On Thursday 7 October, St John’s School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) had the pleasure of welcoming Group Captain Al Lewis, the Regional Commandant for London and South East England Air Cadets for the Biennial Inspection.
Group Captain Lewis was welcomed to the School by senior officers within the Contingent and inspected a tri-service guard of honour consisting of Lower and Upper Sixth Cadets. Group Captain Lewis and his guests received a presentation about the St John’s CCF, and the achievements and challenges endured over the past two years.
Following a tour of the School led by WO2 (SS) Steve Vine and the Senior Cadet, James Smith, lunch was held with the CCF staff, members of the Senior Leadership Team and Senior Cadets from each section.
In the afternoon, after a change into working dress, the Inspecting Officer and his escort party were able to visit the various activities of the three sections who were focusing on introducing pupils in Lower Fifth to CCF. The Army section, in preparation for their overnight field exercise in October, focused on necessary skills involving the Cadet L98A2 GP Rifle, administration in the field and packing and preparation of their kit. The RAF Section looked to develop their Drill and Turnout, leadership and marksmanship skills whilst the Navy Section worked on theirs as well as honing their knowledge and understanding of the Field Gun in anticipation of national competitions resuming.
The final activity of the day was the hotly anticipated Field Gun Race! This year, the competition proved to be tough, and as the signal to start was given by AUO Parry, the three teams hurtled across the field with the Gun intact. The Navy suffered a repeat of 2019 and wheel issues hampered their progress and ruled them out of competing for the win early on. A nail-biting contest between the Army and RAF sections saw a photo finish, resulting in the Army Section just pipping the RAF section to the line.
In his closing address, Group Captain Lewis spoke highly of the activities he had seen across the day and praised the support of The Head and CCF staff for giving up their time to give cadets this experience. To round of the day, securing his place as the Head of the CCF, James Smith was promoted to Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) by Group Captain Lewis.
‘Overall, this year’s inspection went remarkably well! My thanks go to all the staff and cadets for making it happen.’ – Major James Hewitt, Contingent Commander.