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Adventurous Training & Sport

Soldiers serving with 299 Parachute Squadron have the opportunity to take part in adventurous training organized and run within the Squadron and also to participate in the vast range of events and expeditions available through other Army organizations. It is also possible to earn civilian-recognised instructional qualifications in many areas.

Exercise SPARTON HIKE - Nordic Skiing Championships

In December 2014 Sergeant O’Kane represented the Squadron and Regiment in the Royal Engineer Corps Nordic Skiing Championships which was held in the French Alps.

The Royal Engineers Corps Championships have been held at Idre Fjall, Sweden for several years, the aim of which is to conduct a professional Nordic ski training camp, producing fit, robust and skilful skiers to compete at the Royal Engineers Corps, Divisional and potentially Army Championships.

Day one saw over seventy enthusiastic Nordic skiers commence training at altitude which involved practicing in both classic and skate which are both variants to Nordic skiing.

The team continued to train resolutely with some hard hill training being added into the regime, to keep the majority of the young fit airborne team members from forgetting their roots completely. The novice team purposefully continued to train hard and participated in the Royal Engineer Corps Championships, in the biathlon and classic competition and finished in joint 7th place.

The next phase of training continued after New Year 2015 in the renowned sunny family resort of Les Saisies, France. A week of excellent training ensued with over 120 Km of Nordic Skis tracks to choose from. Blessed with excellent unseasonal spring like conditions the team training progressed well and gradually intensified the training mileage.

The competition started in earnest with the 3 Divisional Championships, held in Serre Chavalier. The Championships began with a total of five races involving Classic, Biathlon and the Military Patrol race. Suffice to say the 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment Novice team finished a commendable 21st place overall out of a field of 35 male teams and more teams participating Hors Concure.

In part Nordic skiing is an immensely challenging grueling nauseating sport and yet the enigma is that it is also compellingly therapeutic and fulfilling

Exercise MARKET STAR – California

Exercise MARKET STAR is a Royal Engineer Corps adventure training expedition that is ran twice a year by the very capable Royal Engineers Sports Parachute Association (RESPA)

This was the largest Expedition that RESPA had run for many years with 28 students, 8 Accelerated Free Fall instructors and 10 experienced parachutists coming from all across the Royal Engineers with 299 Parachute Squadron providing the largest contingent from one unit.

The idea of the expedition is to put the participants out of their comfort zone and for the seven members of 299 Parachute Squadron that attended it certainly did that.

The Accelerated Free fall course involves 8 levels of increasingly difficult jumps followed by 10 consolidation jumps.

The guys gradually made their way through the course with only a couple of people faltering on the more advanced levels but with a bit of training in the wind tunnel everyone made it through the 8 levels and 10 console jumps to gain their ‘A’ License.

Having an ‘A’ license means that they can now jump at any drop zone anywhere in the world unsupervised.

Overall the Expedition was a great success with everyone learning a new skill. we even found some time for a bit of rest and recuperation which included sampling the delights of San Diego.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               299 Cross Country Team Success

On the 28th January 2015 the Squadron cross country team took part in the Royal Engineers Corps Championships being held at Gibraltar Barracks near Camberley. The team, consisting of Sergeant Aidan Barchard, Corporal Michael Hooker & Sapper’s Daniel Lansley, Leigh Cross, Jim Townsend, Luke Doe and Callum Adderley.

The recent weather conditions had made the area wet, boggy and hard going underfoot and with the first 500 metres being across playing fields it was sure to sap the lad’s energy straight away. The team attacked the course with typical airborne aggression, Aidan Barchard & Sapper Callum Adderley where placed in the top 20 out of 115 competitors.
Corporal Michael Hooker came in 4th in the senior Males category with Sapper Calum Adderley placed 3rd in the Junior Male race. The icing on the cake was that the Team won the Minor Units Trophy and were presented the award by Colonel Howard, Deputy Commander 8 Engineer Brigade. Corporal Michael Hooker and Sapper Callum Adderley will now represent the Royal Engineers in the Army Championships, outstanding!

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