Annual summer camps provide cadets with a great opportunity to experience life on an RAF station and the chance to take part in activities otherwise not available to them at squadron or wing levels. A number of cadets this year for summer camp within Thames Valley wing headed to RAF Shawbury across 2 weeks in August to see what happens at the base
RAF Shawbury provides for the RAF the Defence Helicopter Flying School, training aircrew for all three military services, and the Central Flying School (Helicopter), delivering the next generation of helicopter instructors. The Central Air Traffic Control School, more quietly but with equal energy, deliver the next generation of controllers, prepare those already for operations and train selected individuals as instructors.
Throughout the week cadets and staff took part in a camp familiarisation exercise to find out more about the base, an exercise on the airfield learning the drills that are undertaken when aircrew need help in an emergency, visits to the different sections on base, weapons training and shooting on the range plus a visit to the RAF Museum Cosford plus other outdoor visits including high ropes.
Not been away on a cadet camp before? Below are some of the comments from this year’s visit to RAF Shawbury and a selection of photos from the fortnight:
Cpl Mead – 594 (Thame) Sqn
Well RAF Shawbury is by far the best annual camp that one can go on! Absolutely amazing! Flying, shooting and meeting some really amazing people, including the staff as well, with the same interests as you! In short if you ever get the opportunity to go on camp then I assure you it isn’t a waste of time
Cpl Bruce – 2507 (Bicester) Sqn
27 cadets from Thames valley wing travelled to RAF Shawbury. We all had such an awesome week and all of the cadets would recommend summer camp to anybody. Summer camp is the best bit about the cadet year and I believe that anybody who doesn’t give it ago is wasting a lot of opportunities. These photos are a few of the amazing things we did on camp this year. You make new friends, try new activities and become a stronger person but go and see for yourself next year.
Sgt Chubb 211 (Newbury) Sqn
“On Saturday 10th August 30 of us arrived at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. We were accommodated in tents within a huge hangar. Located within, were 2 sports pitches and a music system, which kept us more than occupied during our free time in the evenings.
We were thrown straight into the deep end of the morning of Day 1 with Exercise Airfield Rescue. Dropped at one end to secure a perimeter around our chosen base and intercept any personal or vehicles driving through the area. This allowed us to collect vital information on the location of the injured pilots (and was generally good fun taking all the staffs possessions). Hours and kilometres later we had the pilot on the homemade stretcher making our way to the control tower to safety. After lunch a long tense negotiation exercise took place between the flights. The day concluded with an evening of bowling.
Day 2 saw us in Wedgewood uniform for the camp photo and a talk with the SWO. We visited 60R Squadron, which is part of the Defence Helicopter Flying School and home to the Griffin HT1. We were able to use the virtual simulator used by crewman for training but also the Griffin simulator used for pilots. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to visit the AMSU (Aircraft Maintenance & Storage Unit). Within these hangars there were multiple Hawks, Red Arrows, Tornados, Tucanos and even a destroyed Argentinian Puma taken from the Falkland Islands.
Day 3 had a primary role to get cadets qualified on the No 8 Rifle to shoot the following day. Everyone also had a go on a high ropes course and in the evening those qualified on the L98A2 went to the SATT Range. Those that were not went swimming in Shrewsbury. On Day 4 each flight went shooting in the morning with a chance to achieve a Wing Marksman and even a Region Marksman and then to RAF Cosford in the afternoon. The museum was very impressive especially the National Cold War Exhibition that contained the 3 V-Bombers.
The morning of the penultimate day was when all the cadets had an air experience flight in the Squirrel at 705 Naval Air Squadron. This was a great opportunity and by far the highlight of the week. In the afternoon we changed into Wedgwood uniform ready for the Drill competition, which both flights (Voyager and Globemaster) had been practicing for all week. Unfortunately Globemaster was not victorious but it was a great experience for many of the first timers on camp. A visit to Shrewsbury town was a relaxed finish to a great day.
Exercise Wreckin Havoc took place on the last day and was the ultimate test to distinguish between the two flights. It was a race to the mast on top of the hill, both flights navigating their own way, and back down. Globemaster narrowly won securing us the title of Best Flight on camp! After operation clean up of our living space the awards ceremony took place including the giving out of paper plates which heard many laughs.”
If you have never been on a camp, then go! A chance to eat great food, make great friends and experience great things.
There are plenty of camps across the year from Adventure Training, field craft to RAF station camps so keep an eye on your squadron noticeboard to find out when you can go for yourself.