Sgt Lily Chubb from 211 (Newbury) Squadron recently attended Air Cadet Leadership Course No 101 at Royal Air Force College Cranwell where her flight were awarded the award of Top Flight. Here is her report of the week.
Arriving at RAFC Cranwell on the 27th July, it was clear that the standards for the Air Cadet Leadership Course 101 were going to be high. We were sent into a room that contained vital information for the rest of the week and every cadet was to record this data. The test had only begun, as our next task was to stand in front of a SNCO and recall the information quickly and accurately with a common theme occurring that a great attention to detail was needed to pass out of the room successfully.
Settling into our accommodation blocks was short lived and again a clear indication of how high the intensity of the course was going to be. There were cadets from all over the country from both the ATC and CCF. After the arrival brief, map and compass revision and the fire brief it was straight to bed for the highly anticipated 1.5 mile run fitness test which was to take place at 0600 the next morning!
Sunday consisted of Leadership theory where we began to learn how to be an effective leader using the briefing sequence, SMEAC. We were taught the different priorities of a situation whether they be for the individual, team or task and terms such as democratic, autocratic, functional approach to leadership and the situational approach to leadership. Exercise Singleton, which was a 20km walk was an opportunity to get to know the other 10 members in B flight and build confidence and trust in each other which, would be vital for the rest of the week.
Course 101 consisted of 3 phases and in each phase every person had their chance to lead a command task. Phase 1 command tasks lasted 15 minutes, Phase 2; 25 and phase 3; 45 minutes. They included anything from search and rescue to obtaining an isotope from the middle of a mine field. Briefs were given in the SMEAC format by the Flight ICs in which the leader then had limited time (sometimes only minutes) to plan and then brief their own team.
After every task was complete a thorough review was made so that all cadets could learn from others leads. Many things were picked up on like voice projection, clear delegation of separate tasks, flexibility of the plan but most importantly Helli view. Helli view is what the leader needs to have, it is the view of everything and only achievable if they stand back and command from afar.
Phase 3 lasted two days and took place ‘in the field’. Camp was set up to impeccable standards, each tent correctly aligned at set distances. This phase for me was the most enjoyable but also the most gruelling, camping in bashers for one night and surviving on ration packs for the duration of the phase. Team motivation and determination was put to the test during exercise Top Dog that concluded phase 3. This consisted of an hour-long orienteering course (of which we ran for the entirety) and a strenuous log run.
Over the week there were many scrupulous room inspections alongside hours of drill to prepare us for the parade outside College Hall Officers Mess. It was an extremely proud occasion knowing that I had passed both the mid-week interviews and end of week interviews and what made it even better was being awarded best flight.
ACLC was by far the best, challenging and most rewarding week I have experienced within the Air Cadets. If you want to learn from the best and better yourself as a person but also as a leader then this course is for you!
Sgt Lily Chubb