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Tom completes CCF leadership course

May 11th, 2016

Congratulations to Tom (6.2) for completing the Easter Leadership course at Nesscliffe training area. Below is his report of his time there, proving that this was both a rewarding and tiring experience!

‘In the first week of the Easter holidays in 2016 I took part in the annual Easter leadership course (ELC) at Nesscliffe training area. The purpose of the course was to develop existing, as well as developing new leadership skills that may be useful in both a military CCF and civilian life.

I arrived at Nesscliffe training area on Saturday afternoon. After I had signed and in gone to the barracks to get changed in our MTP uniform then I reported to back to the main hall where we awaited further instructions. The afternoon started with weapons tests briefly followed by an introduction to the PRR (the radio every cadet would be issued on exercise) and a quick look at the night vision equipment we may also be able to use. After this we had a talk in the main hall, in which we were given the general plan for the following week. The next three days would consist of command tasks, stands and lessons, all preparing us for the last three days of which would spend on exercise on what was called ‘Operation Mercian Eagle’.

The next morning started with a chapel service to celebrate Easter Sunday before moving off to start a day of command tasks all designed to initially analyse our existing leadership skills before the exercise. Over the next two days we visited stands being taught everything from standard Section to Platoon attack procedure as well as learning new skills from building clearance or FIBUA (fighting in built up areas) and TIWAF (training in woods and forests) to Vehicle checkpoints and moving through a minefield, which would all be relevant for the exercise the following few days.

The first two days of exercise consisted of every person in and individual section taking turns in a leadership position for, section level military tasks. From doing a rummage to gather intel over a given area to defending and FOB (forward operating base) consisting of building in a compound from an oncoming enemy attack, with mortars and machine guns at the section commanders disposal. The part of these two days I enjoyed the most was when I had the opportunity to be section commander on the final task, the ambush. This was not the normal type of ambush though, where you would lie in wait with your section in a hidden location and ambush the oncoming enemy, but instead we would patrol through and area to rescue a casualty from a helicopter crash, with the possibility of ambush at any moment. My section reacted to the ambush incredibly well firstly destroying the enemy before rescuing the casualty then moving him to a safe location for evacuation. In the evening we were told that the following day we would be carrying out two Platoon attacks on known and unknown enemy locations, and I was lucky enough to be chosen to lead one of the sections on this operation.

The final day I enjoyed the most, working on a much larger scale with three sections in a platoon, almost thirty people, to carry out an attack on enemy forces. With two cadets being chosen for Plt Commander and Plt Sergeant we worked together to destroy the enemy in the given area, before being told we would have to walk back over the however many kilometres to pick up the thousands of pieces of brass from the blank ammunition we had fired. The course ended the following morning with a final brief, with certificates and badges handed out, before finally leaving  what seemed like an incredibly long, but thoroughly enjoyable week.’

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