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Royal Navy Cadet force opens at Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School

Royal Navy Cadet force opens at Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School
29 March 2017
A Combined Cadet Force Royal Navy Section was officially opened at Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School, by Captain Ellie Ablett MBE RN, Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh.

Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School established a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Army Section in September 2012 as part of the Government’s Cadet Expansion Programme.

Now the Senior Service have been brought onboard by adding a Royal Navy Cadet Section to the fabric of the school. This shift will forge links with the wider RN, which is committed to the enduring success of the Royal Navy Section and will provide support and assistance to enrich the development of their cadets.

The event was hosted by Mrs Linda Wybar, Head Teacher of Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School. She stated, “It’s exciting to have a Royal Navy section as part of the school’s cadets.”

“We are one of the first schools to take part in the programme and the girls have embraced the opportunities with enthusiasm. We value the chance for the girls to grow and to take on leadership in many different ways,” Mrs Wybar continued.

The school’s Combined Cadet Force already has 21 Royal Navy cadets in the new section, 148 Army cadets with 14 Adult Volunteers.

It was a delight to have such a significant figure as Captain Ellie Ablett along to open our Navy section. We are now the only nationally all female Royal Navy section of the CCF and it’s a great landmark for the school

Lieutenant Jeremy Scott, Officer Commanding CCF Royal Navy Section

The RN section officer at the school volunteered to undertake the necessary training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

The principal aim of the CCFs is to develop leadership skills among young people with a military content and to give them a wider understanding of the Naval Service.

Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School has already run some CCF RN taster days for the students and leadership training for the cadets.

The opening ceremony was also supported by the Corps of Drums from Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Portsmouth and formed the centre piece for the official parade.

“It went very well today and I’m really pleased with the girls performance as well as their smart turnout,” said Lieutenant Jeremy Scott, Officer Commanding CCF Royal Navy Section.

“It was a delight to have such a significant figure as Captain Ellie Ablett along to open our Navy section. We are now the only nationally all female Royal Navy section of the CCF and it’s a great landmark for the school.”

Captain Ablett thanked the school and cadets for inviting her along to open the CCF RN section. “Its a tremendous honour, privilege and fun to meet you all as well as get a taste of the activities you will be getting up to in the future. I wish you every joy and encourage you to seize every opportunity of your time in the CCF and with the Royal Navy. Thank you.”

Cadet Charlotte Morgan of year nine at the school, was also very pleased to meet Capt Ablett. “The parade was very exciting, I was quite nervous before it began but when we started, it was more fun. Captain Ablett was really friendly and it was nice that she took time out to come and open our Navy section. It was very inspirational to meet her and we feel very special as the very first all girl CCF Unit in the country.”

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