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Another First for 861 Squadron

2014-09-17 10:31:25
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By Flt Lt Elliot - OC 861 (Wideopen) Squadron

The Cadet Leadership Course is renowned throughout the cadet forces for being an all-inclusive, action-packed and demanding course.  It is aimed at all suitably-qualified cadets over 16, excited at the prospect of a week of arduous physical and mental challenges.  It is designed to develop cadets' initiative and self-reliance by using the challenging and physically demanding problems of practical leadership.

Cadet Sergeant Josh McAree, aged 16 from Ponteland, is the first Air Cadet from 861 (Wideopen) Squadron to complete this demanding course which was held at the Cadet Training Centre, Longmoor in Hampshire .

Throughout the week Sgt McAree completed a range of challenges which included a log run and obstacle course challenge, section and platoon attacks, night operations consisting of ambushes, reconnaissance and harbour patrols, a 5km march and shoot and a round robin exercise over a 20km course.


The round robin entailed Sgt McAree and his section being faced with eight command tasks which varied from combat first aid to cooking in the field. All events throughout the week were completed in full combat gear complete and each cadet was required to carry an L98A2 Cadet General Purpose Rifle at all times.

On completing the course Sergeant Josh McAree was presented with the coveted Air Cadets Leadership course badge and passing out certificate. He said: “This was the most challenging course I have completed in the Air Cadets so far; I have learned new skills that have helped me grow as a leader and I have learnt that I am able to perform under pressure. I hope to build on this experience and go on to complete the Air Cadets Junior Leaders Course in the future.


861 (Wideopen) Squadron is one of 35 Squadrons across Durham/Northumberland Wing and is recruiting now! If you are aged 13-17 years and would like to join one of the premier Air Cadet Squadrons in the UK, take a look at the Squadrons website at and find out how to join us! We meet every Monday and Thursday, 7.00-9.30pm at our HQ in Wideopen – we look forward to welcoming you!

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