Cadets join Army Adventure Training in Shetland

September 1, 2023
Cadets abseiling and rock climbing.

A week-long British Army Adventure Training (AT) exercise took place in Shetland in August.

Exercise Northern Tammie-Norrie was planned and run by 105 Regiment Royal Artillery (The Scottish and Ulster Gunners) and included rock climbing, kayaking and overnight expeditions. The group consisted of 12 Army Reservists, seven officer cadets from Exeter University Officer Training Corps and two Regular Army instructors loaned from other units. 

The group completed a Rock Climbing Foundation Course, a Kayak Foundation Course and an Intermediate Sea Kayaking Foundation Course. The climbing group visited Bannaminn, Muckle Hell on Bressay, Lunning and South Gill near Eshaness whilst the kayak groups paddled at Brei Wick, Bressay Sound, Vidlin Voe, with overnight expeditions at Lunna Ness and Muckle Roe.

Cadets and adult volunteers with some of the 105 Regiment Royal Artillery cONTINGENT.
Rear (from left): Sgt Tiernan Mayhew, Sgt Michelle Robertson, WO2 Wyn Evans, Bdr Annabelle Maughan, Gnr Rhiannon Griffiths, Gnr Arron Findley, Gnr Jamie Faye, Cdt Hope Williamson, Sgt Liam Buchanan, Capt Cheryl Haynes. Front (from left): Lt Col Huw Gilbert, Bdr Vaila Thompson, Cdt Leighton Mullay, Cdt Stephen Laurenson, LBdr Kira Irvine, Cdt Zach Arthur.

Exercise leader was Commanding Officer of 105 Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Huw Gilbert.

He said: “There were three aims to the exercise. First was to run an Adventurous Training activity that would challenge our soldiers and contribute to their personal development. Second was to bring a Regimental training event to Shetland as it is so often the case that our soldiers based here have to travel the other way for training. Thirdly; it was to create an opportunity where we could share a training activity with the Army Cadets based on Shetland. In all three areas I think we succeeded. It was a wonderful week.”

The Army contingent was twice joined by enthusiastic Shetland Army Cadets who took part in rock climbing, kayaking and fun teamwork tasks at Fort Charlotte. Orkney and Shetland Battery forms part of 1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force (ACF).

Cadets being instructed on kayaking drills.
WO2 Wyn Evans instructing cadets Hope Williamson, Stephen Laurenson, Zach Arthur, Kira Irvine and Vaila Thompson on kayaking drills.

This was an excellent opportunity for the cadets as Adventure Training forms part of their syllabus and it is unusual for them to get this kind of experience in such small groups. Cadet Bombardier Vaila Thompson (15) said: “The ACF gives individuals the opportunity to experience a variety of activities, often taking them outside their comfort zone. For me the rock climbing was especially challenging but, through encouragement from the instructors, I was able to take part and complete climbs.”

Lerwick Detachment Commander, Sergeant Major Instructor Kevin Bryant, added: “We have always had close links with the Army Reserve here in Shetland as we share an artillery background. 105 Regiment includes our cadets in activities and we are very grateful for the continued support and opportunities given by the Regiment.”

Cadets abseiling and rock climbing.
Lt Col Huw Gilbert & WO2 Martin Corfield supervising cadets rock climbing at Banna Minn. LBdr Kira Irvine belaying for Bdr Vaila Thompson.

105 Regiment is an Army Reserve Close Support Gun Regiment equipped with the L118 Light Gun. 105 Regiment also provides the Royal Artillery’s ceremonial commitment to Scotland and Northern Ireland which includes the firing of Royal Gun Salutes at Edinburgh, Stirling and Hillsborough castles as well as providing Edinburgh Castle’s One O’Clock Gun. 105 Regiment’s Shetland-based unit is G (Lerwick) Troop at Fort Charlotte, a part of 212 (Highland) Battery.

Many thanks to Kev Bryant for supplying the images.

Find out more about 1st Battalion The Highlanders ACF.

Cadets tackling a teamwork task.
Sergeant Tiernan Mayhew and Cadet Leighton Mullay tackling a teamwork task.