Cross-Atlantic training weekend conducted by east Antrim Army cadets

Army cadets from across east Antrim recently took part in a virtual training exercise with their Canadian counterparts.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 2:44 pm

The event on February 27 and 28 featured cadets from 2912 Sudbury Irish RCACC, 2915 Capreol Irish RCACC, 2685 Whitehorse RCACC and 1 st (NI) BN ACF.

Cadets from Whitehouse detachment (Abbots Cross), Monkstown, Glengormley and Carrick Open detachment participated.

Officer Cadet Oliviera governed the timings while Cadet RSM Wooton (2912 Sudbury Irish) compered the exercise.

The event was held on February 27 and 28.

Both training days began with the Canadians conducting Land Acknowledgements for Northern Ontario and the Yukon, solemnly observing the custom of commemorating the indigenous peoples’ principal kinship to the land, followed by the Canadian national anthem.

During the training on day one, cadets in Northern Ireland were fascinated by the presentations from the Canadians including building winter shelters and how to maintain equipment in the most extreme of cold climates.

Day two involved more presentations starting with a survival kit challenge by Capt Gary Miniss, the 1 st (NI) Battalion officer responsible for reaching out and making the initial connection with 2912 Sudbury Irish RCACC.

The survival kit challenge was followed by a look at winter foraging in the Yukon, an insight into the British Army Ordinary Ration Packs (ORPs) issued to cadets out on field exercises in the UK and also how to dress appropriately for extreme cold climates.

The Honorary Colonel for 1 st (NI) BN ACF, Mr David McCorkell, Lord Lieutenant for Co Antrim said: “It was an honour to attend the Winter VTX and see the opportunities for the cadets from Northern Ireland and Canada to virtual train together.”

The Commandant of 1 st (NI) Battalion ACF, Col Adrian Donaldson added: “An amazing event, which saw lots of Canadian and Northern Irish cadets reach across the Atlantic and establish new friendships, whilst demonstrating the various skills they have developed as cadets.

“I was impressed by the enthusiasm shown by all and the very high standard of the individual presentations. It was good to see the Irish traditions being maintained by the Canadian Irish Cadet units, their caubeens and hackles, Irish motto and display of Irish dancing.”

Last month’s event comes after a successful joint Act of Remembrance for the D Day Landings in June 2020 and a Christmas social in December 2020.

Click here to read Army Cadet Force take part in cross-Atlantic festive social

A spokesperson for the 1st (NI) Battalion ACF said: “The instructors and cadets from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are to be commended for the huge amount of time and effort involved in creating such an interesting and engaging programme of events. We are all excitedly awaiting the next VTX planned for Spring.”

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