2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force, and in addition to the RAF’s comprehensive schedule of events to mark the occasion, RAF Benson has numerous plans to celebrate through several local programmes. All of which we plan to deliver as well as managing the operational demands we are faced with; as such, the RAF 100 team have worked hard to develop a programme of events that meets both intentions.
Many key events will mark Benson’s celebrations, including our already successful 100 Faces developed by our 3 very talented RAF Photographers. The project has aimed to highlight individuals, show diversity, inspire future generations, but more importantly, to celebrate the current Air Force and the quite professionalism shown by all who work here. 100 portraits were released over the 100 days leading up to the centenary on 1st April 2018, with the Station Commander’s portrait concluding the project. Gaining huge reach across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it has also been featured in the British Institute of Professional Photography magazine.
As well as our extensive School Engagement Programme, our Families’ Day, Youth Muster and a CO’s Cup Sports Day will all have a dedicated RAF100 theme.
The School Engagement Programme will involve visits to several schools to increase awareness of the RAF, setting a poem competition for Primary School Children and a Paint-a-Tile Competition for Secondary School Art Students. The winners of these 2 projects will win a visit to RAF Benson for the Day.
In addition to these main events we have hosted an RAF 100 inspired Cadet Easter Camp, a STEM Race for the Line competition, and will soon run a CAMO day with our local schools.
One of the most important things we can do for young children is to teach them how to think and not what to think. A competition that fits in seamlessly with the RAF 100 themes; Commemorate, Celebrate and Inspire, Race for the Line Season 3 was an opportunity for RAF Benson to encourage children to be imaginative, innovative and creative.
Volunteers from RAF Benson visited 7 schools in our local community to race the Rocket Cars the students had engineered from a block of foam, with some reaching speeds as high as 30.7 ms-1 (68.7 mph) and some as low as 7.6 ms-1 (17 mph).
With the Regional Final held at RAF Benson, students had the opportunity re-engineer new Rocket Cars based off the analysis of their previous cars performance. While it was clear that each car was unique and brilliant in its own way, more importantly, the students were ecstatic witnessing their creations speeding along the race track in the Hangar.
Ultimately, Race for Line encourages the next generation to pursue a career within Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM), whether it be in the military or industry. Foremost, the most essential part about Race for the Line is that it provided RAF Benson with an opportunity to give back and engage with our local community through such a historical year.
2018 has proven to be and still promises to be an eventful year so far, and RAF Benson is a unit worth celebrating - we look forward to your involvement, support and enjoyment over the next year!