In July 2019, I was privileged to attend the International Air Cadet Exchange for the second time in my Air Cadet career. Representing the RAF Air Cadets of the UK, in their involvement in the exchange programme – this time attending Germany.
The Exchange’s purpose is to: foster international understanding, goodwill, and friendship among aerospace-minded individuals.
Along with other Air Cadets and Military personnel from over a dozen countries including Turkey, France, Romania, Egypt and Switzerland, we spent 2 weeks travelling across Germany learning it’s heritage, and taking part in experiences like no other.
We first travelled to Nörvenich Air Base, garrison to the infamous ‘Boelke’ squadron of the German Air Force – named after the WWII Flying Ace Oswald Boelke. The base now serves as a home to one of the countries Quick Reaction Force Euro Fighter Typhoons – of which we got to see take off, just meters away from the runway!
Out trip took us around Cologne, Berlin, Bavaria and many more! From gliding in Munich, to visiting one of the main campuses of aerospace giant Airbus.
A main highlight of the second week, was the trek up the Alps in Bavaria and spending the night at the top – the views were spectacular!
The International Air Cadet Exchange in its entirety is something left unrivalled by anything the RAF Air Cadets has to offer – and this article only just scrapes the surface. I’ve made friends and contacts all over the world, all of whom I will be talking to for a long time to come. I had an amazing time, one I will not forget, and I hope my peers in the RAF Air Cadets all aspire to one day take part in the program.
Cadet Warrant Officer Joseph Chapman