Category Archives: Rolling Thunder Results

Rolling Thunder Results – 2009

After the success of the first National Cadet Signals Competition last year, Exercise Rolling Thunder was back again at RSS Blandford for 2009, over the weekend of 21st / 22nd February.

MTS (Crosby) CCF Cadets on the Antennas standThis year saw more competitors taking part, and obviously news of the 2008 event had travelled a long way, as teams arrived from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and every corner of England.

With the challenge of more teams, The National Cadet Signals Training Team, headed by Major Mike Foster, supported by Regulars of the Royal Corps of Signals, had their work cut out to provide challenging signals based activities to keep all the teams occupied throughout the day.

Cambs ACF Cadets on the Leadership standLt Dan Lehmann, Training Officer for the Cadet Signals Training Team, said “The success of last year led us to make Rolling Thunder 2009 an even bigger event. Trying to accommodate 24 teams into the competition has been a logistical challenge, and without the support we have received from all the staff at RSS Blandford, and the ACF and CCF Instructors who are running stands, Exercise Rolling Thunder would not be possible.”

To keep competitors on their toes and after feedback from last year, 2009 saw the introduction of two new activities, and a new design for the voice procedure exercise and Corps knowledge stand. Once again teams faced the struggle of getting to grips with decoding and encoding BATCO, putting up various masts and antennas, and building a line crossing across a simulated “busy” road. For good measure, the PTIs from 4 Mil Training Sqn, put the teams through their paces with a March, before a competition shoot on the DCCT, and the Corps recruiting team had a surprise stand in place too.

rt093This year the we were honoured to have the competition visited by ACFA Chairman, Major General (retd) Malcolm Wood CBE, and Colonel (retd) Crichton Wakelin OBE, SO1 Cadets at HQ Land Forces. They visited all the stands in the afternoon, and had the chance to chat with competitors, and hear what the cadets thought of Rolling Thunder, and signalling in the ACF and CCF.

With the teams beginning their first stand shortly after sunrise at 0700, most teams were pleased that by 1700, with the competition over, there was time for a hot meal in the cookhouse, and some time to relax in Blandford Camp’s ten pin bowling alley for a light hearted evenings entertainment.

rt094Sunday morning saw the chance for all competitors to receive a debrief from all directing staff running the stands, before the prize giving began. This year Major General (retd) Malcolm Wood CBE presented certificates, medals and trophies on the Sunday morning before teams departed. The General was also kind enough to address the competitors, AIs and DS, outlining his career in the Army and stressing the importance of taking part in events such as Exercise Rolling Thunder for the personal development of the ACF, CCF and ATC cadets who competed this year.

Dorset ACF followed up last year’s success by winning the overall team event once more, and Cadet Sgt Sam Turner of Lancaster Royal Grammar School School CCF won the best individual signaller award. Winners, runners up and the third placed teams and individuals all received medals, and Dorset ACF and Cadet Sgt Turner were awarded trophies that had been kindly donated by HQ Land. Cadet Corporal Naomi Trunks of Somerset ACF won the Best Shot Trophy for the DCCT part of the March and Shoot event. Every team taking part received a certificate to commemorate their participation in this second national cadet signalling competition.

rt095Lt Col Peter Richards, SO2 TA & Cadets at the Royal School of Signals, gave another of his renowned speeches at the prize giving, stressing how important signalling skills are within the army and also within civilian life.

Major Mike Foster (Cadet Force National Signals Advisor) said: “Once again, Exercise Rolling Thunder could not have run without fantastic support from Headquarters Land Forces and from the Royal Corps of Signals, in particular 4 Military Training Squadron, Rhino Troop, Cable Systems Division and the Corps Recruiting Team who have all assisted with the competition. Also S/Sgt Gareth Howell of the TA & Cadet cell at DCCIS, has once again been invaluable, as the main POC between my team and the Corps. Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and we now have the difficult challenge of improving again for 2010. Thank you to all my team for their hard work, in particular Lt Dan Lehmann, the competition organiser, Flying Officer Alex May, SMI John Turrell and SSI Ben Dodson, and also to all those who attended, both cadets and adults, for making it such an enjoyable event. A particular thank you to all those adults who acted as stand DS, Maj Mike Vokes, Capt Caroline Dyer, Capt David Holman, Lt Tim Rawson, Lt Pete Whiffen, U/O Sam Sharpe, U/O Tony Hall, O/Cdt Lucy Lehmann, SI Gary Ledger, PI Dave Evans and Sig Ben Steele. Once again this year we have witnessed friendly and cheerful competitiveness, extremely high standards and a great deal of effort from all participants. It makes me very proud of my team’s achievement in setting up this competition.”

