WHAT WE DO IN THE AIR CADETS
Once cadets are aged 13 and 3 months they can take part in powered flying with the RAF. Cadets visit an 'Air Experience Flight', normally at a RAF Station and fly in the Grob Tutor, the RAF's basic training aircraft.
Cadets start by learning the basic flying controls of the aircraft, then practice flying it by themselves. However, at all stages, they will be accompanied by an experienced pilot. If the weather allows, cadets might have the opportunity to experience the thrill of aerobatics. In due course cadets may be selected for further flying training courses, some of which they will fly solo.
Occasionally, cadets might have the opportunity to fly in other RAF aircraft such as the Chinook or Hercules.
Flying in the ATC is an activity that is paid for centrally, therefore there is no additional cost to the cadet.
Once cadets have reached the age of 13 and 3 months they can take part in gliding at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS). We have a VGS at RAF Kenley.
The Air Cadets use the 'Grob Viking', which are high performance modern gliders designed for Basic Training. Cadets begin by doing some ground training before getting airborne in a Glider. Each part of the course focuses on using a different control surface of the aircraft which cadets learn and practice.
When selected for gliding, cadets must help to launch aircraft by attaching cables and holding wing tips. Safety is very important and cadets will have a thorough briefing including a safety video and hangar briefing.
Cadets have the opportunity to learn the skill of shooting, using air rifles or more powerful target rifles, at indoor or outdoor ranges. Cadets can achieve various marksmanship qualification badges to wear on their uniform. Those who prove to be excellent marksmen can go on to represent the Air Cadets at a national competition.
Safety is paramount with all ATC activities and shooting is certainly no exception. Training is an integral part of the activity and each cadet is fully trained in whichever rifle they will be using before they shoot. Each cadet also has a 6 monthly weapons handling test to prove that they can safely handle the weapon.
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a nationally recognised programme of activities that participants can gain at three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. The ATC is committed to offering the Award to cadets. The current patron of the Award is HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.
Cadets need to be aged 13 yrs and 9 months to enrol onto the scheme and the ATC contribute to the Bronze award so this stage is free for all cadets, however the Silver and Gold awards cost a small amount to enrol.
Cadets will benefit in many ways, increasing their knowledge in various activities and skills. It also looks great on any future CV and there is firm evidence that employers look favourably upon candidates who have attained a Duke of Edinburgh Award.
There are 4 sections to complete for each level, with 1 extra for the Gold. The sections are as follows: Physical, Volunteering, Skills, and Expedition.
Arguably one of the most enjoyable and beneficial activities on offer in the Air Cadets, camps come in several different forms.
As an Air Cadet you will get the opportunity to take part in simple, local one night camps under canvas, then more rigourous 2 or more nights camping, to sometimes camping for up to a week, as far and wide as Snowdonia in Wales or the Lake District.
In addition to these camps, there are various specialist camps organised, for cadets who have shown a particular interest in activities such as Drill, Music or Aerospace.
However, the highlight of an Air Cadet's year has to be the chance to spend a week living at a Royal Air Force Station, getting to see and experience exciting things unavailable elsewhere. Typical activities when away on camp include flying, shooting, sports, competitions, visits and social time.
For those who work hard, there may be the opportunity to take part in an overseas camp - to a place where the RAF or other British Forces may be, or as the guest of an allied country. Overseas camps visited by cadets in recent years include Cyprus, Germany, USA, Australia, France and Hong Kong.
Squadrons are also permitted to organise their own camps. Over the years 450 Sqn has made good use of local facilities such as Frylands Wood in Selsdon and Bramley Training Area, and since 2002 we have also taken a group of cadets to the Isle of Wight on an Adventure Training Week.
WHAT HAPPENS AT KENLEY...
The Squadron meets twice a week - currently on Monday and Friday evenings, at our HQ on the former Spitfire and Hurricane airfield, RAF Kenley.
Members of 450 Squadron experience a wide range of activities whilst taking part in evenings at Kenley. Many of them are to support, or prepare for further off site training for some of the activities already mentioned.
A typical parade evening will consist of a 'First Parade' - similar to morning registration at school, where the plan for the evening will be shared and briefings will commence. The first period of training will then commence, with a short break after around 45 minutes, followed by a second period of training, before 'Final Parade', when all are accounted for and notices are read.
The kind of activities undertaken on a parade evening, may include leadership exercises, teamwork tasks, sports, aircraft recognition, drill, map reading, debating, band practice, competitions, field cooking, aero modelling... the list goes on.
Finally, a significant part of our 'on Squadron' training, involves each cadet attending lessons to prepare for annual exams, which are based on service / aviation / adventure topics, including Principles of Flight, Map Reading, Airmanship, Radio Communications and History of the RAF.
450 (KENLEY) SQUADRON
ROYAL AIR FORCE AIR CADETS
V E N T U R E A D V E N T U R E