Stowe CCF Biennial Inspection RN Section Diving

Stowe Combined Cadet Force Biennial Review and Inspection

Stowe CCF were delighted to welcome Colonel Edward Spinelli, Commander of 422nd Air Base Group, headquartered at RAF Croughton, to Stowe as our Inspecting Officer for the Biennial Inspection.

Stowe Combined Cadet Force Biennial Review and Inspection

22 February 2023

  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Navy
  • Army
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It was unique and exciting to host an USAF Reviewing Officer, who has a busy role leading 800 personnel in providing combat support for United States Air Force, Air Combat Command, Air Force Global Strike Command, seven Combatant Commands and the NATO.

We were also honoured with a visit from Countess Howe, His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, hosted by our own Cadet F/Sgt Max James, one of her LL cadets.

Stowe CCF Biennial Inspection Closing Address MAIN Landscape photo 1 of 2

After meeting our brilliant team of Stowe CCF adult volunteers, Colonel Spinelli, Countess Howe and guests visited the various RAF, RN and Army stands.

The RAF Section were introduced to the fascinating history of rocketry and useful design tips, before assembling, launching and firing their own rockets over the North Front pitches. We saw the RAF Section’s brand-new Flight Simulator in action, part-funded by a grant from the Combined Cadet Association, with funds matched by CCF subs, and very popular with our RAF cadets. The Lord Lieutenant was happy to pilot it, in front of a large, impressed audience. The remaining RAF stand was a TRI DIVE introduction to sub aqua diving in the School pool.

Stowe CCF Biennial Inspection RAF Section Flight Simulator 2 of 2 MAIN LANDSCAPE

The RN Section engaged in a communications exercise using Morse Code, and tackled a challenging chart navigation task. Cadets carried out both exercises, showcasing their skills with speed, and accuracy, with our Reviewing Officer most impressed that RN Cadets today still learn this form of communication. They then moved to the Field Gun activity where they assembled and raced a replica field gun over frosty ground, with speed and agility.

The Army Section Senior Cadets took part in a blank firing activity, tasked with rescuing a downed pilot, applying battlefield first aid and extracting under contact. Later, the group took part in competitive stands involving a brain tingling planning exercise, and Navigation and First Aid Triage stands.

Junior Army Section cadets took part in a round robin of stands including Cadet GP 5.56mm rifle lessons; an introduction to the 23m indoor firing range and range procedures, building up a good fire position, from which they fired their first 5 round ‘group and zero’ shoot. Concurrently Cadets were put through their design paces, building the tallest tower out of MTA pass kit, that could hold a full cup of water.

Stowe CCF Biennial Inspection RN Section Field Gun

Using out Laser Rifles (16 AR15’s and 2 AK47’s), fast and furious Laser Tag matches took place, with plenty of opportunity for Cadets to advance, return fire and take cover, in the face of a laser head-banded enemy. Concurrently, Cadets learnt their Dr ABC, using Resusci-Annies.

The day concluded with a Closing Address and presentations from Colonel Spinelli who was energized and inspired by our 200 Stowe Cadets; he remarked on their positive attitude, confidence, energy and achievements. The Lord Lieutenant presented her Lord Lt Cadet a signed, limited edition David Matthieson print ‘Dundee’ over Al Asad. She later remarked... ‘how wonderful it was to be part of such a hive of activity, seeing all the Sections going through their paces and clearly really enjoying themselves. They were so confident and forthcoming.’

The Head closed the day, remarking how important the special relationship between the US and the UK is, now more than ever.

The Inspection and Review was an enjoyable day for all and a great success.

Thank you to Lt Colonel Jan de Gale, Contingent Commander for submitting this story.