Annual Field Training (AFT22)

Annual Field Training (AFT22)

After conducting three visits to the Singleton Military Area to plan for the set up of our AFT this year, it was disappointing to have to consider an alternative due to the unsuitability of the exercise area after very wet weather and localised flooding.

Our Schools worked together to find a new location – the Cataract Activity Park in Appin – and cadets and staff alike redesigned activities, rebooked rations and re-imagined our new camp.

The Advance Party departed on Tuesday morning, keen to set up for AFT22. CP tents were constructed, exercise areas planned and the HQ Command Post established. As well, staff and cadets mapped out new Navigation areas and planned for the challenges of a re-designed Survival Exercise.

We awoke on Wednesday morning to the sound of rain on our hutches and tents. The rain didn’t stop once it started and soon our exercise area became difficult to walk around due to pools of water and very slippery mud patches. The weather forecast didn’t augur well for the arrival of 380 cadets the next day. The decision was made to cancel our AFT this year. While this was very disappointing, it was very clear that going ahead with the activity would have been dangerous.

Our recruit cadets have not yet experienced time in the field, just as many student cohorts have missed out on activities and events in the past two years. These things are disappointing, but these are real–life situations and life won’t always run to schedule. What we learn from these disappointments is how to refocus and redirect our energies. For our senior cadets the challenge is to remain connected with their platoon members and focus on our next Unit activity.’

Cadet staff will be working with senior cadets to review and adjust our training programme to ensure cadets across all platoons are challenged with learning new skills that will see them able to participate in the programme and achieve not only their personal goals, but the goals of the wider Unit.

The support of parents in recognising the work that goes into mobilising a 550 strong Unit of cadets and staff across two schools for an annual camp is appreciated. At the heart of this programme is the value that we place on developing and challenging the students in our care – our Cadet staff are looking forward to Term 2, and all the challenges it too may bring!

LT(AAC) Susan Draysey | Officer Commanding

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