RAF Valley Spring Camp 2016

Between Saturday the 28th May and Saturday the 4th June some of our Squadron cadets joined other South And West Yorkshire Wing Cadets from 8 other Squadrons, accompanied by a team of 9 staff members attended Royal Air Force Valley for a seven day long camp.

Throughout the week we received a full station visit and were graciously shown around by active personnel from the three services based at the establishment. Some of the sections visited included Fire and Rescue, Air Traffic Control, Training Flight Squadron (Hawk Training) as well as the RNLI civilian station based on the Isle of Anglesey.

Due to the bank holiday weekend, the cadets and staff had the honour of eating in the Officers Mess for the first three days of the camp where we were warmly welcomed by the mess staff.

A common high point for everyone was a flight in a Griffin HT1 helicopter, commonly used by the station for Search and Rescue Training. This was an extremely rare opportunity and a testament to how hard the staff worked for the week. The flight explored the whole of the isle and lasted just over half an hour, during the flight we were given the opportunity to speak to the pilots and crewmen about the aircraft as well as aircrew specific RAF and Royal Navy careers questions.

Another high point for the majority of cadets was the high ropes course, this course is a rope based obstacle course that reaches a height of over 50 feet before a free fall drop to the forest floor. This activity was especially popular as it was a great team building exercise and everybody bonded in the process, furthermore many cadets conquered their fear of heights.

All the cadets also were given the opportunity to ride in a speedboat along the Menai Straights that separates Holyhead from the rest of Anglesey and passed many key monuments such as the statue of Nelson.

On Wednesday the 1st June cadets were given the opportunity to undertake fieldcraft training which was concluded with a night exercise on an airfield – Royal Air Force Mona. This training included camouflage and concealment and a really exciting exercise. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and stepped up to the challenge.

Thursday the 2nd June was home to RAF Valley’s annual families day, this day is an event which is exclusive to families and relatives of service personnel based at RAF Valley and we were honoured to be invited guests on the day. The airfield turned into a hive of activity and we all toured the stands and were given the rare opportunity to watch the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows live over the airfield as a private show for just us. We were all extremely grateful for the invitation to take part in this very exclusive event.

Overall everybody really enjoyed the camp and we are all extremely grateful to the staff for giving up their week for us and giving us all the opportunities that we would not have had otherwise.

By Cdt Alfred Butler