Sweden visit inspires cadets on exchange programme

01 Sep 2022

Royal Air Force Cadets on exchange in Sweden have said they were inspired by the words of the Commander of the Swedish Air Force during the Armed Forces Air Show 2022 at Uppsala Air Base. 

Major General Carl-Johan Edström told visiting UK cadets about his rise to his current position as well as his role as an operational fighter pilot. 

When he was asked what experience he would choose to do relive, he replied that he would love to be a cadet again. 

Cdt Sgt Ben MacLeod, 1145 (Dunfermline) Sqn, Scotland and Northern Ireland Region, said: “Going to the Air Show was an incredible experience.  

“Meeting the head of the Swedish Air Force was a once in a life time experience and we were allowed to ask questions. It made us feel and that us being there truly mattered.” 

The cadets were also able to talk to Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Strategy) Air Vice-Marshal Simon Edwards during the event, which featured displays and exhibits as well as flights by various Swedish and international helicopters and aircraft. Cadets presented him with a certificate of appreciation for his involvement in the exchange. 

Cdt FS Caroline Gardner, The Edinburgh Academy CCF, said: “The Air Show was wonderful, especially since we’ve spent so much time learning all about the Swedish aircraft. Meeting Mjr Gen Edstrom was amazing since we got to hear his stories from where he started in the force. It was also great to meet AVM Simon Edwards, since he’s such a lovely person and he took the time to speak to all of us. It’s certainly a day I won’t forget.” 

Cdt FS Ashvin Vijayan, 241 (Wanstead & Woodford) Sqn, LaSER loved seeing the aircraft. 

“I enjoyed seeing multiple generations of Saab fighters in the Draken, Viggen and Gripen C/E, allowing me to appreciate how the technology has evolved and been utilised to fit the needs of the Swedish Air Force,” said Cdt FS Vijayan. 

That was echoed by Cdt Cpl Maud Nicolas, 992 (Malmesbury) Sqn, South West Region: “The Swedish Air Show held at Uppsala was great. There were all different types of planes, from veteran ones to fighter jets and cargo aircraft.” 

Cdt FS Kristian Harrison, 2247 (Hawarden) Sqn, Wales and West Region wanted to highlight the meeting with the Commander of the Swedish Air Force and the Air Vice Marshal for strategy for the RAF.  

“Meeting such fascinating characters was a great experience and I will certainly take the advice given and use it to the best of my ability,” said Cdt FS Harrison. 

CWO Ramin Zeynali, CCF Scotnine, “We saw a C-17, B52, C130 Hercules, Saab fighter aircraft (Viggen Draken and Gripen) and my personal favourite the F-18 hornet.  

“The best part of the day however was being invited into the VIP tent and meeting AVM Edwards and Major General Edström who were both very pleasant and inspiring people.  

“Major General Edström’s words about the military pushing him to be the best he could be were truly inspiring. Meeting Air Vice Marshall Edwards also struck a chord with me as he had ties with my home county in England, and it just showed me how regardless of where you come from, anything is possible through hard work.” 

At the end of the visit, the team were presented with the Commander of the Swedish Air Force coin.

By Julian Turner

Air Cadet Magazine

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Air Cadet Magazine

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