Sergeant Kearsley climbs the ‘Rocky Steps’ in Philadelphia with IACE USA
Recently Sergeant Connor Kearsley from 2418 (Sherwood) Squadron flew out to the United States as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange along with 11 other cadets and 2 staff members from the United Kingdom.
The first few days in the states consisted of touring all the world famous monuments and museums the capital had to offer. Whilst the cadets were there they got to see things such as: The White House, The Washington Monument, the Pentagon and the Abraham Lincoln memorial. “Seeing these famous monuments was so surreal, it’s what you see in the movies but you never imagine yourself seeing them in person.” Said Sergeant Kearsley
On the 3rd day the cadets were flown out to their respective states. The state that Sergeant Kearsley got assigned was Pennsylvania, along with another guy from the United Kingdom and 3 Australians. On this day the cadets and the chaperone were driven all the way up to Pittsburgh, on the journey the cadets all got to bond and find out about each other’s cultures and the different way the cadet organisations are run. When the cadets got to Pittsburgh they had dinner with the Pennsylvania Wing Commander at the Cheesecake Factory. From there the cadets went onto view the soldiers and sailors museum and the Pittsburgh University. “The university building was beautiful” Sergeant Kearsley. Once they had finished there the cadets then went on to meet the host families and have a meal with them at a very nice pub.
Whilst the cadets were in Pittsburgh they got to tour such things as the Duquesne incline, Science Centre, Sport Centre and the Flight 93 memorial. Another experience that the cadets got to see was an arena football game, Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia, which is a massive rivalry. “Pittsburgh was such a beautiful city, I am definitely visiting again” stated Sergeant Kearsley
Next the cadets toured was Penn State. Whilst in Penn State the cadets got to tour the sports museum and learn about its history. They then got orientation flights around the area with a time of around 50 minutes in the air. Another key area of Penn State was the antitank Lions football stadium, which can seat 105,000 people.
The next place the cadets went on to see was Fort Indiantown Gap, whilst they were there the Brits visited a big fare where they got to see the cultural differences and see things that they wouldn’t in the UK. Whilst there they got to experience a highly competitive competition of Tractor pull. “The tractor pull was really different, but a good different” said Sergeant Kearsley. Also in Fort Indiantown Gap the cadets all got to go on the helicopter simulator used to train helicopter pilots to the required standard.
The final place the cadets got to visit was the city of Philadelphia where they saw famous monuments such as the Liberty bell, Eastern State Penitentiary, Independence hall and the world famous ‘Rocky Steps’. As it was fitting the cadets all had a race up the steps. Whilst in Philadelphia the cadets had a chance to spend time with their host families so we all decided to go to the King of Prussia mall and spend all our money. On the final night in Philadelphia the cadets attended a picnic at 904 squadron which was attended by many of the close squadrons to send the cadets on their way.
For the last few days left of the trip the cadets were all taken back to Washington where they could all have a chilled day and time to recover from the packed 10 days in their respective states.
“After this trip I have made so many new friends and have had the experience of my life, I don’t think anything will ever top this experience “ quoted Sergeant Kearsley
Sergeant Connor Kearsley
2418 (Sherwood) Squadron