The RAF WARMA 2 day march is an annual marching event that consists of a 50 mile march across 2 days, each day being 25 miles or 40km. The event is held at RAF Cosford and this year had 1,500 military participants.
Thames Valley wing team began training for this event way back in Jan 4th January 2015 and has trained every weekend up until the event with a total of 16 training marches being completed by the cadets and staff, leading to team leader Flying officer Jane Wicks (2410 Didcot Squadron) and team 2IC Civilian Instructor Barry Wicks (2410 Didcot Squadron) taking 13 cadets from all across Thames Valley Wing to the march.
The cadets arrived at Edward Brooks Barracks on the Friday evening and spirits were very high across the board and we began to make our way towards RAF Cosford. Upon arriving, we unpacked and prepared for the march in the morning.
All awoke on the Saturday morning at the early hour of 04:15 and headed to breakfast, although a bit tired all were raring to go and couldn’t wait to get onto the road. By at 0710 TVW marched off in the first contingent and officially began day 1, starting the day off by saluting Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty who was the guest VIP for day 1.
TVW marched strong making good times to rest stops 1, 2 and 3 and subsequently were the first team to complete day 1 and therefore met the Commandant Air Cadets for a second time, completing day 1 with a time of 7 hours 35 minutes. It was then time for hot showers, dinner, a coke in the bar and then an early night in preparation for day 2.
Day 2 began very similarly as day 1 however waking 30 minutes later this time at 04:45, however it would appear that teams had decided to wake much earlier than previous years and subsequently TVW were virtually the last team to leave the gates on day 2. However, nobody let this get them down and instead saw it as just another challenge and by reaching rest stop 2 only 6 teams out of 70 were in front of Thames Valley Wing. This was down to the drive of the cadets and the extensive and continuous training that allowed them to continue at an excellent pace when other teams began to struggle. Due to which all 15 from Thames Valley Wing completed the march in 7 hours 20 being the 4th team to complete day 2. This was an excellent outcome and a huge achievement for all considering the position of the team at the start.
Upon completing the march, cadets had their Medals presented by the station commander of RAF Cosford, Group Captain Adam Sansom. A great honour for all team members.
Training now continues with the new goal of TVW being to complete the Nijmegen 100 mile March in July.
I would personally like to thank Flying Officer Wicks and C.I Wicks for the continuous effort they put into training the cadets sacrificing every Sunday since the start of the year. Without their inspirational leadership and efforts the team would not be where it is today.
CWO Goff, 2410 Didcot Sqn.