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South and East Midlands Wing field day success

Over 800 cadets and adult volunteers came together on Sunday to compete in their annual Wing Field Day competition, kindly hosted by their parent station, RAF Wittering. This saw 31 Squadrons contest against each other in nine competitions (Drill & Uniform, Banner Drill, Aviation, Cyber, Space, Chaplains Challenge, First Aid, Leadership, and L144A1 Shooting) to see who would be announced the Overall Winner.

banner drill

Though many months of practice had gone into the cadets showcasing their skills across the progressive training syllabus; it was not the only opportunity for them at our Wing Field Day. RAF Wittering also hosted an experience zone which included: RAF Careers Engagement, Central Reserves Support Wing, Royal Navy Careers Engagement, Cadet Vocational College, ‘Blue Light’ experience, Central Reserves Support Wing, RAFAC Immersive Technologies Aviation Activities, Laser Clay Pigeon shooting, Progression in your Duke of Edinburgh Award, and Wing Fieldcraft opportunities.

This new format of the Wing Field Day competition has come about after much shaping over the past few years, shifting from the old format to bring it in line with the new ASTRA initiative. This saw the introduction of three new competitions in Aviation, where the cadets complete a practical flight simulator challenge and route planning challenge using skills learnt from Senior/Master classifications, Cyber, involving a Python coding challenge linking into the skills learnt on Bronze iDEA award, and Space, where cadets complete a STEM based practical challenge linking to the Blue/Bronze Space syllabus, as well as bringing in the experience zone so that the cadets could take more away from the day.

flight simulator

Once the competitions were well on their way it was great to see cadets actively getting involved in the experience zone, chatting to all the engagement teams, and completing their many challenges such as seeing who could produce the best air powered rocket with the Royal Navy. There was also a lot of friendly rivalry between cadets joining the Wing Shooting Officer on the Officers Mess Lawn to see who could successfully hit the clays with the laser shotguns. With all these activities in full swing a real buzz could be felt around the base.

laser clay shooting

As it came towards lunch time hosted by No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron, the cadets found out there were going to be three surprise visitors joining them on the day. The first was a visit from BFBS ‘Op Ice Cream’, which once it arrived never seemed to see the queue go down. The second and possibly the favourite for many was a special visit from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, who provided a flypast from the iconic Spitfire aircraft. The final surprise was a visit from our very own Commandant RAFAC, Air Commodore Keeling, who came to experience the day along with the Regional Commandant, Group Captain Boreham, and Station Commander of RAF Wittering, Wing Commander Duncan. During their time with the Wing, they visited all the competitions, the experience zone, and went to talk to the cadets.

The day was concluded with a parade with the whole Wing to thank all those who had supported the day and to announce the all-important results. The winners of each competition were as follows: Drill & Uniform – 5F (Northampton), Banner Drill – 1359 (Beeston), Aviation – 1936 (Newton), Cyber – 504 (West Nottingham), Space – 2248 (Rutland), Chaplains Challenge – 1947 (Birstall), First Aid – 5F (Northampton), Leadership – 126 (City of Derby) & 1359 (Beeston), and L144A1 Shooting – 858 (Rushden). This resulted in the Overall Winners of Wing Field Day 2024, for the second year in a row, being announced as 1359 (Beeston) Squadron. Well done to them.

Cadet collecting trophy from Wing Commander
1359 (Beeston) Squadron - Overall Winners

Squadron Leader McGlynn, Wing Training Officer and organiser of the day commented “It was really incredible to see the way in which the Wing came together at Wing Field Day. The day not only put cadet’s skills to the test but gave them an opportunity to experience a wider range of amazing opportunities. From seeing their efforts in the competitions to the buzz during the flypast, I was really proud of everybody’s effort and participation during the day. A huge thank you to all who helped make the day such a great occasion from the volunteers running competitions, to the support of RAF Wittering and our external judges.”