A number of cadets from 966 (Wallingford) Sqn attended the Royal British Legion Awards at the Masonic Hall in Wallingford on Thursday 26 May. Having been thoroughly grilled by members of the British Legion a few weeks previously, FS Ewers and Cpl Godfrey were aware that they were contenders for Cadet of the Year. However, in the end, because of the high standard, the judges couldn’t decide which cadet should get the award, so it was decided to present the award jointly to them both for their services to the community and to their squadron. Various other awards were presented to members of the Legion and the Army Cadet Force. Congratulations to both FS Ewers and Cpl Godfrey for an outstanding performance!
Following the awards there were two talks by helicopter pilots from RAF Benson. In the first, a Puma helicopter pilot described the aircraft and the role it played in Iraq and the way training is carried out in Kenya. Amongst a number of interesting facts revealed during the talk was that the Puma is being updated as it is 40 years old this year and interestingly that the aircraft’s gas turbine engine is the same design as used in the original French TGV high speed train.
The second presentation was by a Merlin pilot who focused on the differences between the Merlin and the Puma. These were mainly in technology as the Merlin is a much ‘younger’ aircraft being only 10 years old. He then went on to describe the many different roles the helicopter plays in Afghanistan. He finished with a film of a typical day in the life of a Merlin helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.
After the presentations there was a buffet put on by the RBL during which a number of air cadets took the opportunity to question the two helicopter pilots about their jobs.
Finally, the Chairman thanked the air cadets for coming to the presentation and congratulated them on their smart turnout.