Tuesday 14th February 2017
Royal Air Force Air Cadets from across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire were delighted to be visited by Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, during their week long Training Camp at RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire.
The Duchess is the Honorary Air Commodore of the Air Cadets and this is the third occasion that she has visited the Air Cadets since taking over from the Duke of Edinburgh who held the position for 63 years.
Arriving at RAF Wittering, the Duchess was driven directly to see the aircraft the cadets use to put into practice the theory of flying they learn during their training. Seventeen year old Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertalaso, a Qualified Aerospace Instructor, sat alongside the Duchess in the cockpit of the aircraft and explained the controls and other aspects of the aircraft. Jordan said; “Flying is my favourite air cadet activity and it was an honour to show the Duchess the layout of the aircraft” he added; “It is incredible having 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”.
After watching a training session on the flying simulator, the Duchess was invited to “have a go” and proved to be rather capable. Leaving the classroom, she joined cadets once again in the February chill to take part in team building and initiative exercises under the direction of the Royal Air Force Motivational Outreach Team.
Her next port of call in this short but full programme was to watch cadets being trained to qualify in the safe use of a rifle on a supervised rifle range and how to strip and clean the rifles they have used. The Duchess then progressed to witness the cadets in action on the simulated rifle range and, under close supervision, sampled the action.
All the cadets and the volunteer staff who run the camp and the activities were joined by the Duchess in a group photograph before she departed.
Sixteen year old Cadet Corporal Brandon McGeoghegan from Dunstable was asked by the Duchess what he enjoyed most about the cadets; “ Flying and target shooting are my favourites” he replied, “but the whole cadet experience is amazing” Brandon was surprised and delighted to have met and spoken to the Duchess.