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Air Cadets From Essex Wing Kickstart This Year’s Summer Camps.

The arrival of summer is usually marked by a number of things; alfresco dining, mess balls, bored children and the crush to get to the coast. It also sees the Station embark in the hasty construction of tents ready for the influx of air cadets on their annual summer camps. From late June, Marham hosts weekly camps for cadets who, this year, have been drawn from regions that include Essex, Dorset and Wiltshire, South West Yorkshire, as well as Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. As always, competition for places on the summer camps is high and while visits will take in almost all RAF units from Spadeadam in Cumbria to Lossiemouth in Scotland, only around 5,000 of the 30,000 strong air cadet contingent will get a place this year.

For the cadets from Essex Wing, their stay at RAF Marham represented a rare opportunity to experience life on a Main Operating Base. As such, the daily programme reflected the high operational tempo with a packed visits schedule that included a tour of a Tornado Squadron, Air Traffic Control, 93 Expeditionary Armament Squadron, Survival Equipment, Combined Maintenance Unit, 2620 Squadron, Tactical Imagery- Intelligence Wing, the Police Dog Section and Fire Section. In addition, the cadets also got to experience extra curricula activities that included an evening at the Go-Karting Club, a visit to the Station Cinema and a guided session at the superb Aviation Heritage Centre. Off Station, the cadets headed to North Norfolk to explore the Mucklebrough Military Collection, the Radar Museum at Neatishead and the Radar site at Trimmingham, with other external visits to include Duxford and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby. As if all that wasn’t enough, every spare minute was spent practicing for the competition elements of the programme that included a live-fire shoot on the 25M Range, a Night Navigation Exercise at Shouldham Warren and an inter-flight Drill display.

At the end of the first week, the Camp Commandant, Sqn Ldr Mark Barrett, a Staff Officer from Essex Wing HQ based at Carver Barracks in Saffron Walden, said ‘it has been a really great week. The busy programme has had many highlights that have caught the interest and imagination of every cadet. This has been the first time that any of us have visited RAF Marham and, for the majority of cadets, this is also their first experience of a summer camp. The fact that they were all still buzzing at the end of the week is testimony to the warm welcome and enthusiastic support that we have received from everyone on Station; thank you Marham!’

The RAF Marham Air Cadet Liaison Team would like to extend their thanks to all of the hosting sections who have made this year’s camps such a great success. A special thank you must also go out to Station MT and the Junior Ranks Mess for their daily flexibility and support.

Anyone interested in joining Marham’s very own detached flight of air cadets should contact Tony Hall on: 07900 518 153 or send an Email:

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