1936 (Newton) Squadron recently continued to embrace the RAF Work Experience Scheme, with two Senior Cadet NCO’s attending two grueling courses.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Matthew Lifford (18) has attended the Royal Air Force Regiment course at RAF Honnington, Barnham camp from 2 – 6 August. The course consisted of 30 ATC cadets from many wings as far afield as Southampton and Edinburgh, all with the same aim and interest – to join the elite Corps of the RAF Regiment! The working day for the cadets was 0630 hrs until 2000 hrs and followed a carefully planned program. After completing basic administration and safety briefings, including tours of the station and Regiment Museum, the cadets participated in team building exercises that began to mould strangers into a team.
By Wednesday of the course, the cadets were given lectures about, and instructed on many of the current weaponry used by RAF Regiment airmen, such as the L85A2 rifle, General Purpose Machine Gun and Lightweight Support Weapon. Following this was a daunting fitness test, and rifle drill with the experienced instructors.
Thursday consisted exclusively of field exercises with fire and maneuver, command and control and sniper skills. Close to the hearts of all infantrymen, current ration packs were explained and sampled, along with building of shelters. An important part of the week was the open forum with serving Gunner’s where questions were asked and answered in clear straightforward Regiment fashion.
CFS Lifford said, “I can’t actually pick a best bit of the course, but it was definitely the best thing that I have done in the ACO.”
Mean while, his colleague, Cadet Warrant Officer Dan Finch attended the Aerospace Battle Manager Course (formally Fighter Controller) at RAF Boulmer, between 3 – 5 August. 10 cadets attended the course to see how the RAF controls airspace and contributes to UK air defence and operations overseas. Reveille each day was 0630 hrs until approximately 1700 hrs and consisted of visits around RAF Boulmer, and the first day of the course included in depth briefings and job descriptions by both Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officer aircrew. Also giving presentations were current RAF recruits to the trade of Aerospace Battle Manager.
All the cadets were also given a special insight into the current role of the trade in Afghanistan including day to day life of service personnel in theatre. As with all current work experience courses, the cadets were also put through the RAF Fitness test and instructed in team building, before a visit to the beach! CWO Finch said “The entire environment was buzzing with activity, and the best part was just being in that environment.” CWO Finch advises cadets interested in the course, “Don’t be daunted by the experience or the journey involved. Enjoy it and have a great time.”
Currently, 1936 (Newton) Sqn, has many cadets interested in the Work Experience scheme and hopes to provide the work place experience to many more of its number. Both Cadet Warrant Officer Finch and Cadet Flight Sergeant Lifford, both keen Nijmegen competitors, will also soon move on to the Junior Leaders Course. Squadron Warrant Officer Rob Phillips, currently heading the squadron work experience programme said “we are all extremely proud of what Daniel and Matthew have achieved. They have taken what the Corps has to offer, and are an example to their team here at Newton and throughout the Wing.”
By WO Rob Phillips
1936 (Newton) Squadron