Around 500 cadets from across the country have spent the week learning about all things aviation at the National Aerospace Camp at RAF Syerston.
The week-long camp that has been designed to offer cadets a unique insight into aerospace, aviation and engineering experience with a tailored programme of training and activities developed in collaboration with the RAF and industry partners.
As an RAF100 inspire event, the VIP day was an even bigger event for cadets, volunteers and the invited partners, as it offers cadets the opportunity to meet with industry partners at their engagement stands to explore potential career options, and gives key partners the see the aviation offer available with the RAF Air Cadets and the working and operational commitment of the RAF to the RAFAC.
Assistant Chief to the Air Staff Air Vice Marshal Gerry Mayhew, AOC 22 Gp Air Vice Marshal Warren James and RAF Air Cadets ambassador Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman were among just a few of the VIPs joining the camp for the VIP day.
After briefings with the Aviation Skills Partnerships, VIPs were split into groups and invited to meet cadets and test out some of the activities on offer including virtual reality flying, part task trainers and chat to volunteers who help deliver this experience.
Air Vice Marshal Warren James was invited to unveil the Aaron Academy plaque which has temporarily been placed inside the 644 VGS building where some aerospace training will begin. Once the Aaron Academy has been constructed at RAF Syerston the plaque will be relocated to the new building.
AVM Warren James tweeting about the camp said: “An excellent day – with huge thanks to our volunteers who help inspire youth, and the many parties who left impressed by youth.”
Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford was also in attendance to handover a new Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Portal from BAe Systems which will remain at RAF Syerston to further aviation training for air cadets.
One of the highlights of the day was launching a weather balloon which included a time-lapse camera to send photos of its location back to the camp. The balloon reached 2,000ft before the lower air pressure caused it to pop.
Cadet Warrant Officer James Bland has completed the Qualified Aerospace Instructors course and is one of the cadets leading training exercises at the Aerospace Camp.
James said: “We’ve run several STEM activities across the whole camp.
“STEM is being pushed massive as part of the RAF100 anniversary and is a major part of how the RAF operates, with engineering, the technology they sue with air traffic, so it’s very important for them to have those skills and push that side so the cadets can understand a be inspired.”
One of the aims of the camp is so ensure cadets all cadets who don’t yet have a blue wings badge leave with one. To achieve this cadets must complete training at ground school, in a part task training (simulator) and finally get airborne in a glider or tutor.
Cadet Warrant Officer Tayla Atkins ,19, of Kimbolton CCF(RAF) said: "I love flying, I love aviation and I really love the fact that the Air Cadets gives you so many opportunities to meet similar people and push yourself in ways you probably wouldn't in a civilian camp or organisation.”
To fully ensure everyone left the camp truly inspired, the day ended with a full display from the Red Arrows, many of which are former cadets themselves, to showcase what can be possible with a STEM career either as a pilot or engineer.
Images by Squadron Leader Philip Jones - Corps Photographer South