CCF Review & a Flying Visit from the Navy

Our Combined Cadet Force (CCF) held its Biennial Inspection on Tuesday 28 March.  For many the highlight of the day was a “surprise” visit to the School by a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter.

Thanks to Old Bancroftian Nick Teece, who is stationed at RNAS Yeovilton, Lt Andy White was able to land the 22m long chopper on the School field watched by thrilled pupils and staff.  Everyone was relieved when it missed landing on the cricket square!  Prep School pupil James Hitching described the noise as phenomenal saying “We heard it before we saw it!”  The helicopter caused much excitement in the School as pupils, not just those in the CCF, were keen to climb on board, have a good look round and find out more about how it is employed by the Navy.  The parent of one year seven pupil commented “My son did say it was the best thing to happen at school today!”

The two hundred members of the CCF spent the day in Epping Forest practising various skills – for example, first aid, observation, casualty evacuation – they have learned over the past year. On returning to School they had the formal part of the Review when they were inspected by Group Captain David Tait the Station Commander of RAF Honington, who has seen active service in Belize, Northern Ireland, twice in Bosnia and Afghanistan.  The Guard of Honour, under the command of year 13 student CSM Josh Sekhon, had been practicing their moves for several months.  Their hard work was worth it as Group Captain Tait described the parade as first class with a “tip top” Guard of Honour.

I have been impressed by the quality of the young men and women I have seen today.  Their commitment to the Cadets shows a willingness to succeed and a level of motivation which will stand them in good stead.

Group Captain David Tait 

The Biennial Review is a formal requirement from the MOD to ensure that the training the School’s CCF undertakes is good and the kit and equipment are in order.  The day acts as a showcase for the cadets, from both Army and Air Force contingents, and demonstrates the range of activities which the members of the CCF regularly enjoy and the skills the cadets develop.  Group Captain Tait commented on the excellent organisation of the day.

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