Treorchy Combined Cadet Force have excelled once again by winning 8 Gold medals in one of the toughest and most challenging of all cadet competitions; the Cadet Cambrian Patrol. In addition to this fantastic achievement, which was built on last year’s Silver awards, they were crowned the “Best Team in Wales”.
The Cadet Cambrian Patrol is the Olympics of the cadet world, and challenges entrants from around the country. The setting is the British Army Training Area in Sennybridge, South Wales. It's a unique place some 400m above sea level where you can experience four seasons in one day. This year was no exception, as storm Hannah raged, the cadets endured high winds, sideways rain, sleet and snow, and they even had blazing sun.
Arriving on the Friday evening, the team of 8 were immediately tested, the team went through a number of safety checks and a kit inspection to show they could turn up prepared and with the essential equipment to survive the next 48hours. The Section Commander, was then given a set of military orders to plan the 25km route across the unforgiving terrain. This was expertly carried out by Cadet Colour Sgt Kieran Smith of Year 13 before the team grabbed a few hours’ sleep before the 04:00hrs start of Day 1.
With the full strength of storm Hannah just beginning to rage on the Brecon Beacons, the cadets had to navigate the patrol using compass bearings alone. The patrol is one of the most intense exercises cadets can face, requiring resilience, physical robustness and endurance. During the weekend cadets were given tasks to test their skills in map reading, navigation, first aid, teamwork, leadership and field craft. Over the arduous route they had to reach numerous checkpoints and complete the route before the Day 1 “cut-off” at 18:30hrs. The Treorchy team did this with almost an hour to spare and were in excellent spirits as the sun had broken through the eye of the storm.
Day 2 began with another early start and with head boy Cian Adams giving the orders, the cadets had a timed 5km patrol to the final stage of the competition. This involved the cadets having their marksmanship tested using the Cadet GP rifle.
With this completed the team returned to the patrol base to receive a well-deserved brunch served by members of 104 Regiment Royal Artillery at their field kitchen, prior to the extremely successful prize giving hosted by Brigadier Mark P. Christie Deputy Commander Cadets, Regional Command.
This was a great achievement only made possible with training, dedication and teamwork. If you would like to get involved with the CCF speak to your Head of Learning and Skills or the CCF Staff.