A group consisting of the Master, Colin Reese, Patrick Wilkins and Colin Sach supported the ULOTC at their annual camp at Paderborn, June 25th – 27th 2015. This year being in Germany the ULOTC provided for all our needs once we reached Germany. We arrived at Dortmund airport along with some Arts Scholars who also support the ULOTC, and were met by Charlie Freed, the adjutant – a full time officer based at Handel Street, their London HQ.
We arrived at Sennelager in the early evening and it is an impressive establishment. It has been a major military barracks and training area for over 150 years and covers a vast area. Certainly similar in scale to Salisbury Plain. The photograph collection in the officer’s mess was fascinating as it contained pictures of the Kaiser’s cavalry practising on the training area in the 1870s – 1900 period, first world war German troops exercising, the inter war years, and the “SS” in WW2. For the last 70 years being a major British and Nato base and HQ for the British 2nd Armoured Brigade.
Our evening started with dinner, with the cadets, followed by an informal evening in the bar. With beer at 50p a pint, there were not many arguments over whose round it was. The Friday was a major exercise, the “March and Shoot” , this broadly consists of an assault course, running 5km, and then firing on the range. The ranges, being in Germany were magnificent with the latest electronic targets at ranges out to 600 metres. The visitors also managed to have a shot on the ranges, although maybe not as much as we would have liked.
Later on Friday we explored Padaborn, which has had much renovation and restoration in the last 70 years, but contains a couple of lovely churches, and an old area of the town.
On the Saturday morning before departure we watched the cadets in their sports day – netball – volley ball – football.
Overall it was a successful relation building exercise but sorry that more younger livery members did not join us.