Air Training Corps
IACE Visit to Hong Kong
By FS Jennifer Adam
The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) was a once in a lifetime experience which I would love to go back and do it all over again. There were so many great moments on the exchange and I was able to meet so many new friends. The places we got to see and the culture we got to experience could never be recreated anywhere else. As we had so many great moments, this was one of my highlights of the exchange!
Day six was the day
that we were all looking forward to. It was the visit to the Government
Flying Service (GFS) and where would get a flight in a helicopter. When we
arrived, we were briefed by one of the aircrew about what the GFS does and
what aircraft they have. Afterwards we were brought to the hanger where we
shown the aircraft. There was a particular emphasis on the Super Puma as it
was the aircraft that we would all fly in later on. After being shown the
aircraft, the UK were first to go in the helicopter. Being Top Gun fans, we
had to do a Top Gun style of photo walking across the tarmac. Of course!
When the helicopter finally took off, we flew over the hills towards the
Giant Buddha. The views were incredible! Having an aerial view of the Giant
Buddha was a once in a lifetime experience and the views around it were even
more breathtaking. During the entire flight we continuously said “wow!” to
each other. After the Buddha, we flew by Chek Lap Kok Airport (Hong Kong
International Airport) and got to watch some huge commercial aircraft take
off and land. What an experience!
International Air Cadet Exchange UK
By CWO Claire McKenzie
Last year I was lucky enough to go on the International Air Cadet Exchange to Canada, and had what was quite easily the best 3 weeks of my life. So this year when I was given the opportunity to be a conducting cadet for the UK exchange I jumped at the chance. Only 4 cadets in the entire corps get selected to host IACE each year, so I was incredibly lucky to be picked.We started off by welcoming the UK outbound cadets and briefing them before taking them to the airport the next day. We were also picking up the inbound cadets at this time. I was so excited to meet the cadets I’d be spending the next 3 weeks with, and find out more about them and their countries and cultures. The first part of the IACE tour is a week spent in London, where we visited many landmarks such as a guided tour of the houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. As we were “International Ambassadors” we got to walk down Downing Street which is not normally open to the public and had our photograph taken outside Number 10. We also went on a river cruise down the Thames, which is a great way to see the sights and had our dinner and a disco on the boat. We also got to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which although some of the non-English speaking cadets found it hard to follow, it was an excellent experience. We visited the Bomber command Memorial and the Air Forces memorial as well as the Royal Aeronautical Society, as the Exchange must contain some themes of aviation. The second part of the tour was my favourite – Scotland. We were incredibly privileged because we were allowed to stay in the Officers Mess at RAF Leuchars. Whilst in Scotland we visited the sections and Leuchars and HMS Gannet and were even lucky enough to get a flight in a Sea King. We got to play golf at St. Andrews, the home of golf and went to a steam boat cruise around Loch Katrine. We did some sightseeing and shopping in Edinburgh and went to the Tattoo, which was incredible. Cadets and staff from West Scotland Wing travelled to Leuchars to give the cadets an experience of clay target shooting. However my highlight was the farewell ceilidh in Glamis Castle, with invited guests including Air Commodore McCafferty, Commandant Air Cadets. We had great fun throughout the week teaching the cadets traditional Scottish dancing and they were experts (well, almost) by the time the ceilidh came. We then went to Cranwell for some gliding at Central Gliding School where I went in not only a winch launched and powered glider but an aerotow launch which is a rare opportunity in the ATC and it meant I could do aerobatics in a glider which I’d never done before. We had formal dinner in College Hall, again with the Commandant. After that it was back to London for our final party before everyone went home the next day. Hosting IACE was an amazing opportunity. I met cadets from over the world and got to learn all about their countries whilst being lucky enough to show off my own. Even though I was “only” touring my own country, I had just as much fun as I did when I went on the Exchange.
On the 30th of August to the 1st of September I and several other cadets went to the Regional Activity Centre at RAF Leuchars for a camp, there was a wide range of activities such as shooting (L98), First Aid and Dry Training. I chose to do First Aid.
RAF Leuchars is situated in a small town near the north-east coast of Fife in Scotland. The base was established in 1920 and every year RAF Leuchars has an air show which around 40,000 people. Unfortunately this year was the last Airshow that RAF Leuchars will do as the base has closed.
When we arrived at the base we were shown our accommodation and given a quick safety brief and we were informed of what would be happening the next day. Then it was time for bed as tomorrow would be an early morning.
