Instructors get hands-on with Mercury

April 27, 2017

Cadet Instructors from Scotland and Northern Ireland came together for a special weekend of intense training on the new unencrypted British Army radio system called ‘Mercury.’ 

The Intermediate and Advanced Instructors were put through their paces by Second Lieutenant Derek Lambert, the 51X Brigade Communications Information Systems Co-ordinator (BCISC) – Cadets. Now up to speed, these Army Cadet Force (ACF) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF) trainers can cascade their knowledge throughout the cadet network in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Radio communication is vital training for cadets who use it for training such as Fieldcraft, section attacks, Adventure Training using VHF and, with High Frequency (HF) Communications, they are able talk to other military units over considerable distances.

It is also a huge part of the cadets’ STEM training – something which the Cadet Force has embraced in order to encourage its young people in to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Staff Sergeant Thomas ‘Tam’ McDonagh, a radio operator with Army Reserve Unit 32 Signal Regiment (Sig Regt), was invited to attend the course and was amazed that radio contact was made as far away as Penzance.

“I was not only impressed with Mercury but also with the professionalism of the Cadet Instructors – I have made many excellent contacts now and I am sure 32 Sig Regt will be working with the Army Cadets a lot more in the future.”

“The British Army has the most powerful information and communication systems available,” explains Derek, an IT guru with RBS, “and, in order for military leaders, at all levels, to function effectively, the complex communication network of equipment and personnel must be of, and work to, the highest standards.”

He continued: “It is fantastic that the Army cadets will be able to train on the most advanced radio equipment available.

“Army, RAF and Naval cadets are the leaders of the future, whether in the military or in industry, and to have this resource at this stage in their development is a reflection of their ability and enthusiasm to learn and the commitment that the Armed Forces have to support these youth organisations.”