Cadets descend on RAF Cosford for a special anniversary day

RAF Air Cadets marked the organisation's 80th anniversary in style with a celebration in the West Midlands for up to 2,000 young people.

One of the air cadets wearing a virtual reality headset
One of the air cadets wearing a virtual reality headset

RAF Cosford hosted the regional event which attracted cadets from Shropshire, Wales and the Black Country as well as from further afield.

It was held on the weekend that should have hosted the annual air show, cancelled for the second year running because of the pandemic.

They took to the air in a number of RAF Chinooks and Pumas and learnt about space, science and technology in the amazing showcase involving the RAF Museum.

The day, which included visits by several aircraft and a flypast by the Red Arrows, culminated in an 80th anniversary ceremonial event.

Air Cadets watch over an RAF Puma Helicopter
Air cadets go aboard an RAF Chinook
Harvey Fox and Alex Brown from Stourbridge at the RAF Air Cadets Anniversary event

Air Chief Marshall Sir Michael Wigston addressed the parade saying it was good to see the cadets meeting together instead of having to have internet meetings.

One of those involved in the day, Squadron Leader Jarrod Williams, said the cadets were able to see the Battle of Britain flight, a Typhoon and the Red Arrows.

"To see the cadets' faces as they emerged from the Chinooks and Pumas, so happy, was a real highlight," he said.

Along with cadets those attending the air muster included senior members of the RAF and scores of volunteers who help run the youth organisation.

Learning about the history of the Air Cadets
Getting to grips with flying with the help of a Virtual Reality Headset

Group Captain Rog Simon, Regional Commandant Wales and West, who oversaw the cadets’ participation, said: “It’s been a terrific way to mark our 80th anniversary in style and we are absolutely delighted that RAF Cosford and the Cosford Air Show event organisers have been so supportive in creating this event”.

“With so many Covid restrictions over the last 18 months it is brilliant to get the cadets out and about and enjoying what they like best – flying and all things aerospace and aviation.

“There will be opportunities for them to learn more about space, science and cyber as well which is fantastic as we move forward with our plans for RAF Air Cadet Astra – the future cadet syllabus taking us into orbit.”

The RAF Air Cadets comprises the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF) which have 1,200 squadrons and sections all over the UK and overseas in communities and in schools.

There are approximately 40,000 air cadets who normally meet twice a week and learn about aviation, aerospace, STEM subjects, communications, target shooting, leadership, citizenship, as well as the exciting new space syllabus launched by astronaut Tim Peake.

New cadets and volunteers are being sought and they can find a local squadron via raf.mod.uk/aircadets.

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