Over the summer Cadets from 209 (West Bridgford), 126 (Derby) and 2195 (Long Eaton) Sqns spent a week at RAF Valley in Wales. It was a multi-activity Summer Camp giving the Cadets a chance to see the RAF at first hand. Visits were made to the Fire Section, Air Traffic Control, the Engine Bay, the Search and Rescue Training Unit, the Mountain Rescue Team and the Cadets were shown around the Hawk aircraft of 19 & 208 Sqns and the Sea King helicopters of 203 Sqn.
As well as section visits many activities were arranged during the week. One of the first main activities the Cadets took part in was a field craft exercise organised by a Marine Detachment of the Sea Cadets. Cdt Baxter of 209 Sqn explains what the Marines taught him and what exercises they ran. _“I learnt so much new stuff like all the different ways you can use camo cream and how effective it can be. I also learnt a lot about Guille suits and how you should use them. The Marine Instructors took us on to a field and taught us how to work as a team, move tactically and use it to attack.
After dinner we were taken to RAF Mona, which is a relief landing ground for Valley, basically a massive area with no one about. We put the camo cream lesson into practice and camouflaged ourselves. Moving tactically we visited different areas and did tasks like first aid, dealing with suspected IEDs and initiative exercises. Once all that practice and learning techniques was complete it was time to do the final part. We moved tactically back to the start point. We were questioned in case we were terrorists. Once they found out that we were not going to blow them up they told us to take up a guard position and keep alert at all times. At the time it was pitch black and we couldn’t really see anything. Unfortunately we ran out of time and but despite that I had a great time and was the best part of the week.”_
Other activities on the week included the spectacular Snowdonia Tree Top Adventure, orienteering, shooting on the bases 25m range, sports, bowling and Go-Karting.
Eighteen Cadets were selected from the Camp to go flying in Search and Rescue Sea King helicopters. Cdt Bramley was one of the four 209 Cadets who got the opportunity. “At the Search and Rescue HQ we were split into 3 groups of 6 Cdts. We had a safety briefing on the Sea King Helicopter. The first group went up for 15 minutes. When they landed we had a quick helmet swap and my group was escorted out to the Sea King were the winchman seated me on the first chair on the left side facing the door. He connected our helmets so we could hear what the pilot and co pilot were saying. We had 15 minutes in the Sea King were we flew over the local area. The view was amazing, one that you could only get if you stood on top of a high hill or on top of a mountain. Just before we landed we hovered over a field before setting down and swapping with the third group.”
Other highlights of the camp included many Cadets having a ‘flight’ on the Hawk Simulator and a beach BBQ which was visited by the Central and East Regions Commandant Group Captain Brett Morrell.
The Camp was very successful and all credit should go to the Camp Commandant, Flt Lt Bissell of 126 Sqn for organising an enjoyable and rewarding week.