Young Cadets Represent Antigua & Barbuda in the UK

Members of the ABDF Cadet Programme and their parents, CDS Telbert Benjamin, other ABDF staff and special guests enjoyed a taste of British afternoon tea ahead of the cadet's journey to the UK.
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Two outstanding cadets enrolled in the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force’s (ABDF) Cadet Programme are now in the United Kingdom as part of an exchange initiative with the Cumbria Army Cadet Force.

Cadet Corporal Daena Bird and Cadet Lance Corporal Dante Browne are now in Cumbria, located in North West England, for just over 10 days. During the visit, they will meet and train with Cumbrian Army Cadets, visit several historic sites including Edinburg Castle, and meet with High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda in the UK Karen Mae-Hill.

The Cadets are being accompanied by Regimental Sergeant Major (WO2) Vaughn Charles.

The parents of both cadets have expressed elation that their children were afforded the chance to represent Antigua and Barbuda. 

“We’re truly happy and appreciative of the opportunity that was offered to our son Dante Browne.  We know he is very passionate about his role in the Cadets and will do his best to represent the ABCC (Antigua and Barbuda Cadet Corps) and Antigua and Barbuda by extension,” Dante’s mom, Elizabeth Browne said. “We know he will share his experience from the visit. It’s a great start for his career. We truly grateful.”

Meanwhile Lieutenant A Bird and Mrs Bird, Daena’s parents said, “It is a great opportunity for the children to interact internationally and exchange knowledge that would enhance their appreciation and abilities. It would also allow them to contribute to the cadet corps of their country when they return.”

The collaboration between both cadet programmes began in October 2022 after the ABDF agreed to host the Cumbrian youth.

Commandant Cumbria Army Cadet Force, Colonel Guy Harnby explained the importance of the relationship.

“We share mutual values and standards between international cadet forces and provide cultural and educational opportunities to children, which are potentially life-changing. That is why important to promote such amazing chances with both hands for future Antiguan and Barbudan and Cumbrian children,” He said.

Resident British Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Ms Lindsy Thompson, wished the cadets, their parents, and ABDF members including Chief of Defence Staff Colonel Telbert Benjamin, bon voyage by hosting a British “afternoon tea” at the British High Commission last week.  

Ms Thompson noted the close relationships the ABDF cadets had formed with their British peers during the inward visit of the Cumbria Army Cadets last October.  She encouraged the cadets to embrace all the training that was about to be provided in the UK, but to also use the opportunity to get to know more about the UK and its people.

The cadets and their chaperone departed Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday and will return to the twin-island state on Thursday 13 April 2023. 

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