Every year, cadets are given the opportunity to attend a camp on an operational RAF station. These camps last one week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday) with the primary purpose of letting cadets see what life is like on an RAF station. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet new friends and have a lot of fun.
You will sleep in RAF accommodation blocks, eat at the airman’s mess and visit the various sections around the station (such as flying squadrons, the control tower etc.), as well as take part in sports, orienteering and night exercises, quizzes, aircraft recognition competitions and any social activities which may be available.
Each cadet at camp will normally get a flight in one of the Air Experience Flight’s Tutor aircraft and being on an RAF station puts cadets in a perfect position to get opportunity flights on any other aircraft which may be on the station.
Cadets over 16 years of age may receive a Work Experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force entails.
Each RAF Station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will help to ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that as many opportunities are available to cadets as possible.
Usually organised at a squadron or wing level, weekend camps allow more intensive training but which can fit into a weekend and, as such, does not interfere with school days. These camps can be on just about anything including NCO training days, orienteering exercises or long night exercises.
Once a cadet has attended a UK camp and has reached the age of 15 they will be able to apply for Overseas camps.
We currently run overseas camps at RAF Gibraltar, RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and RAF Rheindahlen in Germany.
Overseas camps are typically more relaxed because of the greater experience amongst the participants. They concentrate less on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as gaining valuable work experience with RAF personnel, visiting local sites of historic and/or military interest.
Cadets will also get the opportunity to explore towns in the local area, such as Limassol in Cyprus.
An overseas camp is a must for all cadets, however, places are limited each year so applying for one is just the first step. You may have to fend off competition from your own squadron to get the opportunity to go to your Wing HQ for an interview. Only after this interview will you discover that you have been chosen to attend overseas camp and be the envy of your squadron!
International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE)
The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) links air minded youth organisations across the world on a 15-day exchange visit each July and August.
The first such exchange was in 1947 between the ATC(UK) and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. The Association is now 19 nations, exchanging some 600 cadets/adults annually with English as the common language. The UK exchanges 90 cadets annually (we do get them back at the end) with 14 different countries.
Each year, UK cadets aged between 17 and 21 may apply for a position on this scheme and may be fortunate enough to be awarded one of the few places each year.
Junior Leaders Course
The Junior Leaders course is a personal and career development programme for highly committed SNCOs from UK Cadet Forces. The course is commanded by a Sqn Ldr from HQ AC, RAFC Cranwell. It comprises of nine weekends and a 9 day final exercise over an eight month period. Students are taught a broad range of subjects designed to develop their management skills and equip them to lead adults not cadets. It is a pass/fail course with an average pass rate of 68%. The Junior Leaders Syllabus is planned in detail to ensure that the students are given a balanced menu of training and instruction. Our culture is similar to that of a UAS or OTC unit. For those wishing to join HM Forces as Officers the course provides a realistic insight to the demands, culture and professionalism of service life. Initially, potential students must pass a selection weekend, where they are assessed for their suitability for the course. Successful applicants then move on to the first phase of the course. For more details, see www.juniorleaders.org.
HQ Air Cadets Leadership Course
Held at RAF Stafford. Cadets must be 16 – 18 years old, but no specific Rank
or Classification needed.