Norfolk Air Cadets Compete for Griffin Challenge Trophy

Saturday 7th May saw Air Cadets from all over Norfolk travel to RAF Marham to take part in a military skills competition and the chance to lift the new Griffin Challenge Trophy.

Created and hosted by 2620 (County of Norfolk) Squadron, the competition saw mixed teams from Air Training Corps units from Norwich, Wymondham, Fakenham, Caister, Downham Market, Diss, Dereham, King’s Lynn, Thetford, Broadlands, Watton and, of course, Marham, compete against each other in nine separate challenges designed to stretch new and seasoned cadets alike.

The cadet teams spent the day travelling all round the base to take part in events that tested individual skills that included a shooting competition in the Station’s own rifle range simulator, a first aid exercise, an RAF quiz and an aircraft recognition stand. The remaining challenges required each team to work together and tested the leadership ability of their young commanders with physical and mental challenges that required the cadets to build and fire an 8ft high catapult, crack the code in a map reading exercise and complete a timed speed march.

As if that wasn’t enough, all of the cadets still had to face one final gruelling challenge before the trophy could be lifted and 2620 Squadron’s Obstacle Course made for a fitting final event. With each exhausted team tackling the scramble nets, balance beams, monkey bars and tunnels on the course, for some, it was the chance to shine as they worked hard to motivate their squad, while for others, it was just as big an achievement to simply finish the course. After the last team crossed the finish line, 48 hungry cadets tucked into a well earned barbecue back at 2620 Squadron’s Head Quarters, while the scores were quickly added.

As the day drew to a close the results of the competition were finally announced and, while all the teams delivered performances to be proud of, just three of them had gained enough points to be in contention for the trophy. In third place, after good scores in the quiz and aircraft recognition event, was 1070 (Diss) Squadron. In second place, having posted the highest scores for the speed march and map reading, was 2534 (Fakenham) Squadron. But pipping Fakenham to the post, with top marks in the first aid, obstacle course and catapult event, was 231 (Norwich) Squadron who took the top prize. Officer Commanding Norfolk and Suffolk Wing Air Training Corps, Wing Commander David Miller, presented the Griffin Challenge Trophy to Cadet Warrant Officer James Ling, Captain of the Norwich team. Wing Commander Miller said ‘It was a rewarding day for all of the Squadrons that attended and I know that they all found the experience exhilarating and learnt much from the challenges that were set for them. Given the success of the competition, I sincerely hope that it will prove to be a regular feature on our Squadron calendars.’

Alongside the hard work of Flight Sergeant Tony Murray and his team of staff, 2620 Squadron would like to thank RAF Marham’s First Response Team who gave up their time to provide medical cover for the competition, as well as SAC Simon Armstrong who provided photo coverage for the event.

To find out how you could join 2620 (County of Norfolk) Squadron, call freephone 0800 783 1915 or search 2620 online now.