New Air Cadets recruits learn survival skills

Cpl Sam Smith, 16, won the Sussex Air Cadets cross country run competition
Cpl Sam Smith, 16, won the Sussex Air Cadets cross country run competition

AIR Cadets from Steyning and Shoreham have learned survival skills at a recruit training weekend.

Most of the cadets involved had joined the 1140 (Steyning) Squadron or 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron only in October.

Cpl Freeman-Hawker on the climbing wall

Cpl Freeman-Hawker on the climbing wall

They spent the weekend at Crowborough Army Camp learning new skills, doing adventurous activities and making new friends.

Dave Emsley, officer commanding at Steyning, said: “The camp was the cadets’ first experience of life in the military and from their arrival, they were straight into activities.”

They were settled into soldiers accommodation, where they had to prepare their uniform for inspection the next morning.

Activities during the weekend included climbing, learning first aid skills and navigation.

On the Saturday, they discussed expedition food and sources of water before building shelters. Later in the evening, the cadets had to use their navigation skills to find hidden objects on a night exercise.

Mr Emsley said the cadets were inspected again on the Sunday morning and the improvement in their stqandards impressed the staff.

They cooked their own breakfast using military 24-hour ration packs before the rest of Sussex Air Cadets descended on Crowborough for a cross country run competition.

Cadets from both Shoreham and Steyning squadrons took part, with 16-year-old Cpl Sam Smith of 1140 winning his race.

Cadets George Coomber, 12, and Ben Saunders, 12, said it was a great weekend. “The best bit was the night navigation.”

All the training over the weekend will go towards the cadets’ BTECs in aviation studies, as well as teamwork and personal development with the air cadets.

Mr Emsley said it had been a ‘great experience’ for the cadets and thanked the staff for making it possible.

Air cadets must be at least 12 years old and in school year eight. Visit or for more information on joining or becoming a volunteer.