On Saturday 23rd June everybody was set and ready to go, and after a long and tiring journey we arrived at RAF Shawbury. The coach dropped us just outside the sports hangar which we were sleeping in, although this was not on the RAF station it was still an MOD area. This hangar consisted of an assault course, an indoor football pitch, basketball courts and hoops and of course the ablutions. This hangar was huge! However there was no football for us yet. We were put into two different flights (A & B) and assigned to pitch our tents. All week the exercises we took part in were to be an inter-flight competition. Anyway, at first the cadets were struggling to pitch their tents, bearing in mind these things weigh a ton! A flight were to be on one side of the hangar and B flight the other. After 3 hours of hard work, the tents were up.
On the first night we headed straight into a familiarisation exercise, we were handed a booklet with many questions which we had to find the answers out as we looked around the base. The next morning we started to get a proper look at what life is like on an RAF base. The activities that we did were very educational and fun at the same time! One of the main activities consisted of getting co-ordinates of the ‘downed pilot'. To get the information we needed we had to stop and search cars and anything that tried to drive past us. The way we did this is by two cadets speaking to the driver, and two cadets searching the vehicle. Searching a vehicle includes searching everywhere, including the wheel arches. Both teams got the information they needed and we found the pilot figurine under the display aircraft out on the airfield.
Whilst we had a cadet on first aid, we had other cadets putting together a stretcher to get the pilot to the ATC (Air Traffic Control) Tower. The ATC tower was the temporary hospital. Fortunately, he survived!!!
Other activities we did included showing teamwork to build structures and objects, this made us think and was mentally challenging. One of the nights consisted of climbing the wrecking. We were split into small groups and we received a map and got told to follow the map to the top. Most groups got to the top, by most I mean one group walked 14km in the wrong direction, unfortunately it was mine! This taught us how to use and follow maps and look at the scenery around you to know that you were going in the right direction.
On the evenings it wasn't all about doing more exercises. One night we went bowling and the other laser quest. At laser quest it was A flight vs B flight, A flight won with over 900,000 points and B flight had over -900!! We even got to watch the England game in the pub on base!
On one of the days some of the cadets got to go flying in a squirrel HT1! Unfortunately not all the cadets got to fly, however those cadets who missed out got to go flying in the Flight Simulator. This is still classed as flying in your 3822. The simulator was amazing! All the cadets got 30 mins flying time in the simulator. If we were to do this outside of cadets, it would cost £750 for just half an hour! Speaking of flying, over two of the days, the cadets got 20 mins of AEF at RAF Cosford. After the cadets had been flying they had the chance to check out the museum. As we arrived at RAF Cosford we saw a Eurofighter Typhoon!
Another day we were taken down to a hanger full of Hawks and Tornado F3's! All the cadets got to sit in the cockpit of one of the Red Arrows Hawks. Also in the Hangar there was Tucano and some helicopters. All the cadets had the chance to sit in some of the cockpits of the helicopters also. The cadets also got a look at the fatigue meter; a Red Arrows Hawk had pulled 8G 328 times!! On camp some of the cadets got to shoot and do there Weapons Training Theory. When some of the cadets were shooting, they saw two Red Arrows take off from Shawbury!
At the end of the week we had presentations. We received a camp photo along with a Royal Air Force Lanyard, an image of a Merlin and two certificates. A Flight won the best overall Flight, and B flight won the best Drill Flight. After the presentations we headed straight to Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent . All the cadets enjoyed this and this definitely finished the week off! I'm sure all the cadets who attended gained experience and many of the cadets would attend next time.