HRH The Duchess of Cambridge Joins RAF Air Cadets on Camp

14 Feb 2017

The Duchess of Cambridge joined young air cadets at RAF Wittering taking part in their first camp.

As the Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets she attended Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing’s Skill Development Camp and met several cadets experiencing their first camp.

Cadets and RAF Air Cadet instructors led the Duchess through a range of activities including flying training on a simulator, leadership exercises and more.

The Duchess was also shown the Tutor aircraft which thousands of cadets use each year for air experience flights.

Showing the Duchess around the aircraft was Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertalaso, 17, of 1406 (Spalding) Squadron, a qualified aerospace instructor.

Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertalaso said: “Flying is my favourite air cadet activity and it was an honour to show the Duchess the layout of the Tutor cockpit, particularly as the aircraft is used by cadets for air experience.

“It’s incredible to have such a high profile Royal as our Patron, especially as she has strong links to the Royal Air Force with her husband being a former pilot.

"Being sat in the aircraft feels like such a blue now, but I remember that she was really interested in the controls and seemed keen to learn now."

Spalding air cadets Erin Hope, 14; Emily Empringham, 15, and Joshua Wait, 14 - also met the Duchess at the aircraft.

Later, HRH also took the controls of a flight simulator with help from Flight Lieutenant Michael Slater.  She also joined in a leadership exercise demonstrating effective planning and communication skills.

At the end of the visit, the Duchess was invited to join the cadets and volunteer staff for a camp photo and was presented with a limited edition RAF Air Cadet 75th anniversary print by Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty.

This is the third occasion that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has met with cadets since HRH The Duke of Edinburgh handed patronage of the national youth organisation to her in December 2015. 

Her prior engagements involving air cadets have included the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire in July 2016 and the launch of the RAF Air Cadet 75th anniversary celebrations in London in February 2016.

The event was held at RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire, which is one of the oldest RAF bases and has played a key role in military operations and the development of air power since 1916.

Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore McCafferty said:  “It was a delight to see the Duchess again and to witness her engaging with our young cadets and volunteers.

“Her personal support of the RAF Air Cadets is very much appreciated and I am sure those lucky enough to meet her today while taking part in various activities will keep those memories for a lifetime.”

RAF Wittering Station Commander, Group Captain Richard Pratley said: “It has been an honour to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to RAF Wittering to see some of the facilities we offer to cadets to help inspire the next generation.”

Image 1: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in a Grob Tutor with Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertalaso

Image 2: The Duchess tests out the glider flight simulator with the instructor Flight Lieutenant Phil Bloor 

Image 3: HRH joins cadets for a practical leadership exercise

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Air Cadet Magazine

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