Exercise Cockney Fire: QE’s sharpshooting cadets make their mark

Twenty-six members of QE’s Combined Cadet Force headed off to Kent for a week-long camp, giving them the chance to put into practice the skills they have learned over the past year.

The camp, or Exercise Cockney Fire, at St Martin’s Plain, Folkestone, featured a demanding shooting test – which all the QE boys passed ­­– a gruelling 24-hour field exercise and the opportunity to relax at a barbecue.

Afterwards, Major R P Manning, commanding officer of the London District Cadet Training Team, spoke highly of all QE’s cadets, pointing out that that their achievements went above and beyond the expectation set for them.

""Captain Alexander Masson, the commander of QE’s contingent, said: “It was a really successful trip and a few cadets were recognised for their excellent efforts. Major Manning was particularly impressed with two Year 9 boys:  James Ford, who hit all 40 targets on the range (something which, he said, even regular soldiers struggle to do), and Sankeith Kirubakaran, for making the most progress on the ranges.” They were both awarded a prize from the army.

Captain Masson added: “In addition, we gave prizes to the best cadets, Uday Kataria (Year 10) and Shakshum Bhagat (Year 9), while the prize for the most improved cadet went to Yash Yadav, of Year 10.

""“Hugo Flint and Akshay Narayan did brilliantly in leading the cadets throughout the week. In fact, all three Year 12s at the camp did an outstanding job. Jay Khetia was the Platoon Sergeant for the majority of the week, with Hugo taking on the position of Platoon Sergeant when moving into the field and Akshay was the Platoon Commander.”

The boys spent four days at the army’s small arms ranges close to the town of Hythe, which have been used for live firing for nearly 200 years. All QE boys passed the tough CCF shooting proficiency test at either first-class, marksman or pass level. Those attending the camp were required to have previously passed their weapon-handling safety test.

Evening activities at the ranges included paintball target exercises and sport, with an awards and social evening on the last of the four days.

""The final full day of the camp was spent on the 24-hour exercise, which was organised, planned and run by QE. It included a navigation exercise, field craft and a ‘night stalk’. Boys spent a whole night out in the countryside, giving them valuable experience of ‘living in the field’.

The boys were overseen by Captain Masson, Biology teacher Captain Mev Armon, 2nd Lieutenant Richard Scally, who is a PE teacher, School Staff Instructor Charlie-Maud Munro, Languages teacher Rosie Hall and Technology teacher Michael Noonan.