This week saw the Cadets go on their first field day. A small group went to The Cosford Air Museum on Wednesday 15th November where they learnt about the principles of flight, sat in the cockpit of a jet trainer so that they could experience what an aircraft cockpit is like, then toured the rest of the museum looking at the development of aircraft through the ages. The STEM opportunities at the museum are endless and the cadets had a lot of fun, attempting to drop supplies in the designated drop zone and flying a model air craft ‘steadily’. With Sgt Bew as their guide, the cadets were able to see how technology has progressed through the years and how it has accelerated during periods of war.
The second group on the Thursday also visited the Museum at Cosford, but only had time to visit the interactive training facility before being whisked off to MOD Stafford where Tactical Supply Wing (TSW) hosted them for a demonstration of the TSW’s capabilities. After a short briefing about the TSW’s role they were taken to the display area. On the way they were lucky enough to witness a Wildcat Helicopter from the Royal Navy being hot refuelled before departing. At the display area they were shown some of the vehicles that TSW use to carry out their duties. At the next stand they were introduced to the TSW’s parachute capability, where Cadets Tranter and Stone were invited to try on the parachute equipment. After this they were shown the Light Fuels capability which is used for helicopter mobile movements to temporary locations. The next demonstration was of a camouflaged fuel tanker showed their ability to obscure from view the largest piece of equipment they use. The final demonstration was how a team would insert and set up a light fuels site. Four Airmen wearing Light Fighting Order carrying a weapon, patrolled into the designated refuelling site where the equipment had been prepositioned. After checking the area was clear of hostile forces and the landing site was safe and suitable for helicopter use, they then set up the fuel site ready. This activity in total would be carried out in less than 20 minutes. Once the demonstration was complete, the Cadets were invited to meet the team and try on some of their equipment. Before leaving the Cadets had a photo taken in front of the TSW gate guardian, a Wessex Helicopter.
On Sunday 19th November a small group of Cadets were taken to RAF Cosford to view the Air Squadron Trophy. This is a regional and national competition, held between CCF (RAF) Contingents. The competition involved six disciplines comprising of a drill competition, practical first aid, a team command task, RAF knowledge, aircraft recognition and marksmanship on the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer system. The marksmanship element involved Cadets trying to make the smallest individual grouping of 5 rounds, followed by trying to knock down 20 targets at ranges of 100 and 200 metres using only one round on each target. When you consider the target is only 455 mm wide and either 560mm or 1145mm high, a high degree of hand, eye and breathing control is required along with the discipline to release the shot only when all these are in alignment with each other. To add to the pressure each shot must be fired within a 6 second window.
It is intended that next year Barr Beacon’s RAF Contingent will also enter the competition to test their skills against their peers from other schools.
Following on from the two field days, it is intended to take the Cadets air experience flying next year, where they will be introduced to the aircraft controls and their purpose as well as being given a chance to use these controls to fly the aircraft themselves.
These past couple of weeks have been very busy for the Cadets, so now they will have a quieter period where they can concentrate on learning the basic skills they need to progress in their Cadet career.