Somerset Army Cadets and their counterparts from the Air Training Corps welcomed Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, to Yoxter Cadet Training Camp on the Mendips to show off their skills and high-tech training methods.
After being welcomed with a salute from the Somerset ACF ‘Silver Bugles’, the Countess, accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Elizabeth Gass, first saw Army Cadets performing command tasks which tested their teamworking, fitness and leadership skills.
There was also a display of on-screen marksmanship, using electronic and optical sensors which allow Cadets to use rifles without ammunition, followed by a classroom demonstration of first aid training.
Cadets from the Somerset & Devon Wing of the Air Training Corps also demonstrated high-tech kit in the form of an £1,800 QuadCopter.
Fitted with a miniature camera, and controlled from the ground by an operator with a simple ‘stick console’, it offers Cadets and their adult instructors a bird’s eye view of exercises and activities – and can even be used to drop and receive messages from those operating in the field.
At training syllabus level, it also provides practical instruction in engine torque, stick control and other flight characteristics. Back in the classroom, other Cadets were engaged in flight simulator exercises.
The visit was organised by the Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, which is responsible for managing Yoxter Camp, replacing and refurbishing the facilities for each new generation of Cadets.