes course.
Much luckier with the weather than last year, the (fairly substantial) flurry of snow at 08:00 had cleared by the time the cadets presented themselves for inspection and the drill competition at 09:00 and the rest of the day was clear and mild. The cadets acquitted themselves exceptionally well in the drill, with Sgt Sach-Brian, the School’s liaison and training NCO from the RAF (formerly a regular), commenting on their improvement over the last twelve months. Flt Lt Wray, Officer Commanding the Section, was also hugely impressed with the turnout of all individuals, with cadets Chan and Sussums-Lewis having perhaps the best uniform presentation of any cadets in the last five years.
Other elements of the competition in the morning were Aircraft Recognition, in which the teams had to identify fifty aircraft from a rolling sequence of briefly displayed images, and the Gun Run. The flights were timed over a two-lap course with three obstacles, the first lap without the gun and the second lap with. Before each obstacle they had to disassemble the field gun and reassemble it before continuing. Teamwork and urgency were the order of the day, with all individuals needing a clear idea of their small role in the safe dismantling and construction of the apparatus.
Above: Two flights reassembling the field gun after an obstacle.
In the afternoon, the Section moved to RAF Cosford, where the low ropes course used for training regular service personnel was the site of the leadership assessment, alongside the First Aid element of the competition. Cadets had to respond to casualties with breaks, bleeds, burns, shock and irregular breathing, scoring points through their handling of the situation and interaction with casualties as well as the treatment given.
Above: Attending to ‘casualties’ in the First Aid scenario.
The teams’ scores from the six challenges, as well as individual scores for the flight leader in the drill and leadership task, contributed to an overall score.
Above: The teamwork and leadership challenge.
Unfortunately, school closure has meant that a photograph of the winning flight has yet to be taken with the (rather impressive) trophy – it will be engraved ready for next time! In addition, a new flight was selected on the basis of performance in the Battle of Britain Trophy to represent the School at an external military skills competition after the Easter holiday, which will no longer go ahead. Nevertheless, many congratulations to all who took part for the effort, perseverance and good spirit shown on the day.
Flt Lt Wray