On a cold wet weekend young army cadets travelled from all over the province to the Army Cadet Training Centre, Magilligan to learn new skills as a cadet radio operator.
Among those attending were cadets from Antrim Detachment.
The cadets, aged from 14 to 16, were taking part in a Cadet Radio Users Course with the 1st (NI) Battalion Signals Unit under the leadership of the Battalion Signals Officer, Captain Mick Pepper.
During the course the cadets will learned about military voice procedure, how to put the radio together, and send and receive messages.
They also had to take part in a small exercise where they had to navigate around a course sending different messages to each other. Some of the cadets found it quite difficult to learn the voice procedure and although they all use mobile phones it can be embarrassing for them to have to talk on the radio in front of their friends.
Cadet Morgan Crosthwaite (15), a pupil of Crumlin Integrated College, said: “This was a really good, interesting course and I really enjoyed talking on the radio and I hope to go on other signal courses and gain more qualifications.”
Signals can be used as part of the cadets Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as earning them a badge for each course they complete.
When the cadets complete this course they can then apply to go on Cadet Signalers Course which allows them to wear the coveted “crossed flags” badge which can lead to them going on further national courses held at the School of Signals in Blandford, Dorset.
A team of cadets will shortly take part in the national signals competition “Exercise Rolling Thunder” and one of the team members is Sgt Rachael Allen (16), a pupil at Antrim Grammar School and a member of Antrim Detachment.
Rachael said: “I am really looking forward to going to Blandford and representing our battalion and Northern Ireland.”
If you would like more information about Antrim Detachment either call into the detachment hut at Steeple Road on a Wednesday evening between 7.15pm and 9.15pm or log onto the battalion website www.armycadets.com/county/1stNIacf for more information.