Over the last weekend many people had spent their time enjoying the fine weather that we were lucky to receive. However some of the staff and a cadet of 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron spent their time at RAF Cosford taking part in the international event, RAF WARMA.
Flying Officer Lawrence Buckingham, Civilian Instructor Alex Tolson and Cadet Warrant Officer Rebecca Parr all devoted their time this weekend to taking part in, and eventually completing, the 50 mile RAF WARMA challenge.
On Friday 24th April they arrived at RAF Cosford along with the South and East Midlands Wing Road Marching team to set up accommodation for their weekend, and to begin socialising with the rest of the teams involved in the event.
The Friday night was an introduction to the event with people of many years of experience, sharing past memories and reminiscing on the event. The South and East Midland Team Leader, Flight Lieutenant Mayoh-Smith began, introducing his 10 years taking part in the event and expressing his enthusiasm for the start of 2015’s march.
RAF WARMA officially began on the Saturday in the bright early hours at 06:30. Teams from all over RAF Cosford were heading to the canteen to fill up with energy for the days march and do the final checks and preparation before setting off on the first 25 Mile stint.
As it began the cool morning air was fresh enough to keep all cadets, staff and service personnel, as well as civilians marching on through the streets and following the pre-set route of RAF WARMA. Travelling through the Staffordshire countryside many hills were climbed and fields passed almost effortlessly as the teams kept chatting away and the moral was boosted by classical marching songs, as well as the odd ice cream along the way.
On the Sunday the team had to set off a whole 10 minutes earlier in order to make it back for the final parade. This time they were in the second detachment and had found themselves right at the back. This was soon resolved with the team suddenly picking up pace and storming past the other teams, this is something they kept going all day.
The team arrived back about half an hour before final parade, as planned, so there was just enough time to present each member with their respective medal, grab a drink and get a few team selfies. Flying Officer Buckingham and Mr Tolson were presented with their first year medals and Cadet Warrant Officer Parr was presented with her second year pin which she added to her medal.
The Final Parade concluded the event with awards being presented to the best teams, as well as a few messages of thanks to the relevant people. It was then time to pack up and head back home with medals proudly in hand.
Mr Tolson said “The event was definitely something I am glad I was a part of, but it certainly wasn’t easy, and I am definitely feeling it now. I now cannot wait for the 100 mile march later in the year, and I think the team is looking very strong.”
Written by Mr Tolson