Cdt Zak Woolley, a cadet from 485 (Harborne and Quinton) Sqn has recently attended an RAF work experience course with the RAF Regiment. The Regiment are the RAF's “Army” and are tasked to provide airfield security around the world. Here, Cdt Woolley describes the work experience course.
“On the first day, Monday, I travelled from New Street Station to Peterborough , where I changed trains to make the onward journey to my destination, Bury St Edmunds. There I was met by a coach, which took me and the other cadets to RAF Burnham. Once there, we were given a briefing about what was going to happen throughout the week, and we were told to get settled into our accommodation and get to know each other.
The next day, we were given everything we would need to the week ahead, including helmets, rocket packs, and a water bottle. Then we did our first session of physical training, which involved a very hard warm up, followed by physical team-building exercises.
Wednesday was the hardest day, as the intense physical training pushed us to our highest levels of fatigue. The day involved travelling to RAF Honington, and taking part in the assault course used in the Regiment Gunner selection process. We also did a skirmish, which involved leopard crawling, and casualty training. Throughout the session, we had to constantly jog on the spot, so we were always moving. If one person stopped jogging, the whole group had to do ten press-ups.
Then we had to do our multistage fitness test, which included the bleep test, and the press-up ands sit-up tests. We also visited the accommodation for Regiment Gunners in training, and the newly opened RAF Regiment museum.
On Thursday, we did group presentations on subjects that we had researched at the Regiment museum the previous day. We also did a task called ‘Toy Soldiers', and had to put up a tent without talking to anyone. Again, if anyone spoke, the whole group had to do ten press-ups. ‘Toy Soldiers' involved being given replica L98s and webbing, and face paint, and hiding from the people in charge of the work experience. We were then taught some formation exercises, which we role-played, and were shown how your environment can be used to your advantage, when trying to hide from the enemy.
On the last day, the coach took everyone back to Bury St Edmunds train station, where I caught two trains home.
For the whole week, we marched everywhere three times as fast as we would at the squadron, which was surprisingly fun. However, waking up at 0630 every morning wasn't very enjoyable. When we made our beds, as soon as we woke up, everyone's beds had to be identical.
Each morning, we had half an hour to get dressed and formed up outside, as we had to be at breakfast for 0700.
Overall, the week was a fun and informal experience, and has made me one hundred per cent sure that I want to join the Regiment.