The Government has recently announced an initiative & funding for an expansion of the Army Cadet Force by introducing an additional 100 Army Cadet Force units which are to be established in State Schools. This occurs at a time where Wiltshire ACF have just received a Sarum Academy opened and inspected by Lt Col Mike Valencia RAglowing annual report from the Army regional forces chain of command on a new detachment that follows this principle.
Faced with the closure of it’s Netheravon detachment due to the station closure, Wiltshire ACF snapped up an opportunity to assist Commander 43 (Wessex) Brigade with a proposed OUTREACH initiative, alongside Wiltshire County Council in the Bemmerton Heath area of Salisbury. Whereas the original opportunity was for some limited youth engagement in the area, Wiltshire ACF offered the prospect of an ACF detachment embedded in the local school, which had just been awarded academy status, and sat at the centre of a large local authority owned estate.
The county ACF engaged with the newly appointed headteacher and the board of governors, drew up a Memorandum of Agreement with the Academy, and with Wessex RFCA support, established a fledgling detachment, with existing instructors, led by Captain Jonathan Ball. It then forged ahead. One year on and the Sarum Academy detachment is a great success.