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NC Wing Holds 2019 Ranger Training Weekend

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Cadet participants at the 2019 NC Wing Ranger Training Weekend. Photo Credit: the RTW Public Affairs team (click image to view full size)
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9 wings are represented at exciting training event in Mount Airy

11/7/2019––Frigid, bustling, and driven - these words and many more can be used to describe the North Carolina Wing’s annual Fall Ranger Training Weekend which took place 1-3 November at Camp Raven Knob in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
Ranger Training Weekend had a diverse geographic attendance with 4 regions, 9 wings, and 45 squadrons represented! Participants showed their motivation by traveling great distances to attend one of the two ranger training hubs in Civil Air Patrol. 
Promptly at 1700, vans drove into Camp Raven Knob to drop off cadets. After check in, they were transported to their campsites to set up their shelters. Cadets were divided into three squadrons based on their Ground Team and Ranger qualifications: Alpha (Advanced), Bravo (Intermediate), and Charlie (Pre-Ranger). Each squadron was taught different material based on the level of difficulty of each flight. 

At 2000, chow was served. All the squadrons gathered inside the warm mess hall to receive dinner. At 2030 on the dot, cadets marched back to their tents and began their classes. Students were taught how to tie life-saving knots and cadets also went over how to start a fire since it was essential to a task students were given during the night: firewatch. At 2200, cadets scurried into their tents and embraced the cold night while those on firewatch sat near the warm fire, guarding their campsite and keeping the fire alive for their campsite.
The next day began bright and early at 0630 as cadets gathered their 24 hour packs and marched to chow with their Training Commanders. Straight after breakfast, students were quickly divided into their classes. All squadrons went on their required hikes for their ranger sign-offs, some more treacherous than others. Charlie flight participated in a 2 mile hike with 24 hour gear, and Alpha and Bravo hiked 5 miles with their 72 hour gear on one of the many trails at Camp Raven Knob. At lunchtime, some cadets reported to the chow hall while Alpha and Bravo ate ready-to-eat meals (MREs) in the woods. Around 1600, both Alpha and Bravo concluded their journeys and marched back to their campsites to receive the rest of their sign-offs.  Meanwhile, Charlie began their 2 mile hike for their Ranger 3rd Class sign-off. 
Promptly at 1800, the school gathered outside the chow hall to obtain free gear for their packs. Items consisted of sleeping bags, thermal hats, tents, and other essential ground team equipment. After cadets grabbed their free gear and ate their chow, Charlie marched back to their campgrounds at 1900 to complete the rest of their sign-offs while Alpha and Bravo participated in a late night nationally rated ground team sortie. Bravo squadron arrived back at their campgrounds at 2300 and went to bed, while firewatch rotations observed the fire throughout the night. Meanwhile, Alpha slept in the wilderness on their 15 mile night operation. Alpha arrived back at camp safely around 0730 the next day.
On the final day, cadets followed the same routine: breakfast, campsite, and sign-offs. The last activity cadets participated in was physical training. Ranger training is different compared to Civil Air Patrol Ground Team training. Ranger physical training consists of a half mile run, push ups, squat thrusts and pull ups. Once physical training was concluded, Ranger Instructors examined and signed the cadets' sign-off sheets back at camp. 

At the end, cadets packed up their campsites, reported back to the incident command post, signed out, and walked back to their vehicles to embark on the journey home. Another successful Ranger Training Weekend was complete.