NAVY NEWS, SEPTEMBER 2009 43
money to donate to the groups which S/Lt Rob Kenchington, who this course is mad,” he observed.
help on the course (this course raised with PO Steven Wilson completed One of the highlights of the
£1,100). the Lynx team, said: “This has course is Exercise Safe Return –
Module 2 is the real deal. been good – we have been doing the crashed plane and marauding
Split into seven groups, the something we do very rarely in enemy units scenario.
youngsters are shuttled around a Lynx. There is a major briefing
Lancashire and beyond to challenge “This is typically more an Army on Wednesday night to get the
and enthuse them, while various thing, but we like to get involved. adrenaline going, then the cadets
military and civilian assets are drafted It is the grey Lynx fleet doing a are given the chance to prove
in to ensure the complex logistical green Lynx job, and it’s something themselves in a day-long, fast
plan is carried out. we like to practise.” moving wargame at sea, on land
Four of the groups involved The Army also provided Lynx, and in the air.
youngsters tackling the Duke of while a Nimrod and Tutors showed Air searches are called up
Edinburgh Bronze Award, so their week up from the RAF – an indication
through the Coastguard and the
included a two-day expedition between of Tony Smith’s thinking.
Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre
Inskip and Glasson, with all camping “I am really mad about
at Kinloss, who divert the Nimrod,
overnight at Eagland Hill and either aeroplanes, I love them, and if you
while RIBs and a lifeboat are
● A Sea Cadet tried her hand at abseiling
being flown to their starting point or can get aircraft and ships then that
tasked at sea.
during the course
being flown back to base at the end. is even better for the youngsters,”
A Hawk from 19 Squadron
One cadet used her participation he said.
RAF attacks the enemy boats, and ● Lynx carry out air operations during
on the course as an element of her “As we are air-minded we try to
as the scenario rolls on there are Course C64
Gold Award. fly the cadets when we can.”
‘casualties’ to be treated and land
Picture: AC Rachel Upsall (Boston unit)
Not all the cadets get to do Some days saw over 20 helicopter
searches to be organised.
everything, but between them they flights planned (and cancelled
A final buzz is delivered in the
get the chance to do air navigation, flights, through engineering or
shape of an endex flypast by the
military flying, weapons training, weather considerations, simply
Nimrod and Hawk, so that the
offshore sea survival, initiative allow course staff to test themselves
cadets can see what they have
exercises, archery, RIB training, first in terms of contingency plans).
been dealing with.
aid and leadership training. That meant volunteers such as
Another highlight is ‘Titanic
And the beauty of the whole thing Lt John Wyper, who acted as a
Night’ at Fleetwood Nautical
is that there is plenty to be gained kind of flight deck officer (on a
Campus of Blackpool and The
by everyone in terms of training football pitch in the village of
Fylde College, where cadets are
and exercising. Catforth) have a pretty busy time.
taught survival techniques such as
Take the air assets this year. Lt Wyper works for Naval
righting a life raft and climbing in
HMS Endurance’s Lynx, was recruiting in Manchester, but for
and helicopter winching.
‘borrowed’ by the 815 NAS flight a few days ensures the right people
In a darkened building, in
which is to join HMS Portland get into helicopters in the right
a churning pool, with hoses
on her forthcoming deployment. order at the right time.
playing and alarms sounding, the
Flight Commander Lt Dave
youngsters leap three metres from
“It is a great event, and it’s very
a platform representing the side of
White said: “We are working up well organised,” said Lt Wyper.
a ship, form a huddle, then swim
to go away next year in HMS “And it is good training for RN
to a life raft and climb in – tiring,
Portland. helicopter pilots – here they are
daunting but great fun.
“We are a regenerating flight finding fields in which to land,
Joe Bottomley, the college’s
at the moment, so we are getting spotting groups in the countryside,
Head of Offshore Operations, said
the team back together. doing winching and so on.”
that some offshore workers who
“I think this is brilliant – it’s an Similarly the Nimrod crew
come through would rather be
investment in the future. It gets of 201 Squadron RAF gained
elsewhere, so the cadets make a
the kids interested. valuable practice at searching the refreshing change.
● Initiative exercises at Inskip
“You have got to take the busy coastal waters off Blackpool “You see kids coming out with
rough with the smooth in the and Fleetwood – the wind farm such a big smile on their faces –
military, but you have got to see causes particular problems in they really enjoy it, and it really is
the fun stuff as well – there have terms of radar clutter – while the a worthwhile exercise,” he said.
been a lot of smiling faces in the RNLI sharpened their skills at “It works both ways – our
back of the cab. winching between helicopter and
facilities are seen by up to 50
“We are due for APT South lifeboat.
young people who may want to
next year – we are looking forward The week-long course is full
go to sea; if we get two of them
to Triple Winter 2010, though throttle from start to finish, and
to join the Merchant Navy it will
perhaps we will get to South Tony is delighted with the content
have been worth it.
Africa for the World Cup...” – “Anyone who doesn’t come on
“And if you could bottle Tony
Smith’s enthusiasm you would
make a fortune.”
team helps out
Joe has a particular interest in
Inskip – his mother, Margaret
Bottomley (née Terretta), served
as a Wren at the base – then known
Sgt Edwards and Sgts Cann, Taylor instructor, PO Spencer SCC was
as HMS Nightjar – during World
and Munday (all SCC) – and six of responsible for archery instruction,
War 2, and still lives in the area.
the Flight Ops team – WO2 Riley the Rev Cooke was course chaplain
With the course over it is time
ACF, SACs Johnson and Brandford and, last but not least, Duke of
to draw breath.
(both RAF), Lt Wyper RN, Mr Glass Edinburgh instructor was PO
POC Sean Kearns (15) from
and Flt Lt Bone RAFVR(T). Parsons SCC.
Liverpool (Sefton) Unit said:
Flt Lt Lea and Fg Off Hicken Other groups and organisations
“When I read the description it
(both RAF) shared the role of who helped in various elements of
looked just brilliant. You fly in a
Deputy Exercise Commander, while the course included Preston Sea helicopter, camp out – the whole
Sqn Ldr Challoner RAFVR(T) cadet unit, B (Somme) Coy 4 Btn thing looked good.
handled publicity. Duke of Lancaster’s Rgt, Fleetwood “I thought ‘I have got to do that.’
Lt (SCC) Baxter RMR was the Nautical Campus of Blackpool and I would recommend it to others.”
abseiling instructor, Flt Lt Howard Fylde College, St John Ambulance AC Paul Beard (Boston unit),
RAFVR(T) was air navigation Brigade, Liverpool, Fleetwood, said: “It is the best course in the
exercise instructor and CPO Morton Lytham St Anne’s and Knott End Sea Cadets.
SCC was first aid instructor. Coastguards, Fleetwood RNLI and “I have not been on any other
CPO Clayborough RN was PLT Fleetwood Fire Station. courses with the Army and RAF
cadets, and we all got on fine.”
Then, after a final inspection of
rooms by S/Lt Maria Mitchison,
officer manager at Inskip, the
cadets head home in a flurry of
hugs and minibus horns.
And Inskip is prepared for the
next visitors – around the country
some very excited junior Sea
Cadets are already packing.
Picturmarina es: Sqn Ldr
Eddie Challoner RAFVR(T)
● Lynx helicopters load up at the
busy (temporary) military airfi eld
at Catforth Bay Football Club
● Cadets listen to instructions
before their Duke of Edinburgh
expedition. Above: Course C64
of 2009 lines up for the camera
040-043_NN_sept.indd 4 18/8/09 16:48:25
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