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Cadets meet the Navy’s big guns

21 February 2017
Cadets from St John’s School, Leatherhead visited HMS Collingwood recently as part of their Combined Cadet Force programme which aims to teach teamwork, leadership and self-reliance.

The party of 46 cadets split into four groups to tour round the Weapons Training Section, part of the Maritime Warfare School, to learn about the maintaining and firing of the Navy’s weapons systems.

They also took the opportunity to experience the Close Range Training simulator which tested their aim and accuracy using the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).

I have been a Cadet now for about one and a half years and I am thoroughly enjoying my visit today.

Cadet Zach Drennan, CCF St John’s School, Leatherhead

They then moved onto the 4.5 Mark 8 Gun where Petty Officer (PO) Alan Bates entertained them with a full explanation of the gun’s mechanics and how a shell is fired, before three of the Cadets, Josh Hay, Lily Wolff and James Dale each volunteered to lift one of the 37 kilogramme missiles to demonstrate how challenging this would be on an actual warship at sea.

PO Bates then introduced the groups to the Automated Small Calibre Gun (ASCG), demonstrating its manoeuvrability and accuracy using its state-of-the-art computer-controlled aiming system.

Cadet Zach Drennan said of the visit, “I have been a Cadet now for about one and a half years and I am thoroughly enjoying my visit today.”

Cadet Talya Chambers has also been in the School’s Cadet Force for eighteen months and added, “It’s really good and very interesting. I really like it here.”

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