820 NAS Adventurous training in Wales
After a busy period in which 820 Naval Air Squadron was committed on operations; the chance for Adventurous Training (AT) inWalesseemed a perfect opportunity, not to be missed and build some Unit ethos and identity.
With a year as two separate flights, regularly not meeting as a whole squadron, 820 NAS moved to Penally Camp near Tenby for a spot of AT that would test the mettle of some. Tasked with organising the week was Lieutenant Martin Gilmore. His remit was on the surface was quite simple. The aim to re-establish the Squadron as a whole, in a fun but challenging environment was wholly achieved. “The week had to be challenging, fun and wholly inclusive. In practice, trying to coordinate a program for over 140 personnel would become a considerable challenge.”
But producing an `adventurer’s agenda’ that would include Coastal Walking, Sea Canoeing, Kayaking, Climbing, Surfing and Coasteering, (An activity that combines the thrill of leaping into unknown depths of water and clambering over slippery rocks.) proved to be very popular with all squadron personnel.
Air Engineering Technician, (AET) Scott Mackenzie was impressed that all the activities were suitable for the different levels of experience. “I thought the week was going to be hard but it was good. It was well organised, the Staff at the centre were helpful and enthusiastic. Surfing was my highlight I really enjoyed it, even though I’d never done it before.”
Now back at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose the benefits from a week away are beginning to pay dividends. AET George Lee-Bucknell has seen the difference. “It was challenging and enjoyable. The Squadron has bonded as a single unit, encouraging teamwork and morale after being two flights for the last 12 months. I think everyone really got a lot out of it.”