HAC Veteran’s Visit to CO’s Challenge Weekend
The Commanding Officer extended an invitation to all HAC Veterans to visit the Active Unit on the HAC annual CO’s Challenge weekend, which this year took place on the Pencelli estate in the Brecon Beacons 21st -22nd February 2015. Thirteen hardy Veterans accepted this invitation. After an early morning departure from Armoury House, the Veterans alighted from the minibus at the tented ExCon (Exercise Control) on the estate, for an informative briefing given by the XO (Trg Major in ‘old money’), which updated them on the recent changes and future role of the Active Unit.
The Veterans’ understanding of today’s training was enhanced as they observed the Squadrons competing in the military skills competition. Most of the veterans were then keen to get onto the hills themselves and the Veterans ‘tabbed’ from the Surveillance & Target Acquisition Planning military skills stand, back to ExCon.
Saturday evening the Active Unit and Veterans ‘camped’ at the local Army Reserve Training Centre. After a good curry supper and Prize-giving, all enjoyed an evening social over a can of lager. During the weekend, each Veteran was issued a 24 hour ration pack, comments resounded that no longer were there tins marked “Cheese, processed”.
Sunday morning, as the snow began to fall, the Regiment and Veterans began their ascent of Pen-y-fan. Part way up, with some shelter provided by a re-entrant the Padre gave a rousing Sunday morning Drumhead Service, concentrating on the fellowship that the HAC provides, beneath the hills, all bellowed out the Regimental Collect. The Padre highlighted the power of the Brecon Beacons where all had trained, and that power of those mountains was soon to be felt as the combined journey up Pen-y-fan continued in driving snow and into blizzard conditions.
All agreed that a successful weekend had been had, in which closer ties were fostered between the Veterans and Active Unit.