The next day we woke early to have breakfast and as usual at RAF Leuchars it was lovely. I had bacon, beans, toast and sausage. After breakfast we all parted into are different classes. In the First Aid class there was about 8 people including myself. I was the only one from my squadron but made friends quickly. As an icebreaker we went round in a circle asking each other our names and something that we would bring to the Air Show beginning with the same letter as our name, I said “Hi, my name is Andrew and I will bring an apple.” We were given a mini First Aid kit which was a gift from St. John Ambulance. We were told that this kit would be used in our test tomorrow. In the course we learned lots of new things such as CPR, recovery position and how to treat a severe wound. Over the night we talked about what we had learned and revised a little.
At night time we changed in to PT kit to do sports. The sports lasted about two hours which consisted of games, running and dodge ball. It was a lot of fun especially all the games including toilet tig and many others. The rest of the night we were allowed to chill and have a break.
The next day was the day of the test. I was very nervous but confident in what I had learned. I was the very last to go and my nerves were building. The first part I had to do was the unconscious but breathing casualty. I put him into the recovery position. After that it was an unconscious, not breathing and this is when I performed CPR. The final part of the test was a severe wound. I told the casualty to add pressure to the wound and lift above the head to keep it above the heart. Then I bandaged the wound and I spoke to the casualty to keep him calm whilst waiting on the ambulance. He said he felt sick so I treated him for shock by elevating his feet and putting a blanket over him. Luckily I had passed the test as did everyone else. I was very happy I had passed.
By Cdt Armstrong
On the 18th August some cadets and I from 2175 (Rolls – Royce) Squadron attended the Bikeathon organised by Glasgow University to raise money for the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre. We assisted by directing cyclists but we also cheered the cyclists on and helped if they were unlucky enough to get a puncture or have an injury.
This time, we did not have to step in, although we were on stand by! Nearest to our checkpoint were some cadets from 32 (F) Squadron. This was my first trip with cadets and I am already looking forward to going on another. In fact, some of the cadets and I are interested in participating at this event next year.
The Air Cadet Leadership Course
By Cpl Cunningham
In the month of July I attended RAF College Cranwell for the Air Cadet Leadership course. On the first day we were woken at half 5 for a very tiring drill session. The drill sergeant marched out with his very intimidating pacing stick tucked under his arm and a somewhat less intimidating teddy bear. He explained to us it was an ACLC tradition to have a flight mascot. It would be passed around the flight each day to be take care of. However any time we made a mistake, it wasn't us who got it, it was the teddy. He told us some horrific stories of the bear being impaled, run over, drowned and even pulled apart by two land rovers! Within five minutes of A flight receiving the teddy, it had been used as the torture object of the sergeant's pacing stick! During the day we did leadership tasks, we all had a shot at being leader; it was nerve wracking because it was in front of people you'd known for a few hours. After all the activities were over it was along to dinner, including the bear, who under staff orders had been fully equipped with a cadet uniform! The next morning at drill, I was chosen to take E Flight for the passing out parade! From then on the mornings of drill were focused on learning our routine to parade in front of Air Marshall Nicholls and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. On Tuesday and Wednesday we spent the days in the field. On the Wednesday morning we marched for a good mile or two to a campsite where, in our flights, we set up a 12x12. The night in the tent was an experience as I’ve never slept in a 12x12, it was absolutely boiling for basically being a rubber cocoon. The next night however, was my favourite night of any cadet camp I've ever been on. A night bivvying between trees. E flight had great fun building their bivvy city, which slept all 9 of the boys in E flight! It was loads of fun and a great experience bivvying for the first time! We all tried to have the best sleep we possibly could because we knew there was a sports competition the next day. At 6am we were all woken up and dressed and ready to go, we were given a quick brief and map with a designated route to run, holding a 6ft log!!! Our flight was second last to be set off but we felt confident once all the times were finalised we came fourth.
The next morning we marched round to the parade square we were parading on and formed up. Within minutes a team of around 20 or so officers had arrived and lined the parade square. By 8 am the Air Marshall and Air Commodore had arrived, they took their place on the plinth. The Regional Band started playing which was our signal to start the drill; all the parade flight commander's knew what to do from all the practice and very quickly and efficiently took over the parade. The Air Marshall reached our flight and spoke to us for a few brief moments before presenting us with our ACLC brassard badges. It was a very proud moment for everyone. Once the Air Marshall was back on his plinth we were given the signal to march off, we marched round the parade square and gave an eyes right then continued to march off of parade, I instructed my flight to fall out. There was literally seconds for a few last minute flight shots then it was on the bus that was preloaded with our kit, then off to various rail stations to go home. I went to Grantham rail station with 6 other cadets; we said our final goodbyes and promised to keep in touch. I boarded my train back to Glasgow alone, I waved my goodbyes to my friends from the week as the train pulled out the station. I conked out on the train and didn’t wake up for 5 hours. I arrived home shattered. I would thoroughly recommend this week to anyone who’s up for a challenging week of leadership and teamwork.
