Members of Prestatyn Air Cadets get up to far more than your average teenager! Being sponsored by the Royal Air Force, we have access to some unique opportunities: be it flying and gliding, or shooting and the chance to spend a week on camp at RAF Stations around the UK and abroad. If you like the look of what we do, don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about becoming an air cadet at 2193 (Prestatyn) Squadron!
Usually the first step in a cadet's aviation career is in an Air Cadet glider (Grob Viking or Vigilant). Moving on from the initial Gliding Induction Course (GIC), cadets may also have the opportunity to complete a Gliding Scholarship (GS) from the age of 16 - with the aim of completing a solo flight.
Additionally, cadets have the opportunity to take part in Air Experience Flights in the Grob Tutor (pictured right) which is primarily used at the RAF's primary flying trainer - every pilot that joins the RAF today learns to fly in a Tutor!
Having completed a GS, and on reaching the age of 17, cadets have the opportunity to apply for an Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship (ACPS) - equating to 12 hours flying training (which can count towards a private pilot's license) again culminating in a solo flight. Currently, the ACPS is a two-week residential course ran by Tayside Aviation in Dundee.
RAF Grob Tutor T Mk 1
Flt Lt Kent offers some coaching advice.
Cadets can take part in a range of shooting activities, from range evenings at the Squadron, up to weekend shooting events at an RAF Station or other training area with other cadets around the Wing. All weapons training is conducted by trained and qualified instructors, and all live firing is conducted by similarly trained and qualified conducting officers.
At the Squadron, cadets can fire the small-bore No 8 rifle (having undergone training and assessment), overseen by Flt Lt Kent. We regularly conduct shooting practices as part of the training programme at our own range on Squadron. From the age of 14, cadets may have the opportunity to fire the L98-A2 Cadet General Purpose rifle - a variant of the L85-A2 used by the Armed Forces.
Drill is a powerful aid to discipline and is readily available to all elements of the ACO for that purpose. It develops in our young people a sense of corporate pride, alertness, precision and a readiness to obey orders instantly. Smartness on parade is not only a sign of good discipline, but a basic factor in an individual's self-pride and prepares them to go about their routine tasks in an orderly and constructive fashion.
As a Squadron, we are often tasked with representing the Air Training Corps, and sometimes the wider RAF at commemorative and civic parades at a local level - providing the "light blue footprint" in a smart and professional manner.
Cadets taking part in a Drill Competition.
First aid is a valuable life-skill that is completely transferable to life outside of Air Cadets. We follow a first aid training syllabus set by St John Ambulance, and can provide in-house training and assessment for cadets and members of adult staff.
Cadets will first achieve the "Youth First Aider" qualification, which consists of 12 hours of training, and a practical assessment. At Prestatyn, we can currently provide this course with our own members of staff. Beyond this qualification, cadets over 16 and adult staff can be trained in "Activities First Aid", which in addition to being more in-depth and of relevance to ACO activities, qualifies adult staff (and cadets who have been assessed in Methods of Instruction) to teach and assess the "Youth First Aid" course. Beyond this, adults can gain further qualification to enable them to teach and assess the "Activities First Aid" course.
Whilst the benefits of first aid training in preparation for a real-life scenario are obvious, cadets can also participate in First Aid Competitions against cadets from around the country and in other cadet forces.
Annual camps are one of the best experiences the ATC can offer. Over a week's camp at an RAF Station, cadets can expect to participate in almost every activity that the Corps offers including flying (AEF and other service aircraft), drill, shooting and section visits around the Station on which the camp is based and other local Stations.
Camp photo from Week 3 at RAF Halton this summer.
At a recent camp to RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire (image shown), cadets visited the various sections around Halton, including the Recruit Training Squadron, Supply & Movements Training Wing and Halton House Officers' Mess; had the opportunity to fire the L98A2 cadet GP rifle; took part in a high ropes activity and swimming; in addition to the socialising with new friends made around the Wing.
Camps in previous years have included RAF Linton-on-Ouse, JSSO Digby, RAF Benson, RAF Coningsby and JHC Aldergrove, as well as adventure training camps at one of the National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centres (NACATC) at Windermere.
This year, cadets from around No 2 Welsh Wing will be heading to camps at RAF Halton, the home of recruit training; RAF Northolt, home of No 63 Sqn RAF Regiment (The Queen's Colour Squadron) as well as No 32 (The Royal) Sqn which operates flights for senior military personnel and VIPs at home and abroad; RAF Scampton, the UK base of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team - The Red Arrows; and RAF Spadeadam, a 9600 acre practice area for aircrew.
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