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February 16th, 2018

The Royal County of Berkshire Army Cadet Force Norway Exchange2018

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INTRODUCTION

The  Royal  County  of  Berkshire  Army  Cadet  Force  conducted  its  bi -annual  exchange  with  HV02  District  Oslo  and  Akershus  at  Hiestadmoen  Training  Camp  (Telemark,  Norway)  over  16th to  25th Feb  2018 with  11 Cadet  Force Adult  Volunteers  (CFAV)  and  39 Cadets taking  part.


SCHEME OF MANOEUVRE

The  County  has  successfully  maintained  the  exchange  for  26 years  with  the  Norwegian  Home  Guard  Youth.  It follows the format of a winter skills training course:

  • Winter conditions
  • Clothing and  equipment
  • Cross country  skiing
  • Downhill skiing  day
  • Military history  –Kongsberg  Museum  and  Silver  mine
  • Cultural experience  with  Norwegian  cadets


PLATOONS

1 Platoon -   21 British cadets    18 Norwegian cadets

2 Platoon - 18 British Cadets   20 Norwegian Cadets

Staff  split  between  HQ,  2IC,  and  4  instructors  with  each  Platoon


AIMS  

The  primary  aim  of  running  the  exchange  is  to  offer  the  opportunity  to:

  • Experience the  harsh  climatic  conditions  that  Norway  has
  • Place each Cadet  into challenging  military  and  adventurous activities
  • Inspire young  people  to  try  new  activities

     

    This was achieved by:

    1. Experiencing another  country  and  its  culture
    2. Building team spirit  and  loyalty
    3. Developing leadership  skills
    4. Fostering confidence,  self-reliance and  initiative
    5. Developing personal  and  team  administration  skills
    6. Improving communication  skills
    7. Offering challenging  and  exciting  adventures

     

    OPERATIONS

    The exercise  is  conducted  under  guidance  of  Major  Kjell  Velde  HV02  District  Home  guard  youth  and  11 members  of  Norwegian  Home  Guard/Home  Guard  youth  staff.  They  are  all  ex  Regular  forces  and  experienced  in  leading  Cadets  in winter  conditions.

    In  addition 50% of  the  Berkshire  ACF  CFAV  have  a  number  of  years’  experience of  the  winter  exchange  visit  and  have  become  skilled  in  their  own  right  at  leading  Cadets  in  the  Norwegian  harsh  climatic  conditions.

    Kit  issue  was  superb  and  all  50 of  the  party  were  fully  kitted  out  in  2  hours,  with  a  few  items  needing to  be  changed.  It is  a  comprehensive  kit  issue and is followed  up  with information  on  how  to  wear/use  the  kit; cold  weather  injuries  recognition  and  treatment;  food  & hydration  and  the  "Snow  buddy"  system.


    SPECIFIC SKILLS

    Cross  country  skiing – Two  days  were  spent  practicing  this  before  deploying  into  the  field  and  the  Norwegian  Platoon  Commanders  were  very  pleased  on  the  whole  with  the  way  that  it  went.

    Camp craft  - This  is  a  large  part  of  the  training  as  survival  in  the  harsh  environmental/weather  conditions  is  dependent on  heat  and  shelter.  Lessons  were  given  on  the  standard  issue  tent,  stoves  and  fire  lighting.  These skills are then used and practiced under close supervision.

    Downhill  skiing  - This  day is  a  highlight  for  the  cadets  especially  those  that  have  not  skied  before (which  was  most  of the  party) Kongsberg  is  a  small  local  ski  resort  with  short  easy  runs,  laid  out  in  a  way  that  leads  back  to  the  centre  so  limited  opportunity  to  get  lost.  There  are  two  nursery  slopes  and  we  were  instructed  on  the  busier  one  by  two  hired  Norwegian  ski  instructors.

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