Cyprus

Cadets Get Taste Of Military Life At RAF Akrotiri

They got the chance to hone their marksmanship, take part in go-karting and learn to scuba dive.

Diving pictures courtesy of Cadet Sergeant Jack Alexander.

More than 100 RAF cadets have submerged themselves in military life as part of a special RAF 100 Camp at Akrotiri in Cyprus.

For most cadets, it was their first time taking part in an overseas camp and a chance to try out their marksmanship, take part in go-karting and learn to scuba dive.

Nearly a fifth of RAF airmen and a third of officers were once cadets themselves and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said such camps were a great opportunity for cadets to experience various aspects of military life:

“All the air cadets should have the chance to go on a camp," the Air Cadets Commandant told Forces News during a visit to the camp.

"Either at a wing or regional level, or indeed a national level. And we have camps that take them to RAF bases.

"We also have specialist camps in things like music, science, technology, engineering and maths.

"We have an aerospace camp, we have a drill and ceremonial camp."

RAF cadet in Cyprus 021118 CREDIT BFBS

As well as honing their marksmanship, there was also a chance to satisfy their need for speed on Akrotiri's go-kart track, which is situated on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean.

The cadets mostly hail from Wales and the West of England, and share an enthusiasm for all things military:

"I joined the cadets because it gave me the chance to lead a team, go shooting, go flying," Cadet Corporal Kian McCafferty told Forces News.

"I just thought it was an incredible experience for me to build my character."

RAF cadets go Go Karting in Cyprus 021118 CREDIT BFBS
Cadets survey Akrotiri's go-kart track.

For some of the older cadets about to make career choices, it was another chance to see if a full-time military life is really for them.

“Leadership exercises, which we do back at home, but doing them in the heat and everything puts a new challenge on it,” said Cadet Warrant Officer Harry Keay.

"We’ve done some adventurous activities, such as archery and things like that."

For the Commandant, a former RAF officer and now a reservist, there was also a chance to immerse herself in the cadet camp experience as she joined a group learning to scuba dive in the waters off the coast of Paphos.

RAF Cadets pose for a photo after Go Karting 021118 CREDIT BFBS

Cdre McCafferty said: I say to the cadets that you have to have a go at something even if you’re not sure. So I had to live by my own mantra and have a go this morning. And I really did enjoy it."

"The instruction was really professional, I felt very safe.

"I had a few panic moments where I thought I’m going to drown I need to get up onto the surface again.

I was reassured, taken back to the bottom, do the breathing, do the tests… and it was fantastic."