After a year in the
planning and with authority granted from HQ Land & Land
Warfare Centre, 20 members of Sussex ACF finally touched
down at Nairobi airport Kenya for 10 days with the British
Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK).
The aim of this
exercise was to provide post 3 Star training with the
Regular Army, in a challenging environment. The exercise was
hosted by the CIS troop OC, Captain Jim Boyden Royal Signals
(an ex Sussex ACF cadet) and British Army Training Unit
Kenya, with support from other Regular units stationed in
After an 8-hour flight
from Heathrow, we finally arrived in Nairobi Kenya and
negotiated customs. We were then transported by coach to
Kahawa barracks on the outskirts of Nairobi and issued with
our Mosquito nets. Finally got to bed at about 0000hrs.
We moved 120 miles via
coach from Kahawa Barracks Nairobi to Nanyuki Show Ground in
the Rift Valley Kenya. We were taken through the training
package for incoming troops, which identified various
hazards (driving in Kenya, snakes etc) and local customs
that we were to be aware of.
We travelled by
minibus to the local training area and had an introduction
to Military Engineering, which included:
- Clearing a mock
minefield using the Vallon mine detector;
- A command task
using the bucket of a Combat tractor to move water over
a short course without spilling any
- Different types
of charges, which the Royal Engineers set off, while we
watched from a safe distance.
At lunch time we had a
vehicle safari on the training area whilst eating our packed
Was spent weapon
familiarisation using the SA80A2, GPMG, HMG, GMG & combat
shotgun under the expert guidance of the QSMI SASC.
Departed for the
foothills of Mount Kenya for a 48-hour Community Wildlife
Project with the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS). Included
within the package were survival training, jungle
patrolling, animal tracking & traps and a lecture on the
role of the KWS.
Range package under
QSMI SASC including SA80A2 with Acog & Maxi Kite sights &
Later in the afternoon
we visited a local children’s orphanage, which housed
children from 8 weeks old to 15 years old. We donated wheat,
flour, rice, sugar, shoes and some sweets.
The cadets were
shocked at the poverty and the simple life that these
children lead and were all silent in the minibuses on the
way back to camp.
Departed for a 3-day
field training exercise based in Forward Operating Base
(FOB) Swara on a local training area. The FOB was attacked
daily and the cadets carried out recce and fighting patrols,
culminating in a final assault on the enemy position.
Handed back all issued
kit and travel back via coach 120 miles to Nairobi
This has been one of
the most challenging and ambitious overseas training
exercises run by Sussex ACF. It proved to be a life changing
experience for many of the cadets, especially after the
visit to the orphanage. The cadets also now understand the
pressures on wildlife stocks (especially elephants & rhinos)
Many thanks to ACFA,
SERFCA, Sussex ACF Trust Fund & Sussex ACFA. Without their
generous support the expedition would not have been