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FS Taylor represents corps during
International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore

On May 26 I took off for Singapore not knowing what to expect it was the best time of my life I met up with people from Canada , Australia , India , Hong Kong and Singapore . The accommodation was just like home and been on an RAF station except the beds were comfortable. We were the first ones there and had plenty of time to relax, and in the extreme heat too, it was great to relax and catch up on sleep we had lost on the 12 hour flight. The next day started early with breakfast at 6:45am the breakfast was odd and in true air cadet style we all dived in not knowing what we were eating, we then went out with the NCC cadet into the town using the public transport which is hi tech and easy to use. We toured round and walked for miles seeing the sites of Singapore and what a fun time it was. We eat out which was a challenge as none of us knew what we were ordering but thanks to the NCC cadets who ordered a mix of foods.

The next day started early again, and this would be the trend all through the camp we had an important role to play at the start of the day when we would meet the retiring NCC commander which in our system is the Air Commodore. We then had a buffet where we could all chat and meet our sea cadet counter parts who we would meet on occasions throughout the visit. We then had a chance at the assault course and tested ours stomachs at a 4 storey jump off a tower and I am pleased to inform you that all the British cadets did jump.

The next day was a walk round the botanical gardens which was a great time with us then having to travel to see the different embassies where we met our defence attaché once we had waited for the rest to finish up we went shopping and once together we went off to the army market and stopped off for lunch where we all grabbed a McDonalds.

On the Thursday we all went to the zoo which was a different experience as the zoo did not have cages and you could see the animals properly, there were animals I had never seen in my life like a polar bear. We then moved on to the national museum which was interesting as we were given head sets which explained it all for us, it would also not be a cadet camp with out a museum visit.

Friday came one week gone and we went of to Paya Lebar and used the F-5 and F-16 simulators which was an experience to land a fast jet on a simulator, we went to the air force school and were how the type of lessons the student would have and they were impressive we then went to the air force museum and had to get through the rain that came down hard. The aircraft showed the relation to Britain in that the aircraft were mainly British.

The weekend and home stay, I was to stay with my Hong Kong counterpart at an NCC cadets home, his home was great and him and his family lived in a flat which was small compared to British homes but large in comparison to Hong Kong, they made us feel so welcome and his mom cooked use a large breakfast and then we went shopping and went to see the Raffles hotel where the Queen and David Beckham had stayed last year.

On Sunday we relaxed at the island of Sentosa which is a beach island with a small form of theme park. It was a day to remember as we got to see dolphins, and touch them which is an experience to remember.

On Monday we were all tired and we had a fall day ahead, we went to another air base where we would have a ride in a Fokker 50 was arranged and it was more comfortable then the flight over. The next day we would be on another base and Chinook ride and a look at the helicopter simulators, we then went for a tour on the water in a Vietnam war military vehicle that goes on land and water. This day was one of the best for me as it was my birthday and it will be a birthday to remember.

We went shooting the day after on then cadet rifle and what a new experience as this rifle was automatic the first time on the range I kept cocking the rifle and I had to reloaded my rounds you could say it was good training by officers who train me on the L98. The scope on the rifle allowed us to shoot 300m very accurate and at the end we had a shooting competition where the British team came second with the Indian team winning.

The last day rounded up quickly with two formal meals where we eat some strange food like sea cucumber, we also attended the change of commander parade which was a great site to see the cadets on parade as we had seen them practising all week, we also went shopping and in Singapore this was the thing to do and throughout the camp and I have never eaten so much in my life.

The last day came so soon as we did not sleep. The Canadians went first and slowly everyone left until it was us and the Australians, we made a plan to go to the war memorial it was a sombre moment when I read a bored which contained messages from families of people who died in Singapore and from comrades that had travelled back to send their wishes. We got to the airport early to say goodbye to the Australians we also did our last shopping in true Singaporean style.

The flight home was long but I had great memories and what an experience it was and I would recommend it to any cadet.

The food we eat whilst in Singapore was different and we soon found out that they like all their food with chills in it varied from a McDonalds to baby octopus it was very different but one thing that I did get sick of eating was rice as we had it with loads of meals but I would recommend anyone to try the food a you can eat all different types such as Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, American and many more.

The exchange was great and I now have friends around the world, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, India, Australia and new friends at home in he UK

I would like to thank all the air cadet staff that make, the IACE possible my detached flight staff and my civilian committee for making it possible. Special thanks to the National Cadet Corps of Singapore for being such good hosts.

International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore – Click to Enlarge
International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore – Click to Enlarge
International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore – Click to Enlarge
International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore – Click to Enlarge
International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore – Click to Enlarge
International Air Cadet Exchange visit to Singapore – Click to Enlarge

Article Submitted by:-
FS Stephen Taylor - 487 (Erdington) DF
05Nov07


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