The Air Cadet Organisation has its own radio networks for cadets to practice radio operating procedures and techniques and to exchange messages with other cadets around the UK and overseas. Cadets can also communicate with Sea, Army and CCF Cadets, and sometimes both civil and military aircraft in flight.
Radios are very useful to Air cadets. They allow pilots to talk to ground and air traffic controllers and each other, and cadets in the field to stay in touch with their leaders and each other. But radios make flying and other exercises safer and more efficient only if people know how to use them properly.
Most activities include a need to communicate clearly and even in the days of mobile phones and e-mail two-way radio is an important tool. As a part of their radio training cadets are instructed on how to communicate clearly and concisely to ensure that the message is correctly understood. Learning some rules of radio communication helps cadets to understand radio procedures during flying and other exercises. They are also taught how to use fixed, mobile and hand-held radio transceivers.
Many cadets progress on to completing their Radio communications Qualification and are entitled to wear the badge on their uniform. Some cadets successfully pass the Amateur Radio Foundation License Exam that allows cadets to apply for an Amateur Radio Licence.
In addition to the standard Cadet channels, some Squadrons within the Region are on amateur band frequencies, and it is possible to have conversations with radio users from almost anywhere around the world. Scanning through the frequencies could potentially provide conversations with cadets in Australia and Canada in the same session.