Putting the ‘Air’ in Air Cadets
RAF Benson helped put the ‘Air’ in Air Cadets this weekend when over 700 youngsters visited the Station for a Cadet Muster.
Cadets from across the South of England were welcomed to RAF Benson on Saturday 10 June 2017 to take part in air experience flights and view a whole host of ground activities from across the Armed Forces.
With the sun shining, over 740 cadets and more than 90 instructors took to the skies in either a Puma or Chinook helicopter. Many of the Air Cadet Squadrons in attendance are some distance away from a Royal Air Force station and rarely have the opportunity to fly so it was a very special day for those attending.
While on the ground the Cadets also got a chance to take part in numerous activities, from seeing a Chinook fitted for its casualty evacuation role to trying on diving gear used by the Royal Engineers to taking part in a laser clay pigeon shooting contest in an aircraft hangar! The National Police Air Service, which is also based at RAF Benson, also took time from their busy schedule to show cadets around their aircraft and explain their role.
The Air Cadet Organisation promotes and encourages a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force; however, for RAF Benson the whole point of the Muster was to inspire the next generation to achieve their full potential, whatever that may be. While members of the Cadets, the 12 to 20 year olds will undertake training and development in numerous skills and personal qualities that prove useful in both military and civilian life.
The event was also attended by the Air Officer Commanding No 22 (Training) Group, Air Vice-Marshal Warren ‘Bunny’ James, and the Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. Both were thrilled with the turnout from the Cadet Force and took to Twitter soon after the event to express
Air Cdre McCafferty tweeted: “Thank you, thank you, thank you to all @RAF Benson for hosting an awesome cadet muster today. So many smiling faces!”
AVM James also tweeted: “Excellent day @RAFBenson for the cadet muster. Great to see the commitment and hear the aspirations of so many young women and young men.”
Group Captain Hamish Cormack,
Station Commander of RAF Benson, said:
“The main effort for the whole team was to generate as many smiles as possible from a day hopefully many of the cadets will remember for a very long time to come. This aim was unquestionably achieved judging from the comments and faces of the over 740 cadets who flew in a Puma or Chinook helicopter. As well as the flying, ground displays gave a real feel for some of the other aspects of life in the RAF. We were also honoured to welcome Air Vice-Marshal James and Air Commodore McCafferty who jumped completely into the spirit of the event, happily posing for hundreds of selfies with the cadets and instructors.”