National Air and Space Camp 2022

31 Aug 2022

 

Cadets went up in gliders, watched an air show and met potential employers as part of the National Air and Space Camp 2022 at RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire.

The August event was put together by 2 Flying Training School and featured cadets from all around the UK.

They took part in a range of activities and also had chance to talk to more than 30 industry partners in a career fair highlighting future opportunities in aviation, aerospace and defence sectors. There were also STEM activities to get involved in.

The air show featured a Typhoon, Spitfire, F35 and the Red Arrows as well as Chinook and Puma helicopters. Cadets could also look around engines, ejection seats and inert aircraft munitions. 

More than 600 RAF Air Cadets enjoyed the display, which rounded off Industry Day at the camp. A further 400 friends and families of RAF personnel were on site, as the flying also served as a Family Day for the airfield.  

Among those at the event were (from left, main image) Sgt Lili Fisher-Hope, 1483 (Brentwood) Sqn, L/Cpl Willow Griffith, from Lady Eleanor Holles School CCF, L/Cpl Laiba Rehman, Reading School CCF, and FS Cassandra Griffin, 381 (Reading) Sqn.

All four went up in the air in a glider at the event, with it being the first experience for Sgt Fisher-Hope, L/Cpl Griffith and L/Cpl Rehman. 

FS Griffin said she really enjoyed being back in a glider again and had loved seeing the Typhoon and Spitfire together in the air display.

"Being in the Air Cadets gives you so many opportunities," said FS Griffin. "You meet so many different people and enjoy lots of different experiences."

Sgt Fisher-Hope, who wants to be an engineer, said she was happy to get her first flight completed.

"The take-off felt great and this was a good first step for me," she said.

L/Cpl Laiba Rehman said she was surprised how peaceful it was up in the air.

"It was amazing, and I really felt the G-force," said L/Cpl Rehman. "It's really worth getting in the Air Cadets to experience things like this"

L/Cpl Griffith added: "I've always wanted to try it and it didn't disappoint.I was surprised how small everything looked on the ground while I was up there!"

Gp Capt Baz Dale, Commandant 2 Flying Training School and the station commander at RAF Syerston, said he was “immensely proud” of the effort that went into the event, particularly on Industry Day.  

“I am hugely grateful to the Air Display participants, and to those who flew in ‘static’ aircraft, many of whom had been Air Cadets themselves,” he said.  

The display was an opportunity to say thank you to family and friends “for all the support they have given to 2FTS over the past four years.” 

It was also a chance to say thank you to the team from Serco, who are “integral” to 2FTS operations, Gp Capt Dale said.  

“This camp will hopefully inspire our outstanding young people to consider a career in an aerospace-related industry, if not the armed forces,” Gp Capt Dale explained.  

Wg Cdr Mark Brayford, who leads the volunteer team running the National Air & Space Camp, said the Industry Day had been a “huge success.” 

“The Wednesday of the camp was originally a VIP day, an opportunity for visitors to come and see what we get up to,” he said.  

“But as the camp has evolved, so the Wednesday has developed into something much more focused on the cadets themselves.  

“With everything we do, we are constantly asking ourselves ‘how can we offer these young people something they won’t get elsewhere?’, and the Industry Day is no exception.  

“You only have to look at the way our cadets have engaged with this to know we have managed to give them exactly that.”  

Gp Capt Dale thanked Matt Wakefield from Serco for arranging essential sponsorship for the event and expressed his gratitude to Sqn Ldr Chris Bulteel, Flt Lt Sean Link, Flt Lt Rod Grant and Mr Kendall Phillips for their hard work, alongside everyone at 2FTS who worked tirelessly to ensure that the RAF Syerston Air Display was such a great success.

Planning is already underway for next year, including the flying display. The camp will return to the home of RAF Air Cadet gliding in August 2023.

 

By Julian Turner

Air Cadet Magazine

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Air Cadet Magazine

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