Position Unit Name Points
1st Dorset ACF 174
2nd Duke of Yorks Royal Military School 157
3rd Somerset Cadet Bn (The Rifles) ACF 149
4th Lancaster Royal Grammar School CCF 147
5th Merchant Taylors School CCF 144
6th Sutton Valence CCF 143
7th Central & East Region ATC 132
8th Cambridgeshire ACF 130
9th Warwick School CCF 125
10th Angus & Dundee ACF 124
11th West Lowland Bn ACF 122
12th Gwent ACF 121
13th Beds & Herts ACF 120
14th Woodbridge School CCF 115
15th Kent ACF 112
16th Greater Manchester ACF 92
17th 1st NI Bn ACF 88
18th Glasgow & Lanarkshire ACF 81
19th SE London ACF 57

Howell Trophy (Best Individual) – Awarded to Cdt Sgt Turner of Surrey ACF.

Rolling Thunder Results – 2008

16 teams from the Army Cadet Force, Combined Cadet Force and Air Training Corps, from the four corners of the UK battled it out on the weekend of 23rd / 24th February 2008 to be crowned the “National Cadet Signals Champions”.

rt081The National Cadet Signals Training Team headed by Major Mike Foster with the Royal Corps of Signals, had arranged a full day of signals related activities, to test teams on both the practical and theoretical elements of Army Cadet Signalling. The activities included a march and shoot, a high pressure voice procedure exercise, Corps knowledge, and various outdoor exercises involving masts and antennas.

Lt Dan Lehmann, Training Officer for the Cadet Signals Training team, explained that he had come up with the idea of the competition because of the huge surge in interest in cadet signalling over the past few years. He said: “Cadets enjoy competitions, and Signalling requires a range of skills, in particular quick thinking, teamwork, and technical skill. Exercise Rolling Thunder has been designed to test all these skills, and importantly be fun as well”.

rt082The competition was visited by ACFA General Secretary, Brigadier(retd) Mike Wharmby OBE, and Colonel (retd) Crichton Wakelin OBE, SO1 Cadets at HQ Land. They had a chance to chat with competitors and to see all the different activities on offer within cadet signalling. They were also given a demonstration of the new Harris radio system, which is due to replace the existing Clansman system for cadets, in the next few years.

After 8 hours of military activities and physical exercise, the cadets were able to enjoy a fun evening at Blandford Camp’s ten pin bowling alley, before some well earned rest, and the prize giving on the Sunday morning.

rt083Lt Col Peter Richards, SO2 TA & Cadets for the Royal School of Signals, gave a rousing speech at the prize giving, stressing how important signalling skills are within the army and also within civilian life. The results were extremely close, with only a few points separating the top 4 teams. Dorset ACF became the first ever team to win the team event, and Cadet Sjt J Terry from Bournemouth School CCF, the best individual signaller award. Winners, runners up and the third placed teams and individuals all received medals, and Dorset ACF and Cadet Sgt Terry were awarded trophies that had been kindly donated by HQ Land. Every team taking part received a certificate to commemorate their participation in this first national competition.

Major Mike Foster said: “Exercise Rolling Thunder could not have run without the huge support from the Royal Corps of Signals, and in particular the regular soldiers from the Military Training Squadron, Cable Systems Division at Blandford, Exercise Training Troop, and the TA & Cadet cell at DCCIS, who have all assisted with the competition. Headquarters Land Command supported the event with publicity and financial help for the trophies and medals. Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and judging by the success, we will be repeating the event next year. Thank you to my team for all their hard work, in particular Lt D Lehmann, the competition organiser, Pilot Officer A May, and SSI J Turrell, and also to all those who attended, for making it such an enjoyable event.”

Position Unit Name Points
1st Dorset ACF 100
2nd Duke of Yorks Royal Military School 96
3rd Bournemouth School CCF 85
4th Middlesex & NW London ACF 80
5th Hants & IOW ACF 78
=6th Staffordshire & West Midlands ACF 69
=6th Cambridgeshire ACF 69
8th Dollar Academy CCF 67
9th Hertfordshire ACF 66
10th Merchant Taylors School CCF 54
11th Christ’s College CCF 51
12th Skinners School CCF 47
13th W & B Wing ATC 46
14th Woodbridge School CCF 43
15th Oxfordshire ACF 39
16th Merseyside ACF 35

Howell Trophy (Best Individual) – Awarded to Cdt Sgt Terry of Bournemouth School CCF.