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Leap of Courage: 2nd Battalion NI ACF Take the Plunge

18 April 2023

On the 8th of April 2023, an unforgettable moment was created for 2nd Battalion NI ACF as they completed a static line jump from 4000 feet at the Netheravon training center. The level of excitement and anticipation was palpable as cadets took on this challenge with courage and determination.

In preparation for this remarkable feat, many questions were asked, and anxieties addressed. With the support of ACCT UK, Army Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers were provided with the necessary resources to access life-changing opportunities like this

The experience was nothing short of electrifying, as cadets conquered their fears and achieved their dreams. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a Cadet parachuting training program was a testament to the unwavering commitment of ACCT UK to empower young people with transformative experiences that help them reach their full potential. Moreover, the cadets were also privileged to watch the display from one of the world’s most prestigious parachute display teams, The Red Devils, which added to the overall excitement of the day.

Day 1

On Thursday 6th April, we boarded the boat to Liverpool. We arrived the next morning and began our journey to Netheravon, which took around 5 hours. Upon arrival at Netheravon, we were allocated our accommodation. After dropping off our bags, we were invited to watch the Red Devils Parachuting Display Team, which was so interesting as we were able to see professional parachutists in action. After they had jumped, we were able to ask any questions we had and talk to them about what the experience of parachuting was like.

Cadet Cpl Olivia Redpath

Day 2

We began a 6-hour training program to prepare for the jump. Our group started by learning about the characteristics of the parachute, practicing how to open it and getting familiar with its appearance before learning how it worked. We then moved on to the correct drills for leaving the plane and received theory lessons about landing drills and the features of the PLA (parachute landing area) to know where to land.

The training period took around 6-7 hours, consisting of practical and theory lessons. Following the training, we prepared for the jump by putting on our jumpsuits, heavy parachutes, helmets, and radios. As we were inspected and briefed for the jump, our nerves were on edge, but excitement kept building. Boarding the plane, we could feel the propellers blowing wind into our faces.

Cadet Cpl Olivia Redpath

The Jump

The excitement was intensifying as we boarded the plane. Nervousness ran through each team member, and the cramped space made the tension even greater. Watching the first person get sucked out of the plane filled us with fear. The jump out of the plane was, without a doubt, the most nerve-wracking moment.

Looking up to the instructor, waiting for the green light while half of our body was out of the plane, felt like an eternity. Finally, the green light was given, and we pushed ourselves out of the plane, hoping that no malfunctions occurred as we waited for the parachute to deploy.

Cadet Sgt Taylor Dempster

We got to the altitude and I was the first to jump. I looked out of the plane and panicked at how high it was, but I pushed myself out of the plane and right in the cue the parachute deployed and I relaxed. It felt amazing to float down and the view was incredible. When I landed on the ground, I felt so proud of myself as I had done something I thought I would never be able to.

Cpl Connor McCausland

We had reached 4000ft and it was my turn to jump. I approached the door with confidence and overcame my fears as I looked out at the drop below. When “JUMP!” was called, I flung myself out of the aircraft – this was it. Once I was out and knew the parachute was working fine, I enjoyed the views during my descent. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity

Cpl Sophia Duncan

As I approached the edge of the door, the slipstream swept my legs away and adrenaline surged through my body. I felt scared at first, but that fear quickly turned into pure elation as I jumped out of the plane and began freefalling at 120mph for 4 seconds. When the parachute finally opened, the view was amazing – it didn’t feel real. I spent 4 minutes in the air before making a gentle landing on my feet. I have never been more grateful in my life to be on the ground.

Cadet Sgt Jack Walsh

I was filled with such joy and sense of achievement as I had completed something amazing, potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have been given and continue to receive from the ACF and receiving the grant from ACCT UK. I hope many more cadets like myself get this opportunity too someday.

Cadet Sgt Charley Hamilton

If you are looking to take part in a similar activity and need to fund your trip, you can apply today, here.

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