Sqn Equipment

Currently our Sqn is looking at new equipment or anything that needs replacing and been tasked with making a list

Now we have a flight sim, interactive white boards, exped equipment etc

But struggling to think, does anyone have any ideas, maybe equipment you have on your squadron that the cadets really enjoy using…anything at all

Basic fieldcraft equipment
Basic sport equipment

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Stand Up Paddle Boards?

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Fieldcraft equipment. (webbing/vests, bergans, mess tins, bashas, poles, etc)

Music? Start off with some practice pads and sticks. Get the Wing bandmaster down to five a demo. It plants the seed, and gets people involved.
You can then branch out into drums, lyres, cymbals, etc.

Sounds boring but basic radio kit? Handholds can be purchased for ~£50/unit so not difficult to get a handful for a few £100

Mountain bikes…there are units that have gone down that route.

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Ensure you have the space to store it and in the case of water sport kit transport it. I personally work on the principle if I can’t get it inside the car, then I personally don’t transport it. I don’t do trailers or put things on the roof.
Half a dozen tents etc for camping need room and that’s just camping taken care of. We have archery kit, nice and gets used, but sits in the corner of a room as there is nowhere else to put it and not get in the way. What you don’t want to get into is people keeping things at home as there are ramifications wrt insurance and as one sqn has found recently quite where they keep a trailer and 5 “canoes” (not to mention move it) is a problem as the member of staff who had the ticket has packed it in and kept it at his house. One thing’s for certain I’m not sure the locals will be happy with it sitting on the road.
Also don’t buy things that people either aren’t qualified to do or interested n. We have some handheld radios purchased about 8 years ago when we had a bloke on staff who was into radio, changed job and moved away, the radios have remained in the box, as no one has the slightest interest in radio comms. We do comms on events using mobiles as it is more reliable. I’m working on the CWC to buy cheap PAYG mobiles.

Decent kit for command tasks

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off topic - how do you delivery Blue Radio badge?

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I’d suggest before buying anything make sure it can be used. For example, no point buying a load of kayaks unless you’ve got someone qualified to take cadets out in them (or looking to get qualified). Same point goes with other specialists kit.

If you’ve got an RCO on the squadron, maybe look at getting an indoor air rifle range set up for example? Or if you’ve got some YFA trainers on the unit then maybe get some first aid training stuff. Also cas-aim kit us always good fun of you’ve got someone who’s good at doing it!

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I have a rule.of thumb on Sqn. If we are investing in kit.

Less than £100 - no requirement
£100 to £250 - minimum of 1 staff qualified to deliver on the kit.
£250 to £1000 - min 2 staff
Over £1000 - min 3 staff.

This way as the cost to Sqn ramps up there is increasing redundancy of staff resource. So if 1 person leaves after buying 2k of kit we havent wasted the money.

Works well for us.

Adjust figures as needed for each Sqn budget.

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Definitley someone needs to be responsible for looking after it

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@Teflon if you don’t want the radios my Wg Radio Officer (or any of the WRCOs on here) will happily ‘rehome’ they for you.

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Radios can be bought for about £10 now for a useable UHF only handheld. Dual band costs between £20-£25 and a ruggedised model about £30.

Webbing is a good investment. I am not a fan of the ‘cadet’ or ‘viper’ vests, though can be useful for smaller Cadets. The old school PLCE webbing is perfectly suitable for Cadets. I’ve seen sets for not much more than £20.

A set of decent day sacks in the 25-30L range is always useful to have. If you get tan or olive rather than MTP or DPM they can be used as loaners for AT too.

Your local SME (WRCO and WFTO) might have recommendations or suppliers you can use.

Definitely look at what your Staff are interested in and can deliver and go from there.
At my last Sqn we had:
Radios - handhelds (2xRAF Service Instructors on Sqn who made radio lessons really fun, we also used them for events, fieldcraft ex, FA ex etc)
Fieldcraft Kit - webbing, shelter sheets, poles, mess tins
AT Kit - enough to kit out 10 Cadets for full DofE Expeds
Maps & compasses
Aircraft modelling
Flight Sim - next project was to add VR
Sports Kit - rounders kit, footballs, frisbees, hockey kit, bibs
First Aid - stuff for casualty simulation exercises, wounds, blood etc
Outdoor shelters - it was as if I had predicted covid & the need for outdoor classrooms! They were used at events or Sqn BBQs
Air Rifle - we bought the TS25 package from Air Arms and then added on a third lane, an extra air rifle and the magazines to make them multi-shot

I’m sure there is stuff I’ve missed off too. I would have loved to buy mountain bikes but storage of them was the problem.

My current Sqn is no-where near as well equipped, it has a lot of sports kit (including javelins, discus and shot-putts!), a couple of sets of webbing, radios and air rifles. A shopping spree is definitely needed.

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Have you thought about a bank of Chromebooks/ tablets or cheap laptops? More and more of the training material being produced at HQAC is digital and new advances like self-marking logbooks and classification e-learning courses that might be available in the future will need a computer to access them.
You can buy large interactive screens pretty cheaply off places like eBay, if you have the means to travel and pick one up near you (you can also see them working this way). They are much better than projectors and interactive whiteboards. We have bought some 65 inch 4k touch screens for the unit recently and been really pleased with them.

Tidy, how much did those set you back?

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I ended up paying £400 each :slight_smile:

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A (relatively) cheapskate alternative to an interactive screen is an iPad or Android tablet with the pen, connected wirelessly. Although it can be a bit tricky to annotate on the ‘small’ screen to start with you’re facing the class not having to turn away to use the screen.

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Peanuts really - easy to get a grant for too I should imagine!

where? how? share?