Six Cambridgeshire Army Cadets represent the UK at an international level on a training programme in Lithuania as part of Exercise Baltic Guard 2019.
The 5-day exchange involved over 80 cadets from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland and the UK working together in a number of activities including tactical training, shooting, cultural visits, first aid and tree-top climbing.
2nd Lieutenant Victoria Houghton led the Cambridgeshire group to Kaunas, a town in the heart of Lithuania. Corporal Ashton (pictured on the right, with Cpl Huggins on the left) from the Cambourne detachment said:”It was an amazing experience and I’d like to take part next time to meet the new friends I’ve made and meet new people.”
Accomplishments included developing their confidence on a tree top climbing course, widening their military history knowledge by visiting the Ninth Fort near Kaunas which was a dark history as a prisoner camp, being taught by the Lithuanian Special Forces to make their own harnesses from rope to complete a river crossing, learning about camouflage and concealment techniques, developing first aid skills, as well as improving their shooting skills on the range.
At the end of each day, the cadets played zorb football, basketball and volleyball, or tried on 15th century knights’ armour (which brought on a few ‘Braveheart’ moments) which helped international relations, and good friendships were made.
Exercise Baltic Guard is now in its 5th year, with the UK taking part in the past three. In reciprocation of the generosity provided by the host nation, a number of cadets visited the UK to experience the activities undertaken by our army cadets. The exchange is growing, with other nations looking to participate in future years.
The six cadets taking part were Corporal Alexandra Maranto and Lance Corporal Cpl Joe Ashton from Cambourne Detachment, Cpl Corporal Adam Billson from Cherry Hinton Detachment, Corporal Faith Stephens from St Ives detachment, Cpl Corporal Ciaran O’Connor from Fletton Detachment and Corporal Owen Huggins from Haddenham Detachment.