Combined Cadet Force

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) programme is available to all Havant & South Downs College students, no matter what they are studying. Although students wear a military uniform during specific activities, you do not have to be aspiring to join a military service.

CCF has been recognised as a first class, extracurricular activity for the development of young people. CCF provides exciting opportunities to exercise responsibility and leadership in a disciplined environment. You will have the opportunity to improve your general fitness and wellbeing, as well as build strong friendships.

The tradition of cadet units goes back 150 years. Through structured, military themed and adventurous activities, cadets take responsibility and develop the qualities of self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance, perseverance and a clear understanding of service to their country and their community.

The strength of CCF lies in the educational partnership between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the participating college. A CCF contingent may comprise up to three Service sections from the Royal Navy (including Royal Marine cadets), Army and Royal Air Force.

Havant & South Downs Combined Cadet Force is currently focused on building a strong Army section, with scope to develop to include a Navy section in the near future. Each contingent is led by a team of enthusiastic volunteer officers, at HSDC the team is made up of staff both inside and outside the College including lectures, police officers and sport coaches.

CCF IS NOT a recruiting tool for the MoD, simply an opportunity for young people to engage in a structured and safe learning environment.

Cadet training takes place during weekly parades in College and this is supplemented with the following:

  • Whole-day field days
  • Weekend training
  • Adventure training sessions
  • Annual camps and courses run by the Armed Forces and volunteers

At Havant & South Downs we offer both uniformed and non-uniformed musters, meaning that those students who want to get involved and participate in activities are able to without the need for uniforms.

CCF has a weekly uniformed musters (groups) where the cadets take part in a range of activities to develop military skills including:

  • Command tasks
  • First aid
  • Communication skills
  • Living in the field activities (such as setting up camp and cooking in the field)

They also run through basic foot drill, leading and developing into more advanced foot drill for displays. We ask our more senior cadets to support and deliver the syllabus alongside the Cadet Officers. Working with cadets from different areas of academic studies will develop your ability to communicate, trust and grow as an individual. 

Cadets that are keen to develop further military skills can also be selected from the uniformed muster to join the shooting team.

Run using the cadet training manual, we offer basic six-hour first response training with role play assessments.

Cadets will spend time developing the skill of:

  • Why things are seen
  • Camouflage and concealment
  • Cooking in the field
  • Patrolling
  • Fire and manoeuver
  • Section attack
  • Shelter building and harbour areas

Having covered these skills in the grounds of Fort Purbrook we will use the skills learnt out in the field on weekends away and summer camp.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award programme is offered at our Havant Campus, but available to students studying at both campuses. The DofE programme takes between one and four years to complete, and they must be completed by the time you turn 25. With assistance from adult leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

  • Volunteering – undertaking service to individuals or the community
  • Physical – improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities
  • Skills – developing practical and social skills and personal interests
  • Expedition – planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad

Participants are required to show regular activity and commitment to the award for the duration of their DofE programme, which is usually at least one hour per week.

As part of Skill At Arms (SAA) training you will learn how to safely handle, strip, clean and operate a range of weapon systems in line with British Army standards. This will enable you to take an active role at indoor and outdoor ranges where you will be firing live ammunition. Skill At Arms training will also enable you to use and operate weapons when at summer camp as part of the programme of activities undertaken throughout the week. Weapons that Cadets have the opportunity to train on and use  include: Scorpion 77 Air Rifle, L98A2 Cadet GP, Shotgun, LSW, Number 9 Target rifle, and Bow and Arrow.

In addition to the development of military skills CCF also offers a range of adventure training activities to those who don’t want to be involved in the uniformed musters. These include:

  • Mountain biking
  • Climbing

  • Kayaking and canoeing

CCF supports a number of community projects including fund raising to place a Defibrillator in Leigh Park and walking across Dartmoor for the Army Benevolent Fund. CCF has also worked on a number of environmental projects with Billy’s Lake in Weacock.

The community work of the HSDC Combined Cadet Force received a Youth United Social Action Award in 2017. This accolade which saw three officers and 12 cadets visit Buckingham Palace to meet with HRH Prince Charles.

Each year the CCF cadet training teams hold summer camps made up of a range of different activities including a four day rotation of:

Fieldcraft 1 – Survival and tracking, introduction to stalking, patrol and raid

Fieldcraft 2 – Laser quest, first aid, room clearance and ambush

Adventure training – Mountain biking, kayaking and orienteering

In-camp activities – shotgun, 25m range, weapon stands (foreign weapons, paintballing, AFC recognition, obstacle course/escape rooms, CIS 25m night vision stand

Day 6 includes a competition day which includes drill, command tasks and military knowledge. The cost of the summer camp is always charged at a nominal fee including all the activities, food and accommodation as well as transport.

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