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In July, a group of 37 students from the Trinity Combined Cadets Force (CCF) travelled to Cyprus to visit the military base alongside cadets from neighbouring schools Alleyn’s and Judd. The trip was an educational journey, an opportunity to bond with their fellow cadets, and to build leadership qualities. Despite high temperatures throughout the week, the students had many incredible experiences out in the field. Students LCpl Tobechi Uche (Fifth Year) and LCpl Mark Juresh (Lower Sixth) report back: 

Tobechi says, “On arrival, I almost shed a tear at the sight of the scenic hillsides. The journey from the airport to the camp took about 1h 30m with a well-deserved pit-stop at the McDonald’s. After a short briefing from Colour Sergeant Stevens about prickly heat and the array of wildlife that Cyprus offers (wild cats, snakes, lizards etc.) we got settled into our accommodation and quickly mixed with the Alleyn’s and Judd CCF students. 

“The days began early with many in my form waking at 4am and heading to breakfast by 5am. We were off to the field by 6:30 where we had the pleasure of being instructed and taught by a few soldiers from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. We learnt the details regarding planning for a section attack, the planning involved preparing and finally springing the attack. I felt like I was in a real battle with the swift and systematic communication.” 

Mark continues, “Starting with possibly the most anticipated event of this trip, we took a helicopter flight around the beautiful southern peninsula of Cyprus on a Puma HC2. The combination of sandy cliffs and mesmerising water, plus the fact we were on an exhilarating helicopter ride, made it an unforgettable experience. Just make sure that if you are going for a helicopter flight, hold on to your phone, otherwise it’ll go for a skydiving trip of its own! 

“We also visited the dog section, which seemed to be a favourite among the cadets. I personally loved seeing it in action and walked out fascinated and amused at the complexity of dog training along with the dogs’ erratic and loyal behaviour. We got to see the sniffer dogs in action, with astounding accuracy, and when one of our cadet group was given a small stash to hide, the dog immediately picked out the right culprit. 

“While all the section visits were quite a surprise due to their uniqueness, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squadron had to be the most unexpected. By the end of the visit, we were all wishing there was more time allocated as our groups were split up with half of us learning about EOD equipment, and the other half being able to ‘play’ around with a £1,050,479 robot!  

“We had the privilege of visiting the Cypriot fire department and getting a tour of their equipment, trucks and were given a task to complete, all while they stood by on 3-minute response time. It’s one of the most critical emergency departments in Cyprus, as the country is so dry, and experiences highs of 42°C. 

“We also spent time learning about Air Traffic Control, one of the most important services on an airfield. We were shown around the control cab, and how the ATC personnel operate and were also shown the room below, which was full of monitoring systems such as precision approach radar and surveillance radars. Another intriguing thing was that the ATC systems were split into new and old, since they had just recently upgraded. This allowed us to see the differences between decade old technology and brand-new state of the art systems.” 

Tobechi adds, “The more laid-back days included a visit to the beach and the mall. At the mall, many of us from all the schools bought water guns and planned our own huge water fight. We used our webbing and filled them up with water bottle magazines and cooled off with all the water. Another one of my favourite days was the barbeque day. Three Greek dancers joined us and taught us a few dances and how to balance plates and glasses on our heads. The entertainment was electric and everyone there had an awesome time. This was also tangible on the karaoke night: we enjoyed performances of Sweet Caroline and The Boy’s a Liar and many more.   

“Overall, I loved the experience and will never forget the memories I made with my friends and those from other schools. I gained so much both leisurely and expanded my CCF knowledge. The trip was an absolute success.” 


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