Leuchars Annual Camp
By Cdt Rae
During the summer holidays I went to RAF Leuchars from the 20th to the 27th of August 2013. The Saturday of arriving all cadets had free time to get to know one and other. Sunday was more productive and fun day as about ten cadets got to go gliding and the rest of the cadets got to go to East Fortune. After spending practically all the day looking at all the aircraft we all went back to camp for dinner and free time. Monday was also a fun day as we had sports till lunch the half the cadets went to do their swimming proficiencies.
Tuesday and Thursday the cadets had sections visits to go to such as the police and medical department, 1(F) and 6 squadron, mountain rescue team, fire department and the Rolls Royce engine bay.
Wednesday was shooting day! Every cadet that had a L98 A2 weapon handling test got about 80-100 rounds each, and cadets with only no.8 weapons handling tests had about 40-60 rounds each. Wednesday night was the night ex which lasted 2 hours. Running around like wild animals was a lot of fun and diving into high grass was hilarious. After a tiring experience we all went back to our billets and had pizza.
Friday was our final and last whole day together. The days started off with leadership exercises that were pretty good, I learned a lot about being a leader and how frustrating it is to take lead. Later that morning we saw Eurofighter Typhoons take off. After an eventful morning everyone went to St Andrews beach for lunch and just a day to relax before going home. Getting our pictures the day before we left was good as we got everyone to sign them. That night we all went to the cinema and watched The Wolverine, I never thought I would like the film but it was amazing.
Windermere Adventure Training Camp
By Sgt Rae
From 15th-22nd of June Cpl Cunningham and I went to Windermere. Once we arrived at the adventure centre we got our bags and headed to the rooms. After we unpacked we went to the dinner hall for a briefing for tomorrow's activity. I was tired because of the bus journey down to the activity centre.
The next morning we got given a list of groups. I was a group leader and I had to make sure everyone in my group had the right kit for the activity. Also we got given a timetable that had meal times and what activities you had at certain times and what kit we needed for that activity. Breakfast was at 8, lunch was at 1 and dinner was at 6. After the activities were done we had free time. Cadets would either go into to town or get a bus down to Bowness to hang about or get munchies. Also cadets had a certain time to be back depending on their age so under 16s were to be back for half 9, over 16s were to be back for 10 and over 18s were to be back for half 10.
Through the week the Cpl and I participated in lots of activities such as map reading skills/walking, cycling proficiency, cycling, mountain biking, canoeing/kayaking and others. We also had to make a meal for one of the staff so it was like the TV programme 'Come Dine with Me'. My group made pasta and it was delicious, we did this near Lake Windermere. After we had our dinner me and some of the cadets decided to jump into the lake off the pier which was fun, but freezing.
By Cpl Pręle
On 5th July, Cdt Rae, Sgt Rae and I travelled to Wales for a five day camp at Atlantic College. We met at 1701 (Johnstone) Sqn and headed off to Wales.
After travelling for 11 hours with no sleep we finally arrived at Atlantic College and the day began. We went on a walk along the beach, raced up an enormous hill and tumbled back down it. We walked until we got back to the castle and continued our day with canoeing. We played games such as gladiators and balancing games which was really fun. That night we had our first disco of the week which was amazing because all the instructors made their own dance to “Call Me Maybe” which was really fun.
The next day was yet another amazing day, we did a low ropes course which got us all muddy and covered in poo, disgusting but fun. After being hosed down we continued to our next activity, the crate stack, which was fun but hard and the highest score a team got was 18. At the end of the night we had another disco which was great.
Throughout the rest of the week we did a lot of great activities such as caving, high ropes, mountain boarding, climbing and a lot of discos etc. We were also asked to show the instructors how to do drill, but this was just an excuse for the staff to throw water balloons at us.
Our last activity was a castle adventure which included some orienteering, catapulting water balloons at the castle and rescuing a princess. At the end of the activity one boy from each group had to propose to the princess and before the end of the camp she would say who she said yes to, but I ended up proposing to her myself. She said yes and on the last disco of camp we had a wedding.
I can honestly say that Atlantic College was the best camp I attended this year.
Roll of Honour
Promotion To Flight Sergeant
Promotion to Sergeant
Promotion to Corporal
Completion of the Air Cadet Leadership Course
Youth First Aid
Cadet Methods of Instruction
Silver Music Proficiency Badge