Camp of a Lifetime

 

Over the half term week 7 cadets and the OC from 241 Sqn joined Wing Commander Silver, CI Silver and 2 cdts from 6F (Romford) and 334 (Fulham) Sqn for a camp in the Falkland Islands, a group of islands in the South Atlantic, half the size of Wales. Some 8,000 miles from the UK the islands came to prominence in 1982 after Argentina invaded them leading to the dispatch of a task force to liberate the islands and their inhabitants in a short but sharp conflict. 

 

The cadets flew from RAF Brize Norton to Ascenion Island to refuel, and were then stuck there for 13 hours as the winds in the Falklands where too high to allow a safe landing, giving the party a chance to explore the tiny volcanic rock that is Ascenion. The flight then was able to reach the Falklands at 3am! The programme kicked off after a few hours sleep, with visits to 1435 Flight responsible for Air Defence of the Islands, flying the latest Typhoon fighter, a Battlefield tour of Mount Hariet, with its visible relics of the battle such as motars, sharpnel, and Argentinian boots, the RE Engineer Detachment with earth movers and cranes, Dinner with Air Commodore Moulds, Commander South Atlantic (and former head of the Air Cadets), a Hercules flight including intercepts of shipping and flypasts of Port Stanley, with 2 Typhoons formating on the Hercules in flight, football with the Air Commodore, visits to Goose Green and San Carlos, scene of battles during the war, absailing off of a lighthouse, visiting Port Stanley, flying a S61 to a remote helicopter landing site in a 50kt wind, driving in a Spartan APC, and watching the resident infanty unit on exercise. This was topped with a visit to a Penguin Colony (much to the delight of Sgt Jack Chavner) where everybody got within a few feet of the nesting birds.

 

As Cpl Ross Graham said “This was an amazing trip, especially when I think no one else in my class has been Hercules flying or up close to Penguins”