Leaders of the Future

During Summer of 2007 4 Cadets where chosen to attended week long leadership courses at RAF Cranwell and the Cadet Training Centre Frimley Park.

All 4 passed, with Sgt Kirsty Troy gaining a distinction. Her report is below:

"Air Cadet Leadership Course 2007 Course 76

The Air Cadet Leadership Course is held at RAF Cranwell to teach and test leadership courses throughout the Air Cadets and Combined Cadet Force.

I was the only cadet from 241 Squadron and London Wing attending the leadership course this week, two of the boys from 241 Squadron had attended the week before. It was a fun filled intense week run by regular Officers from the Royal Air Force, Officers from the RAF VR(T) and Combined Cadet Force. The week started with the usual briefings and introductions of flight commanders and the cadets which were to be in each the flights. During the week we were split into four Flights (A, B, C and D) in which we would compete throughout the week to be the best Flight.

It was an early start on the first day in which we run a mile and half for a physical training session afterwards breakfast to get ready for a 20km walk known as Exercise Singleton. All the Flights were sent to four different locations, two Flights to the north two to the south to walk either away or towards RAF Cranwell, we had 5 hours to complete the walk. We were all in time to complete the 20km walk and luckily for us the weather held up.

The next day was another physical training session early in the morning consisting of inter Flight races. After breakfast into phase one of the command tasks. Each of the command tasks was each 12 minutes long and afterwards we would sit down as a Flight and debrief on the task.

Day two was an early start with drill, we had to practise for the graduation parade in which the four Flight leaders and parade commanders was picked to lead the parade on the last day. Afterwards a demonstration from the staff on how to build a tripod and cross a river. Which would lead onto phase two command task was up to 20 minutes long and became harder in difficulty and complexity.

At this point there was a mid course debrief in which you were told how your progress was getting along by your Flight Commanders. Each was done individually and you were told how to progress if needing to.

The fourth morning was a bus trip and then a 2km walk out to Beckingham training area in which we would be sleeping for the next two nights. After the walk out we built all the 12 x 12 tents in which we would be sleeping in the night in total there was 10 tents in which we were able to build in just under hour and a half. Then onto phase 3 command tasks which became up to 40 minutes long with the difficulty and complexity becoming harder along with the distance needing to be travelled. Then onto a night exercise where we looked throughout the training area for points to collect to build a wheelbarrow. After the night exercise a night of staying in the 12 x 12 tents.

Another early morning start and off to complete the last phase command tasks and the last command tasks of the course. Today included raft building which was interesting when the weather decided to turn on us. After we completed the command tasks the course was ready to go out and complete the next challenge which was an orienteering course and after the course a log run, with each Flight competing against the other to be the best. It was not an easy run but working together in the Flights everyone got through it and enjoyed it thoroughly. There was no stopping there it was back up to the woods to build our bashas where we would be staying that night. Along with staying in our own built homes we were also cooking for ourselves, using ration packs to survive for two days.

After a good night sleep we went back to RAF Cranwell to get showered and changed to go onto drill. After our drill session in which we perfected the parade we moved into the dry to work on our Flight presentation which we presented to the course later on that day. We had to present a phase 1 command task in 10minutes no more, no less, showing the briefing and the correct leadership style, so in all showing what we had completed and learnt throughout the week.

The last night we found out how well we had done throughout the week with our end of course debriefs, Then onto a social evening after packing to go home, by this time everyone was running on happiness of completion of the week and succeeding to come so far.

The final day was the highlight of everyone’s week parading outside RAF College Cranwell which is usually used to parade the officers that have just passed out through Initial Officer Training going into the Royal Air Force.

Overall the week was amazing and being privileged to take part in the course was good enough for me but I was also lucky enough to be awarded with two more awards, the first was being part of the best Flight and the second was for the best cadet of the course in which I passed the course with a distinction. I would recommend this course to anyone that is able to go, you learn a lot and you get to meet new people from all over the country."

The photo shows Sgt Aj Sandhu, Cpl Will Brown, Cpl Rhys Reeves-Roberts, and Sgt Kirsty Troy with their Oval Blue leadership badges