CCF Survival Exercise
On the morning of Saturday 4th November, we arrived at the quarry in which the exercise weekend would take place, anticipating an educational and exciting survival package consisting of a training phase and an overnight survival exercise.
We began with a briefing of the day and a sweep of our equipment to check for any contraband including phones and foodstuffs.
Once this was complete we started the training phase of the trip which was built up of a collection of lessons on various aspects of survival and taught various skills to help us survive the night, these included: fire lighting, shelter building, cooking on a fire and safe knife and tool handling.
We then had a quick lunch before being briefed on the plan and rules for the survival exercise. Then Exercise Born Survivor Began.
We were split into teams of 4 or 5 and each team was given a limited amount of “money” with which to “buy” tools and supplies for the exercise. Each team set off to their allocated areas to make camp, employing the skills we were taught earlier in the day to create shelters, a sustained fire and to cook our meals.
After all teams had eaten, we were prepared for a hostage rescue exercise where each team had a member taken hostage and our mission was to save the hostage, ideally through negotiation but deadly force could be used if necessary. Each team had to patrol to find the hostage’s location, a safe house in the woods. Once the hostage was recovered each team navigated their way back to prepare for the night. The teams had to organise a sentry duty to guard the camp and maintain the fire throughout the night.
On the Sunday morning the teams cooked breakfast and broke camp. The final test of the weekend was “Leave no Trace”. Each team had to disassemble camp and return the camp space to how it was before arrival, leaving no trace of their presence.
We returned all issued kit and had a debrief of the weekend before we concluded the trip.
The trip was a fantastic learning experience with helpful guidance followed up by an opportunity to test our newly learnt skills in a realistic survival situation.
A big thank you for CSgt French and Maj Hawkins for organising such a great trip.
Aidan May, Upper Sixth