For a week in January, Cadets and Officers from all over New Zealand met at the Tamaki Leadership Centre on Auckland’s Whangaparaoa Peninsula to undertake the Cadet Coxswain Course and Marine Safety Officers Course.
The purpose of the Cadet Coxswain Course is for cadets that already have sailing and leadership skills to assess their abilities to see if they are competent enough to be given the responsibility to assume the role of a cadet coxswain, which would enable them to be able to take Crowns or Fevas out sailing and be responsible for the crew. They are assessed on anchoring, capsizing, man overboard drills, coming up to a buoy and coming alongside a boat as well as being assessed on their leadership and sailing ability.
The Officers that were on the Marine Safety officers course learnt skills related to conducting and running marine activities such as trip planning, sailing, powerboat handling, power boat care and risk management.
The end of the course saw certificates presented to the top cadet from each of the three divisions, as well as TS Achilles Gould Cup for the most improved cadet which was awarded to LCDT F. Mcleod-Jones, and the Elizabeth Smith Trophy which is awarded to the most outstanding cadet was presented to OCDT R. Mullins
Held each January, the Officer Bushcraft Course and Cadet Bushcraft Activity shifted this year to the Tekapo Military Training Area- with the new venue proving to be a hit with both the cadets and officers!
The area offers a variety of terrain for the practical training and assessment phases on the course, with Land Drover Hill at the back of the camp allowing all students to practise their navigation, identify features, take bearings and do resections. During the course students received training on how to use a mountain radio, conduct map to ground work, navigation, practise outdoor first aid skills, learn cooking skills and cross rivers before setting off on a group tramp.
While the cadets have their own training program, they are also used to assess the Officer students as part of their assessments. The cadets love this aspect as they get to role play to test the officers, as well as learn new skills, make new friends and explore new places with some incredible views, as well as participate in overnight camps and tramps below the bush line.
On the 12th of December, last year, the Commandant released Directive 01/2016, New NZCF Code of Conduct Introduction into Service.
The new Code of Conduct came into force on the 23rd of December 2016 and applies to all NZCF personnel (Officers, Under Officers, Officer Cadets, Supplementary Staff and Cadets) at all times whilst a member of the NZCF.
The new Code of Conduct has arisen from the ‘Enabling Processes and Systems’ Line of Effort (LoE) within Operation (Op) TAUIRA.
As part of the roll out of the new Code of Conduct, every Cadet Force Officer had to complete an online learning package and score 100% in an exam.
Face to face sessions are to be run by Unit Commanders to all their Under Officers, Officer Cadets, Supplementary Staff and Cadets before the 25th of April 2017.
The S8 – NZCF Inspector General will be following up at the end of April to ensure that everyone in the organisation has received a lesson on the new Code of Conduct.
Each January, the first of the two annual Under Officer Courses is held at the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC). This January, 37 Cadets from as far North as Auckland and as far South as Invercargill converged at the RNZPC for seven days of training and assessments in Leadership, Drill, Instructional Technique, Unit Administration, Unit Training, Unit Stores and Life Skills. For the first time on any course the Cadets were also taught about the new Code of Conduct.
With the course being held at the RNZPC, the students got to spend time doing a tour of the Police College and learning about different aspects of policing in New Zealand.
All the candidates on the course passed which reflects well on the calibre of the students and their team work together, ably assisted by the experienced staff. Our hope is that they will continue to challenge themselves and one day become commissioned NZCF Officers.
Another first for this course was that a portion of the Passing Out Parade was live streamed to the Facebook page and viewers were able to witness live UO Ashley Kelland being presented with the WO1 Chris Tews Taiaha for Top Student.
Fifty-two cadets from around the country spent 10 days of the school holidays in January learning the various arts of aviation at the National Aviation Course held at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. The course comprised 18 cadets in the air navigation flight and 34 cadets in the powered flying flight. The course aims to provide an air experience to cadets keen on aviation – with prior experience ranging from some who had already completed several hours of flying and others for whom the course was their first experience of flying in a light aircraft. The cadets had the experience of 14 Cadet Force and civilian instructors they could draw upon, including one instructor who had been a former RAF pilot and Air New Zealand 747 captain, who helped the powered flying flight with their ground instruction.
Those in the powered flying flight got to work through the flight training syllabus. The course aims to cater for a range of prior flying experience from training for ab initio pilots on upward, providing a solid base for those wanting to get in to learning to fly. Living and breathing aviation in a concentrated learning environment at the Air Base certainly helps cadets to progress faster than they might otherwise do in chipping away at studies after school and at weekends – particularly with highly qualified instructors “on tap” to help. In all, the powered flying cadets this year flew over 340 flights, totalling 209 hours in the air. Unfortunately strong winds on some days this year saw the hours flown somewhat reduced compared to previous years. In spite of this, 12 cadets managed to realise their personal goals and got to fly solo for the first time (with the traditional soaking from their colleagues to help them cool off afterward). The Commandant was able to witness 3 cadets go solo upon his visit to the Course and was on hand to help their cadet-colleagues give the trio their watery “refreshment” after their solo efforts. But for the wind factor, this would likely have been the case for a few others too, who were working toward the same personal goal. The course has no doubt set cadets up well to achieve this back at their local aero clubs and flying training organisations for those who decide to press on learning to fly.