34 Cadets and 5 Staff from Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing headed to RAF Henlow for a week away. In the afternoon of the 26th March 2016 we all waited in the briefing room on camp waiting to be briefed by the Camp Commandant ‘Flight Lt Slade’
They named each staff member cheeses which put a smile on lots of faces. We were then split into two flights ‘A’ and ‘B’ within each flight we had sections A1,A2,B1 and B2. After dinner we got into our sections and did a familiarisation exercise which had some very funny answers. The purpose of the exercise is that we get to know our surroundings for the next week. Unfortunately everyone got soaked because it poured down with rain.
We then started the interflight competition which consisted of a lot of fun activities
We went to The Imperial War museum Duxford which had lots of different aircraft in hangers. Fun was had by all.
At 17:00 we all went to dinner then we went into the minibuses for a short drive to the other half of the base to the gym. Every Cadet took part in different activities which were badminton, football, shooting basketball hoops then we all played rounders. After 3 hours of different sports we all went back to our accommodation and had some free time. We prepared our uniform for the next day and talked with new friends that we made.
Everyone woke up at 6:30 and after breakfast we had uniform and room inspection .We had these almost every day and I was pretty happy with my uniform it was becoming better. Today we went off to Bletchley Park on the way there the NCO’s had a fun laugh with everyone and we went round a roundabout 3 times then the next 2 which made a lot of us smile.
At Bletchley Park it was all about code breaking during world war two it was a good visit.
In the afternoon we went to the Madingley American Second World War Cemetery near Cambridge. Its Britain’s only World War Two American Military Cemetery. The surrounding were amazing and around 16:00 they lowered the flag, 2 cadets folded it into a small triangle. In the evening we prepared our uniform ready for tomorrow.
Cambridge American Military Cemetery.
We started the day by going to CAM which is the center for Aviation Medicine where we had a talk and shown the chamber room. The RAF operate a High Altitude simulation chamber at the Centre for Aviation Medicine, this is used to test equipment at the pressures experienced at high altitude. RAF personnel also use this facility to understand the effects of altitude. The staff used Balloons and marshmallows to demonstrate what would happen to you in an unpressurised plane at altitude. The balloon popped and the marshmallow expanded. We then assembled for the Camp photo followed by lunch and then drill. This was our first session of drill together. We then quickly went back and changed into MTP/DPM uniform and spoke to the outreach team about careers followed by a games in leadership activities to do as one group we also did communication exercises where no one could talk. Then after dinner some of us went swimming, we undertook our basic swimming proficiency and 5 of us also did intermediate level followed by a fun session. This was followed by us going bowling for 3 hours on the base bowling alley . Some of us also played pool afterwards.
High Altitude simulation chamber
Day 5 and 6
We were split into 2 groups - one group went flying at RAF Witting , the other group did different activities on base and the to RAF Hendon museum near London which had lots of different air craft and because it’s the 75th anniversary of Air Cadets there was an area of the museum dedicated to the ATC. Then we swapped over for day 6. In the evening we had a game of Laser Quest.
My day for flying, at RAF Witting to fly in a Tutor Grob. We watched a video about flying and did a practice incase we had to abandon the aircraft, while we waited for our turn we watched a movie, when it was our time to fly we got kitted up and escorted to the aircraft we all had 25 minutes each in the air . Whilst waiting for the others to fly we played ping pong or Mario cart on a Wii –U . Some of us polished our shoes as well.
On the way back many of us were tired and fell asleep. Then in the evening we had sports. We played a few games of rounders’ then we went back and had free time for the rest of the night.
RAF Tutor Grob
Today was April Fool’s Day. Staff and cadets decided to pull pranks on each other . It started with the staff who told us to wear working blues with ties, we thought it was a prank We was on the ball so we twisted it by putting our ties on the outside of our jumpers and ones who had stable belts wore it over our jumpers .
NCO’s wore there rank tapes upside down. We did our drill reversed and we slow marched to breakfast and adjusted our dress to look professional again. We then had a drill practice followed by a drill competition. We then went to the other side of the base to visit a hanger which was full of privately owned planes. An Ex wing commander showed us all around. Then we all gathered in the briefing room for awards. We all got our paper plate awards off the NCO’s and we gave the NCO’s their plates.
The staff gave us our Camp T-Shirts and camp Photo with our certificate of attendance. The flight I was in which was B flight also got another certificate ‘Best Flight’. In the evening after packing we had dominos pizza.
Our last day of camp after walking up at 7:!5 we had breakfast and finished packing. The rooms were inspected. At around 12:00 we had lunch and departed . When we stopped at Coventry we all said good byes to the great friends we had made over the week. Hopefully we will meet up again soon.