Started back in January 2013 with an induction into road marching at Edward Brooks Barracks, staff from Thames Valley wing trained enough cadets to take two Wing teams to DCAE Cosford to the RAF WARMA (Walking and road marching Association) event in April. This event is a 50 mile march for cadets and also a qualifier for those cadets old enough to go to Holland to take part in the famous Nijmegen March.
Fg Off Wicks lead one team and Flt Lt Kisley the other, and the teams did extremely well leaving RAFWARMA with their heads held high as one team finished in 3rd place and the 2nd team winning best ATC team 2013. A hard selection then took place to decide the 11 cadets from the two teams who would represent the Wing at Nijmegen, for the 100 mile 4 day march in July.
Flt Lt Kisley, OC 1460 (Banbury) Squadron provides an insight into the Nijmegen event.
On day 1 of the march we started in the BMC (British Military Contingent) 3rd contingent out of Camp Heumensoord, an hour and half after the first contingent had left and returned back to camp becoming the 3rd team back only 5 minutes after the first team had arrived. On day 2 we started in the 2nd BMC leaving camp at 05:00hrs and were the first team back to camp out of all the international marching teams billeted there. Day 3 we started in the 1st BMC and came back in a whole hour before any other team that day.
On route we passed our Commandant, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty and she congratulated us on our performance that day. Later that evening, Thames Valley Wing were awarded the ‘Best Air Cadet Team Nijmegen Marches 2013’ beating 35 other wing teams. On the last day we started in the last BMC and again returning the first team back to the finish of the 100 mile march to the surprise of ourselves and also the delight of the BMC staff on the last day we were congratulated by Brigadier Richardson Commanding Officer British Army Germany on an outstanding performance and a job well done.
The success of this year’s team is down to the dedication and commitment of the cadets through the training sessions that were organised with a special mention to Fg Off Wicks for her outstanding commitment to training this year’s team. The cadets were very smart and quick on the road allowing them to have a longer recovery time than other teams out there.
Flt Lt Kisley quotes – “Their team work and attitude to the march was second to none and they shone well above any other team. They were one of the best teams I have had the pleasure of leading with this being my sixteenth March. They were a credit to their Wing, their Region and Corps over in Holland.”