Belfast Telegraph

Army probes cadets' hospital treatment for heat exhaustion

By Rebecca Black

The Army has launched an investigation after complaints were made about a summer camp attended by young cadets from Northern Ireland.

The 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion of the Army Cadet Force (ACF) took part in a residential at Altcar Training Camp, close to Liverpool recently.

It has been alleged that on Monday a number of young people were taken to hospital with heat exhaustion and others with extreme sunburn following a march.

A person who contacted the Belfast Telegraph anonymously, describing themselves as a whistleblower, claimed the camp has been "plagued with disasters, all of which were avoidable".

They claimed that a number of cadets had been taken to hospital with a series of ailments after a lengthy march in hot weather.

"Injuries include but are not restricted to heat exhaustion, extreme sunburn, foot injuries caused by force marching young cadets over a distance which was more than twice that was required for the star level," they alleged.

The source said he had resorted to the press to ensure the allegations were investigated.

An Army spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph: "We are aware of allegations made to the media concerning the leadership and conduct of training during a recent Cadet summer camp. These are being fully investigated by the Chain of Command and therefore it is inappropriate to comment further."

Altcar Training Camp lies at the estuary mouth of the River Alt, towards the southern end of the Sefton Coast sand dune system, 12 miles north of Liverpool in the village of Hightown.

It comprises 620 acres of range and dry training areas, and 500 acres of beaches and sand dunes.

The camp is used extensively by Regular, Reserve and Cadet units from all three Services for military and civilian activities and training and highly sought after receiving well over 630 bids for use in 2016.

The Army Cadet Forces gives young people between the ages of 12 to 18 the chance to have a taste of the armed forces.

The 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion has approximately 900 Cadets and 170 Officers and Adult Instructors in 36 ACF Detachments spread over four ACF bases across the province.

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