Six cadets from 198 (Hinckley) Squadron went with Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing to the annual RAF Halton camp, the phase 1 and 3 training base for recruits near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The cadets stayed in the same style accommodation as phase 1 RAF recruits and ate in the same mess, thus gaining an invaluable insight into what life as an RAF recruit can bring.
The week kicked off on Sunday with a visit to RAF Museum Hendon. The week became even more interesting with a visit on Monday to the Trenchard Museum and the Halton House Officers’ mess. Following that, cadets were given the opportunity to requalify for their Weapon Handling Test on the No. 8 .22 rifle and the L98A2, and on Tuesday, cadets put these skills into practise on the range with live firing for both rifles. With virtually unlimited rounds, there were plenty of shooting opportunities for all.
For many cadets, Wednesday was one of the highlights of the week with a surprise trip to London. Cadets spent the morning exploring the Imperial War Museum and then spent the afternoon exploring the sights of London, including Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and even a tour around Buckingham Palace! The best part, for many cadets, was a visit to The Royal Air Force Club in Mayfair, an exclusive club allowing only RAF Officers to join.
On Thursday, low ropes training and leadership exercises gave the chance for cadets to lead teams and work together as one bigger team. In the afternoon, a trip to the swimming pool meant that, from 198 Squadron, Cadet Corporal Pickering achieved his basic RAF swimming proficiency award with Cadets Jordi Long and Jade Rawlings achieving the intermediate level. For the final full day, cadets travelled to RAF Benson for air experience flying in the Royal Air Force’s Grob Tutor trainer.
Overall, it can easily be said that the camp was a roaring success, and cadets with an interest in joining the RAF have learnt a lot about where training will take them.
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