Cadets from Edinburgh Academy RAF Section enjoyed a very successful camp at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire which is home to 45 King Air Squadron. It is also the RAF Officer training college which numbers Prince Charles, Prince William and the legendary Douglas Bader amongst its alumni.
The camp began with a trip to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, followed by an exclusive visit to RAF Coningsby for a tour of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which consists of working historic aircraft (Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster & Dakota). The historical theme continued with a guided tour of College Hall Officers’ Mess which afforded cadets an insight into various RAF Mess traditions, the stories behind some famous portraits (haunted or otherwise) as well as an understanding of both the background of the RAF and its current role.
Leadership training was a major feature of this camp, as the programme included not only Development training exercises and the chance to take part in “Operation X,” as provided by the Station itself, but cadets also benefitted from the fact that most of the CCF staff had Flight Commander experience from the prestigious Air Cadets Leadership Course and had created bespoke tasks accordingly.
Not only were all cadets given the opportunity to fly in multi-engined King Air pilot trainers with 45 squadron and/ or air experience flights in the fixed wing Flight trainer Grob Tutors at 7AEF, some also had the chance to go gliding at the RAF Central Gliding School at Syerston. This was an exciting development as no cadet gliding training has taken place since 2014 due to technical problems. The recent resolution of these difficulties meant that the following RAF cadets fulfilled the requirements for the new award of Blue Gliding Wings. This is a particular distinction as they are the first CCF cadets nationwide to attain this new award.
“.. the camp … was full of lovely people. All of the activities were entertaining and thought provoking with highlights including being one of the first cadets to ever get a blue gliding badge and playing cards with the veterans.”
“The gliding was the best thing I have ever done through the school and the CCF. I was able to control the aircraft for many of the simple manoeuvres that had to be performed in order to keep us in the air, which was both slightly scary and incredible fun.… even the drill was alright.”