After a long drive to Heathrow at 3am in the morning of the 22 nd of October we were nearing the start of our group journey to R.A.F Akrotiri in Cyprus . As we got there we checked in and went through to the departure lounge. Because there was only two of us from Warwickshire and Birmingham wing who knew each other we decided to stick together and tried to look for other cadets (which wasn't hard because cadets as always are easy to spot).
When we boarded the plane everyone knew that the trip (or party as some people said) had started. As we landed in Larnaca airport we could feel the heat as soon as the doors opened and everyone scrambled to get out, apart from a few of the SNCO's who got to have a look around the cockpit where the captain explained all of the millions of buttons and controls, until we realised that the bus that had to take us to the terminal had left so they had to send another one out for us whilst the other cadets inside were waiting anxiously.
When we finally arrived at the base two hours down the road we were taken straight to our blocks. They didn't look like normal billets but more like holiday apartments with balconies! (Well that's what the females blocks looked like). That night we had dinner and relaxed after the long journey. The next day we had to wake up at 6am and have breakfast at 7am , it was the best breakfast I have ever eaten on an R.A.F base. After that two flights went of to do weapons handling tests and dry training and the others did a FAM EX during which we found out that the base was absolutely massive!.
On Saturday the 24 th we went to the biggest water park I have ever seen and spent the day there and took full advantage of the sun (not that I actually have a tan!) and on Sunday we all went shooting at the range.
For the rest of the week we were visiting sections and going bowling and making friends and going Go Karting but the best part of the whole trip for me was when I got to do some work experience with the Police Dog Handlers who agreed to take me on an exercise. One night we got the dog to follow some scent trails and it gave me an excellent insight into how the dog section in Akrotiri worked and how different things are on dog sections back in Britain . I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has defiantly encouraged me to pursue a career in the R.A.F.
My other favourite part of the trip was when we visited the town of Nicosia which is in the Turkish part of Cyprus and we had to go through the Greek Border, through the UN Buffer Zone and then towards the Turkish border. When we set foot in the town it was like we had stepped backwards into the time of the war because we saw houses that had been destroyed and people who were dressed in a very old fashioned way who were looking at us because we were wearing modern clothing. It was kind of a culture shock for us all. After leaving the Turkish Part of Cyprus and heading back to the base, we noticed shops such as Argos and Debenhams etc on the Greek side and realised that there is a lot of difference between to two parts of what was once one country.
As always on that last night of the camp we had a disco and presentations where we were all given tee-shirts and certificates. Unfortunately the morning came too soon and we had to get ready to leave. Dressed in our newly acquired R.A.F tee shirts we set off for the Airport. As we were flying back there was a sense of sadness in the air as everyone came from all over country and we had all bonded so well over the ten days, so we organised a reunion so that we can all share our memories. Only one thing left to say now is that ĎA' FLIGHT ARE STILL THE BEST!!!!
I would like to say a special thank you to all the staff that attended the camp and those who really stuck out to get us to the sections we visited and especially for getting me work experience with the Police.