Taking a look back…

As you’ll have seen in our last article, 878 Highworth Squadron has had to adapt to the ever-changing situations that come with a pandemic. This month we’ve decided to look at some of our favourite events, past and present. Kicking us off is our Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Nick Goddard.

“As events run virtually for the time being, they have a totally different look and feel when compared with face-to-face events. They are not better or worse, simply different. So, it would be unfair to compare them!

Prior to the pandemic, the event I enjoyed the most was assisting at the WRDEUP Music Festival in Highworth each summer. The cadets and staff put in a lot of effort, helping with essential tasks like car parking and litter picking. Supporting events in our local community is something close to my heart, and the bonus is that it raises our profile with local people and showcases the value we have in society.

Since we have moved to ‘Virtual’ events online, the one I have enjoyed the most was the presentation from Sgt Kimi Stewart from RAF Brize Norton. It was insightful to hear about her experiences as an RAF Armourer. It is also worth highlighting the fact that this kind of opportunity would have been far more difficult to arrange in the ‘old world’. Working virtually is already showing how it can be more flexible and accessible for everyone!”

Cadet Lucy Osborne has chosen to write about her favourite activity as a cadet, which is flying.

“In air cadets you have many opportunities. in my opinion one of the most rewarding and exciting activity’s that you can do is flying.

Flying is a great opportunity to see how coordination, communication and training are used when flying an aircraft. You get many fun and educational opportunities when flying like doing cool aerobics and taking control.”

One of our more senior cadets, Cadet Alex Tilling, has chosen his favourite cadet experience – a flight in a Boeing C-17 Globemaster.

“The C-17 is one of three RAF Heavy Lift Aircraft, the other two being the Lockheed C130J Hercules and the Airbus A400M Atlas.

We flew from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Mildenhall which is currently in use with the USAF operating their Heavy lift and Tanker role aircraft within the UK, we did circuits and approaches at RAF Mildenhall and cadets had the opportunity to go up to the flight deck and sit behind the pilot for an approach, afterwards we flew back to RAF Brize Norton where we continued flying circuits and approaches followed by a high performance landing where the aircraft stops after only using 3000 feet of Runway, this capability allows the C-17 to operate out of small airfields in combat zones, giving it a tactical capability that not many aircraft of its size can boast.”

In my opinion, the way virtual training has united different units and wings even more than before is wonderful. We all must work together to stay connected and I know that our cadets will have learned something because of it. Obviously, the circumstances are uncertain, but the RAF Air Cadets have proved that we can always work together as a team, no matter what.

Cadet Sergeant Anna Talbert, 17

To find out what other activities cadets get up to, search ‘878 Highworth Squadron RAF Air Cadets’ on Facebook or visit ‘@878Highworth’ on Twitter and ‘@878highworthsqn’ on Instagram

Posted in Cadet Activities.