Published: Jun 06, 2016 by James Munday
Spring Cap for Midlands Air Cadets

Cadet Direct has paid a visit to South and East Midlands Air Training Corps during their Spring Camp at Swynnerton. Cadet Direct were invited to attend the visitors day event by Wg Cdr Nigel Dickinson, OC South and East Midlands ATC. The event also gave James Munday, Managing Director of Cadet Direct the chance to meet Sqn Ldr Sarah Mayoh-Smith who is team manager for the Wing’s Nijmegen team.  Cadet Direct and Magnum Footwear are sponsoring the team who will complete the Nijmegen marches next month.

Also in attendance were employers from the RAF Benevolent Fund, Rolls Royce, plus regular personnel from RAF Wittering. During the opening briefing, Wg Cdr Dickinson (supported by a number of his wing staff including Sqn Ldr Andy Pass Wing 2IC and Sqn Ldr Carl Wilson) explained the aims and objectives of the Spring Camp. The visitors were then transported onto the training area to visit a number of activities being completed by the cadets.

At the first stand, WO Tinsley was running a briefing and orders activity which included the cadets building models for briefings and conducting house clearances. Originally built as an ordnance storage facility, this training camp is particularly well suited for this task and features a wide range of outbuildings. In the absence of a Chinook helicopter, a van had been ingenuously converted into a ‘Vanook’ including amplified helicopter sound effects!

Air Cadet Spring Camp
WO Tinsley of South and East Midlands ATC

Further along the cadets were completing competitive team games which included paintball target ranges, with the cadets wearing protective goggles.

At a sniper observation stand PO Craig McLoughlin assisted by some experienced staff cadets were conducting a Sniper Observation Stand. Cadets were required to observe using monoculars, judge distance, complete range cards and undertake radio communication using hand held radios. Bashas had been erected using paracord and basha poles.

At the gun run stand air cadets learn to assemble, race and fire a specially manufactured and operational pneumatic gun in an event inspired by the classic field gun competition completed by regular forces. Flt Lt Phil Prudham from 2071 (Stamford) Sqn demonstrated the firing of the gun.

Gun Run Task
Flt Lt Prudham fires the pneumatic field gun

Further on Fg Off Griffin directed a high pressure command task where cadets were presented with stressful scenarios in which the cadets needed to conceal themselves from enemy observation under camouflage netting.

Fg Off Griffin briefs visitors to the command task stand
Fg Off Griffin briefs visitors to the command task stand

If this wasn’t enough just around the corner Plt Off Andrew Gaunt assisted by other ATC staff was overseeing a challenging rope exercise which required cadets to secure a rope across a river. Grp Cpt Richard Pratley, Station Commander at RAF Wittering, gave an accomplished demonstration of how to negotiate such an obstacle and received a round of applause from the other visitors.

Air Cadets cross river at Swynnerton Training Camp
Grp Cpt Pratley bravely negotiates the river at Swynnerton!

After lunch we were lucky enough to visit the flight simulation stand where under the direction of Flt Lt Andy Faulkner, cadets were engaged in an ultra realistic air combat scenario combining intelligence operations, air traffic control and flight simulation which was both exciting and challenging for all involved.

Flight Simulator at Swynnerton
Cadets tackle a sophisticated flight simulation exercise

Next we moved on to the computerised and live shooting ranges on a 25m barrack range to try out our sharp shooting skills conducted by WO Andy Hubbard. Visitors were offered the chance to try out their skills and Kate Munday from Cadet Direct got the highest score out of all of the visitors.

Air Cadets on the firing range at Swynnerton
Cadets from South and East Midlands ATC firing on the 25m Barrack range

Our final stop was the camp medical centre where trained paramedics Flt Lt Tim Hargraves and Flt Lt Liam Waring discussed their role on camp as on site medics.

Visitors get to meet medical staff at Swynnerton Camp 2016
The South and East Midlands ATC Medical Centre

This was a great opportunity to see all the staff and cadets hard at work in the field and we’d like to thank everyone at South and East Midlands ATC for inviting us to their event and making us feel so welcome. We look forward to following their training activities in the future.