February 16th, 2018
The Royal County of Berkshire Army Cadet Force Norway Exchange2018
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
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
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:
- Experiencing another country and its culture
- Building team spirit and loyalty
- Developing leadership skills
- Fostering confidence, self-reliance and initiative
- Developing personal and team administration skills
- Improving communication skills
- Offering challenging and exciting adventures
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.
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.