Air Cadets Gain Their Water Wings!
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By Flt Lt J H Elliott - 861 (Wideopen) Squadron
Air Cadets from 861 (Wideopen) Squadron and 111 (Sunderland) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets have taken part in an exhilarating weekend with the Sea Cadets learning how to operate powerboats and sailing dinghies on the River Tyne.
The cadets had the chance to visit the Sea Cadet Corps boat station at Derwenthaugh which is a new facility offering water based activities for the young people of the Sea Cadet Corps, the Army Cadet Force and the Air Training Corps. The boat station has dedicated accommodation and facilities specifically built to support the delivery of training and courses for young people.
While powerboating and sailing isn't usually what you would expect Air Cadets to be involved in, it helps to develop the cadets experience of adventure training activities available to them through the RAF Air Cadets and find out about how other cadet forces deliver their training. It also teaches them a new skill which many of the cadets have never experienced before.
Cadet Corporal Elaine Newton, aged 16 from Hawkwell, completed the weekend and said: "I really enjoyed the sailing and powerboat weekend and it was really interesting to find out more about the Sea Cadets and what they do. This is definitely one of the best weekends away I have done with 861 Squadron and I would encourage anyone to join the RAF Air Cadets!".
Cadet Matthew Eggleston, aged 15 from Ponteland, said: "It was brilliant fun and I really enjoyed helming the powerboats up to Newcastle Quayside and back again to the boat station".
Squadron Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant James Elliott, said: "I would like to extend our thanks to our colleagues in the Sea Cadet Corps for this fantastic activity. This is the second weekend that we have run out of the Derwenthaugh boat station and the quality of the training is extremely high as are the facilities. I look forward to seeing more Air Cadets getting involved in waterborne activities in the future with the support of the Sea Cadets!"
861 (Wideopen) Squadron is open to all young people aged 12 (and in Year 8) to 17 years old - cadets can stay post aged 18 to serve until their 20th birthday. Potential new cadets should attend the Squadron on either a Monday or Thursday, 7.00pm-9.30pm. The Squadrons website is at www.861sqn.org for further information.