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Exercise Probationers’ Survival

Exercise Probationers’ Survival

On Wednesday 4th October a selection of the CCF NCOs departed for Tangier Wood, Tunbridge Wells, to complete a 24hr survival exercise.
On arrival, to the cadets’ surprise, they were instructed to open their bergen and remove all the items. They were returned the bergen, a mess tin, a water bottle, a sleeping bag, and a bivvy bag. All other personal effects were sealed in bags to be returned at the end of the exercise.
They were then put to task learning about the skills required to survive in the outdoors including making fire, constructing shelter, tracking, gillnet, natural navigation, Winthrop theory and signal fires.
Throughout these activities, the teams were scored and earned tokens to exchange, later that evening, for the items they would need to get through the night and meet the extraction the morning after.
And so, at 2000hrs the cadets purchased their items, or so they thought. The items were actually hidden in the woods, and they had only purchased the codes to find them! After much crawling through the darkness, the cadets were finally able to begin their shelter construction, get their fires going, and bed down for the night.
Until 0300hrs that is, when the cadets were awoken to begin another task, and, to relight their fires using only birch bark.
Reveille came at 0630hrs and after a quick breakfast, the cadets began building their signal fires to secure extraction. I’m pleased to say this was duly achieved and a tired group of NCOs returned back to school for a much-deserved full school lunch.
Major A. R. Jones