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By Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson,
More than 40 children had the chance to meet and interact with United States Marines as the 557 Lorne Scots Royal Canadian Army Cadets led by Canadian Forces Reserve Officers out of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, visited Marine Corps Base Quantico on March 13, 2014.
The 557 Lorne Scots Army Cadets in Brampton, Ontario, is a free program for young men and women aged 12-18 that develops the attributes of leadership, engaged and active citizenship, and physical fitness, while also providing the opportunity to test their limits through participation in challenging and exciting activities.
“The whole trip is a cultural experience and recreational tour and with some of the cadets never having left the Ontario region in their lives, it is a great, new and exciting experience for them,” said retired Canadian Army Maj. Grant Armstrong, commanding officer, 557 Lorne Scots Royal Canadian Army Cadets.
This was the second time the cadets have visited Quantico. The first time was a year ago. The cadets visited many locations aboard the base, but the most interactive location was visit Camp Upshur, where they experienced the indoor simulated marksmanship trainer and the Virtual Convoy Combat Trainer.
The cadets were briefed on weapons handling, safety, trigger control, sight alignment and much more to help them with their shooting in the ISMT. If a cadet was struggling, an instructor would give them one-on-one assistance. A majority of the cadets have never been to Quantico before or experienced a simulator such as this, which made them excited and anxious to not only shoot the M16A4 but to be trained by United States Marines.
The VCCT has a 360-degree view with screens that project images of an urban area surrounding the vehicle. Throughout the simulation, the cadets encountered improvised explosive devices, wave-after-wave of harassing four-door sedans and an F-16 Jet Fighter that took out any Humvee in its path. With many of the cadets not old enough to drive, yet alone having experience operating a Humvee, it was a hassle to get used to it the beginning for them as it showed in their abilities during the simulation. But in the end, they all worked to together in their six-to-seven-man teams and accomplished their missions.
“This is my last year in the program and I’m happy that I was given a chance to do this again,” said Tyler Frazer, Cadet Chief Warrant Officer. “This was once again an awesome experience. My favorite part was the Combat Simulator with the Humvee, and being able to see and use everything. The instructors were extremely helpful every step of the way, especially with the technical parts like breathing correctly.”
Even though they might not have wanted to leave Quantico so quickly, their adventure in the U.S. was not over yet. On this weeklong trip, the cadets visited Arlington, Va., the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Smithsonian National History Museum, and had a scavenger hunt In Washington, D.C. They were headed to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area March 14.
“The personnel on the base have been amazing, welcoming and knowledgeable,” Armstrong said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity for the cadets.”