EX DRAGON WAVE
In the middle of what has been a crazy time during the current pandemic, we at RCDM commenced the planning of Exercise Dragon Wave, involving not only some exciting adventure training but a chance for QA’S to get some much-needed decompression. Like most hospitals, we have faced our fair share of testing times, and this wasn’t just from the nursing staff. If you were lucky enough, you got to even see the unit PTI doing his fair share of donning and doffing. It had been a case of all hands on deck, or whatever the Army version of that saying is.
Exercise Dragon Wave was to be 2 separate 1 week AT packages repeated due to the “C” word restrictions. This was to ensure as many members of the unit would be able to participate. Planning commenced with a group of willing volunteers looking for their SJAR moment. Quickly enough an exciting and wild package was taking shape, a varied set of activities including the very best of AT, walking!
As we were getting closer to departure day, the ‘is it happening, is it not happening?’ was becoming an issue. However, as you can guess the fact you are reading this, it happened and we all survived. Now comes the story of what was a wonderful 2 weeks of AT.
The offerings from the Welsh weather were varied There was plenty of liquid sunshine which made for slightly less than interesting views from the top of Snowdon. Though the water pouring off the mountain was truly stunning, and did offer a real nature appreciation moment. When it wasn’t raining it was very much pouring, but spirits were high and everyone enjoyed their days. Both weeks, it was the Wednesday that brought us the best of days, unsurprisingly there was very much more motivation on the hills and trails then.
“It was the best experience I’ve ever had walking. The group was amazing, and the lead was wonderful with sharing his knowledge” Tom Knight
Apart from the hill walking, which was said to be the favourite for some, on offer was Mountain biking in Coed y Brenin, sailing on the Meni straight and finally nerve testing Sea Level traversing and coast-steering.
The sailing was a fun experience for many that hadn’t had the pleasure of the activity before. It is worthy to note, that members of the Navy that were in attendance had to be rescued due to reasons that I shall not disclose. Equally new experiences and taking people out of the comfort zone was achieved in all activities so a successful AT was had by all.
We are lucky enough to have in-house instructors for the hiking, as well as the mountain biking, these activities were led by two of our trusted RAF nurses. Along with the thrilling experience by the riders, so came a number of injuries, luckily there were plenty of people to nurse each other better.
Our evenings were a mix of preparation for the following day's adventure, resting one’s weary legs and some extracurricular activities. These activities came in several forms, the highlights being a delightfully tasty BBQ and testing of the collected minds with a thought-provoking quiz.
This AT exped was a great success and the benefits will pay dividends to those who participated. AT is an excellent opportunity to develop physical and mental resilience as well as providing a much-needed break away from clinical commitments and hospital pressures.
An overall wonderful two weeks of adventurous training was had by those who attended.
Cpl GEZ EVANS
This Adventure Training was part-funded by the QARANC Association. If you would like to take part in this kind of training please Join Us.