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Air cadets from Nuneaton and Bedworth have been given a valuable insight into what life as a new recruit in the RAF is all about.

Youngsters belonging to 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron Air Training Corps have just returned from summer camps at RAF Halton and the RAF College Cranwell which are both key training establishments for new Royal Air Force recruits.

RAF Halton is the home of the Recruit Training Squadron which is responsible for training all new ground trade airmen and airwomen to the required standard during their first nine weeks of basic recruit training before they progress to their trade training and the RAF College Cranwell is responsible for the training of all new officer recruits.

Every year, the Air Cadets are given the chance to attend an annual camp on an operational RAF station but both of this years camps have given the young cadets a valuable opportunity to get first hand experience of what life is like as a new recruit in the RAF.

During their time at RAF Halton the cadets slept in RAF accommodation ate in the airman's mess and underwent numerous uniform and room inspections. The training programme for the cadets included many aspects of the course undertaken by the new recruits such as the orienteering course, low ropes leadership exercises and some eye opening sessions with a real Drill Instructor! They also had the rare opportunity of a night exercise with the RAF Regiment from the Recruit Training School , and some of the cadets actually managed to outwit the regular opposition and win!

But as usual annual camps are not all hard work and no play, the cadets also visited the Battle of Britain Bunker at RAF Uxbridge, the RAF Museum at Hendon and even managed to get some Air Experience Flying in the Tutor basic trainer aircraft at RAF Benson where they were also treated to close examination visits to both the Puma and Merlin helicopter Squadrons.

The Air Cadet Camp Commandant Squadron Leader Bryan Coats said, "This was probably the best programmed camp I have ever undertaken and although the cadets and staff had to work hard to fit all the activities in, it was well worth it, and it was obvious that all the cadets had an excellent, interesting and memorable camp. A camp that many of the cadets described as their best ever, one cadet summed it up when he described it as 'wicked'"

The cadets who attended the camp at the RAF College Cranwell also enjoyed an action packed camp programme which included flights as passengers in the Dominie, and King Air multi-engine training aircraft as well as Air Experience Flying in the Tutor basic trainer during which the cadets hade the opportunity to take control of the aircraft for themselves. The cadets also got an insight into RAF officer training when they visited the RAF College.

Whilst at RAF Cranwell the cadets took part in a Search & Rescue exercise, Weapons Training, Team Building and numerous other section visits as well as a trip to RAF Coningsby for a tour or the historic aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Surprise promotions for Air cadets at the RAF Museum Hendon as Cdt S Dowdall, Sgt C Murrell, Sgt E Hart and FSgt S Realf don WW2 uniforms as Cpl, Wg Cdr, Sgt, and Air Marshall – Click to enlarge.                          Cadets visited the Battle of Britain command Bunker at RAF Uxbridge Click to enlarge
Cadets visited the Halton House Officers Mess (probably the 2nd most impressive in the RAF), an ex Rothschild’s mansion house. Needless to say the Cadet accommodation was not quite so salubrious. - Click to enlarge.
Cadet Cpl Jenna Rodger all ready for an Air Experience Flying in the Tutor basic trainer  - Click to enlarge


Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Air Training Corps Summer Camp RAF Halton 5 ~ 12 Aug 2006

Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Air Training Corps Summer Camp RAF Halton 5 ~ 12 Aug 2006

Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Air Training Corps Summer Camp RAF College Cranwell 29 Jul ~ 05 Aug 2006

Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Air Training Corps Summer Camp RAF College Cranwell 29 Jul ~ 05 Aug 2006

RAF Halton crestRAF Halton

Halton is home to the School of Recruit Training, the RAF Institute of Health, Headquarters Defence Dental Agency, and a Volunteer Gliding School, No 613, flying Vigilant T1s.

The aim of Recruit Training Squadron at RAF Halton is to train ground airmen and airwomen to  the required standard to progress to trade training, by engendering a positive attitude towards the Royal Air Force and the military environment. Importance is  placed upon discipline, teamwork and self-reliance. Recruits have to be committed and determined to pass a demanding yet rewarding course. The course includes the following subjects: Drill, General Service Knowledge, Physical Education, Care and Maintenance of Uniforms and Military Field Skills such as first aid, weapon handling and firing, and protection against chemical weapons.

Recruit Training is 9 weeks in duration and includes a number of practical and  written exams, all of which have to be passed in order to move on to trade  training; the course concludes with a parade to which friends and families are invited

RAF Cranwell crestRAF College Cranwell

Originally HMS Daedalus, a Royal Naval Air Service training and airship base, the site that is now RAF Cranwell was taken over by the RAF in 1918 for officer cadet training, a role it fulfills to this day at the famous RAF College. Currently based at Cranwell are No 3 Flying Training School who operate newly arrived King Air twin-engined aircraft (45 (Reserve) Squadron), 8 Dominie T1s (55 (Reserve) Squadron) and 16 Tutor T1s and carry out Basic Flying Training. Also based on the main airfield is the RAF College Air Squadron with Tutor T1s , and on the Cranwell North grass airfield is the Cranwell Gliding Club, part of the RAF Gliding and Soaring Association (RAFGSA). The Air Warfare Centre is based at Cranwell, as is the Aerosystems Department, a specialist training division.

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Page last updated, Sunday, 17 September, 2006 10:15 PM .