1404 (Chatham) Squadron

Air Training Corps

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Adventure Training

Adventure Training forms an essential part of the Air Cadet's training syllabus. As well as helping cadets forge new friendships, adventure training enables all cadets to show off their leadership qualities.

There is a wide range of adventure training.

Fieldcraft

Fieldcraft is an exciting part of any squadron's training programme, and the promise of a good exercise is always guaranteed to get good attendance. This section is here to tell you more about fieldcraft, to give you some guidelines on the subject, and hopefully improve the fieldcraft on your squadron.

Fieldcraft is, to put it simply, the art of living and moving in the field. Although the ACO is generally focused on different activities, fieldcraft does play a part in most Squadron's training programmes.

An average squadron might run 'exercises' which vary widely. Many involve two teams being pitted against each other. Exercises vary and each places emphasis on different aspects of fieldcraft. Some might need you and your team to move slowly and quietly, sneaking upon an 'enemy' installation, perhaps. Others need speed as well as stealth, and you will have to decide how much of one to trade off against another. An acknowledged advantage of fieldcraft exercises is that it forces people to use their initiative much more often. You could find yourself in a decision-making position as a relatively junior member of the squadron.

A popular exercise, often used by squadrons is the 'E & E' (Escape and Evasion) exercise. This involves splitting the cadets into two or more groups, and telling one group to catch the other. Often spectacular displays of skill (and others of incompetence) can be seen in this type of exercise - imagine yourself crawling slowly past on one side of a small rise, with the enemy chatting to each other only metres away. Imagine a team of cadets, in the charge of a responsible NCO dividing up into a search pattern to sweep a pre-planned stretch of woods for a hiding enemy! Great fun can be had by all on these types of exercise.

Other exercises used by squadrons are 'Objective' exercises. This might involve searching for an object and returning it to base, while other teams search for other objects, or it might pit you against your friends looking for the same object. Whatever the structure, a well planned objective exercise can be exciting and fun.

Casevac (Casualty Evacuation) exercises can also be an interesting challenge. This is something a bit different - the main objective is humanitarian rather than offensive - this could give the more enthusiastic cadets something to think about! Basically, cadets must enter an hostile area and evacuate injured allies. The degree of difficulty can be varied through addition of enemies, and perhaps a time limit. This is a good exercise to test all skill sets at once.

Uniform used for fieldcraft is usually called DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material). Other names you may hear used are 'Greens' or 'Cabbage'. A short recommended kit list is shown below.

- DPM Trousers
- DPM Smock (Jacket)
- Green / DPM Shirt or Dark T-shirt
- Black Hi-leg Boots
- Wooly Hat and Gloves

These are all the things you need - extras can always be picked up later on. Some Squadrons may be able to provide you with DPM kit but you should have no problem finding this equipment at your local military surplus store or on-line. Do ask at your Squadron first though as they will be able to advise about what is required and suggest sources.

The idea of DPM uniform is very different to that of the 'blue uniform' described elsewhere. This kit can withstand months of constant use and mistreatment - it is designed to get wet, muddy and be used 'in action'. It is excellent camouflage - on a dark night, all you need to do to avoid being spotted is stand still. Kit choice and preparation can be an important part of the fieldcraft training syllabus.

'Camo Cream'
Everyone has heard of camo cream. It comes in tubes or compacts that you rub onto your face, and as soon as you do, you become invisible! This is, of course - not at all true. Be careful when applying cam as it contains insect repellent which can sting if it gets near your eyes and although washable does end up on everything you touch! There are some natural alternatives in the form of mud or wearing a balaclava. Your advised not to use burnt cork as there are some burn risks if not done properly.

Make sure that you are not too liberal or too sparse when applying 'cam' - you should rub it over the nose and cheekbones. Parts of your face which are in shadow should not be covered. Remember the goal is disruption - that means variation. Check out the Fieldcraft ACP for more details about this.

The cream should be applied with the objective to disrupt. After applying a base areas that stand out should be covered with 'tiger' stripes - whereas areas of the face already in shadow should be left as they are. Remember your forehead, behind the ears and neckline. There is no need to go for the Arnie Schwarzenegger "Predator" full face paint. This is one area where European and US tactics differ.

Climbing

Climbing can be a highly rewarding sport. It works well to exercise all parts of your body, by developing upper body strength through gripping, and encouraging muscular development in the legs through balancing. Its also great fun - many squadrons go on climbing trips regularly - a few even have their own climbing walls. All climbing is supervised by professionally qualified instructors (either staff members or employed from the outside.)

Obstacle Course

There are many obstacle courses of differing obstacles. It is great fun and provides differing challenges to be overcome by different people. Obstacle courses must be supervised by qualified instructors.