COLUMN: Air Cadets is more than just flying

As an Air Cadets squadron, people often get the impression that all we do is go flying.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 8:04 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:08 am

However, despite our title there is so much more than meets the eye with a broad range of activities from canoeing to target shooting.

Now, with the support of the local newspapers, we can showcase what our youngsters have been up to each month.

February was a productive month for our squadron, especially for our newest cadets.

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Joining us in October last year, they have been learning the basics of being in the organisation. With lessons on foot drill, RAF knowledge and teamwork, they are all prepared for any cadet activity they may participate in.

They received their ‘First Class’ award which is the first major milestone in Air Cadet progression, as this allows them to take part in the extensive list of activities throughout the year.

Eager to get involved they jumped straight into their first weekend camp, held at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

The camp is designed for anyone who is within 18 months of joining, to help build experience on meeting people from other squadrons as well providing an insight to military station lifestyle. An RAF station can seem a daunting place when you’re 12 years old, but these camps help to show that there is actually nothing to fear, and that station discipline is not really that strict, but don’t walk on the grass!

With lots of team-based initiative exercises the cadets were able to form new friendships that will last throughout their time in the corps.

A couple of weekends later and our cadets were back out in Lincolnshire again. However, this time they were at Beckingham Ranges.

Four of our newest cadets, accompanied by four seniors and two staff, tried their hand at clay target shooting. Using a 12-bore shotgun, the cadets were given careful advice and training from the watchful supervisor stood beside them.

Taking on board this advice, each cadet managed to hit a few clays each, some even managed to only miss one.

For our newest cadets, they now have a window of opportunity, with so many activities to do.

It’s up to them to decide what’s next.