Longbenton Teens Enjoy RAF Life
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By Flt Lt G G Richardson - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron
Longbenton teens have enjoyed an action-packed Easter break with the Royal Air Force. The youngsters are Royal Air Force Air Cadets at 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron and have engaged in flying, adventurous activities, navigation training, first aid, sports and spent a week living with personnel at RAF (College) Cranwell and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
A week-long exercise at Air Cadet Adventure Training Centre Llanbedr seen the young people engage in numerous activities aimed to improve and encourage teamwork, communication, confidence, and mental agility. The exercises took place in the air and on the ground with the cadets taking part in rock climbing, canoeing, biking, navigation and aerial assault courses.
Cadet Emilia Ross, 13, of Killingworth said, “I enjoyed the high ropes the best. It was really hard as you had to concentrate all the time to make sure you didn’t fall off but it was a great feeling getting to the top.”
Others spent time living alongside serving personnel to gain an insight into the role that the RAF plays in defending the UK’s skies, and also develop skills that are useful in all walks of life. “I spent the week at RAF Cranwell and it was awesome,” explained Cadet George Ferguson, 14, of Forest Hall. “We got to fly in a King Air which was amazing and meet new people who will be friends now forever; we also got to talk with the top boss (Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty) and play sports with her and she remembered us from presenting us with the Lees Trophy”
For 16 year old Cadet Corporal Lucy Gardiner, her visit to Cyprus was the best activity she’s done with the Air Cadets so far. “I had an amazing time at RAF Akrotiri. We did so much from leadership and an assault course in the outback, visited an UN base, and enjoyed local attractions as well as play with the Red Arrows! It was incredible!” said Lucy.
Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said “Our motto is ‘Ventrue Adventure’ and our activities live up to that.” “The young people have engaged in a wide range of training opportunities they never thought they would ever do and learned new skills from these new experiences that they can take forward into school, college, university or employment” added Gary.
Longbenton Squadron is currently open to new members aged 13 – 19. Please visit www.2344.org.uk.
For more information please visit the Squadron website