GOMBAK, 29 June 2015: The IIUM ROTU Air Force cadets’ nine-day continuous training for all levels this semester focused on the physically intensive compass marching exercise at an estate located at in Bukit Tagar, Rawang.
The cadets were divided into seven respective syndicates and were released with reference points for them to navigate. They were provided with basic necessities like compasses, maps, rations, water and ponchos to keep them dry throughout the journey.
They were also provided with M-16 rifles and pyrotechnics in case they are confronted by wild animals or get into a situation where they need to defend themselves. The flag-off for the first syndicate was at 4.20 pm and there were lapse of one hour before the next syndicate was released. The distance from the starting point to the Check point 1 was more than three kilometers. The first syndicate that arrived at Check point 1, was syndicate 5 taking a time of two and half hours to finish. All cadets given time to rest at the Check point 1 before they were given the next coordinate to reach the Check point 2.
The exercise not only pushed ones physical endurance and stamina but allowed cadets to apply the basic military knowledge which they have gathered throughout the whole semester. To make the exercise more challenging, the march was divided into two sessions (day and night) and each session covered about 3 – 4 kilometers.
The syndicates took between three to eight hours to reach the reference points depending on their skills to negotiate the terrain and overcome obstacles. Not only that it promotes cadets’ personal growth, it also forces them to think creatively. In fact, where else would you learn to make a decent bread pudding in the jungle in under 30 minutes with only using plain crackers, sugar, creamer and boiling water.
Apart from the march, the cadets were also given a well-deserved break by visiting Port Dickson’s Army Museum to give them knowledge on Malaysian defence history.***