The Duchess of Cambridge Joins RAF Air Cadets on Camp
The Duchess of Cambridge today (Feb 14th 2017) joined
young air cadets at RAF Wittering taking part in their first camp.
As the Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets she
attended Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing’s Skill Development Camp and met several
cadets experiencing their first camp.
Cadets and RAF Air Cadet instructors led the Duchess through
a range of activities including flying training on a simulator, leadership
exercises and more.
The Duchess was also shown the Tutor aircraft which
thousands of cadets use each year for air experience flights.
Showing the Duchess around the aircraft was Cadet Sergeant
Jordan Bertalaso, 17, of 1406 (Spalding) Squadron, a qualified aerospace
Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertalaso said: “Flying is my
favourite air cadet activity and it was an honour to show the Duchess the
layout of the Tutor cockpit, particularly as the aircraft is used by cadets for
“It’s incredible to have such a high profile Royal as our
Patron, especially as she has strong links to the Royal Air Force with her
husband being a former pilot.”
Spalding air cadets Erin Hope, 14; Emily Empringham, 15, and
Joshua Wait, 14 – also met the Duchess at the aircraft.
Later, HRH also took the controls of a flight simulator with
help from Flight Lieutenant Michael Slater.
She also joined in a leadership exercise demonstrating effective
planning and communication skills.
At the end of the visit, the Duchess was invited to join the
cadets and volunteer staff for a camp photo and was presented with a limited
edition RAF Air Cadet 75th anniversary print by Commandant Air
Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty.
This is the third occasion that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge
has met with cadets since HRH The Duke of Edinburgh handed patronage of the national
youth organisation to her in December 2015.
Her prior engagements involving air cadets have included the
Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire in July 2016
and the launch of the RAF Air Cadet 75th anniversary celebrations in
London in February 2016.
The event was held at RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire, which
is one of the oldest RAF bases and has played a key role in military operations
and the development of air power since 1916.
Camps are an important part of the RAF Air Cadet experience
and take place at RAF bases across the country and are centred around
leadership, personal development, aerospace, music and more.
Some senior cadets even take part in the International Air
Cadet Exchange Programme which includes countries such as Hong Kong, Canada and
Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore McCafferty said: “It was a delight to see the Duchess again and
to witness her engaging with our young cadets and adult volunteers in such a
“Her personal support of the RAF Air Cadets is very much
appreciated and I am sure those lucky enough to meet her today will keep those
memories for a lifetime.”
RAF Wittering Station Commander, Group Captain Richard
Pratley said: “It has been an honour to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to
RAF Wittering to see some of the facilities we offer to cadets to help inspire
the next generation.”
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