On Saturday 21st May, 4 Squadrons from South and East Midlands Wing descended on Kendrew Barracks, previously RAF Cottesmore, for their annual Open Day.
After an early start, 1279 (Melton Mowbray), 1461 (Wigston & District), 2248 (Rutland) and 2505 (Hamilton) Squadrons arrived at a blustery Kendrew Barracks to set up their stand for the day.
Utilising the individual unit skills, the stand set out to showcase not just South and East Midlands Wing but the wider Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) with Flight Simulators and live First Aid demonstrations. The idea was to portray what opportunities the ACO can offer and what skills can be learnt by being an Air Cadet to the estimated 5000 people in attendance. It was commented by the Colonel that the way in which the cadets had put up the 12×12 tent was far better than any of the regular forces!!!
It wasn’t long before the stand started to generate a lot of interest, helped by the cadets themselves going out and pointing people towards the area in which the Squadrons had set up. One special visitor arrived and headed straight towards the Cadets stand- The Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton, who is always very supportive of the Air Cadets, commented on how excellent the stand was and even had a go on the Flight Simulator!
The wind continued to blow, bringing enough clouds and drizzle with it to stop most of the planed Fly-Pasts but it didn’t dampen the Cadets spirits as they continued to engage with the public and demonstrate what it means to be part of the UK’s premier Youth Organisation!
Following a very brief fly-past by the coveted Red Arrows display team, the public began to leave signifying the end of a fantastic day for all involved.
CI Molly Henson (20), Project Officer for the day, commented ‘It was a great day to be part of and I am very pleased with the outcome. The cadets involved did a remarkable job in engaging with the public and demonstrating the life an Air Cadet leads. Whilst this was not a recruitment activity, I hope that between us, we have generated some interest within the young people that were there on the day and hopefully made them think that becoming an Air Cadet is a good idea! Thank you to the units that participated in the day and especially for the staff team on the day that assisted!’
Cadet Jack Warren (15) of 1461 (Wigston & District) Squadron said ‘It’s always great to get out and about to these kind of events and show off what we do as Air Cadets. It was also great to see the other stands, particularly the Army ones as it’s not very often we get to see the different sides to the military! It was a great day!