Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) Team & Summer Camps
For those of you who have wondered what the ‘tent city’ behind Station Headquarters has been used for over the summer period (well, what we have seen of summer), I can tell you that it has been host to the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Forces (CCF) summer camps.
RAF Marham once again rose to the challenge during what has been another busy year and agreed to facilitate the cadets and volunteer staff for a period of nine weeks, whereby cadets and staff alike were subject to life under canvas for the duration of their stay.
The camps ran from Saturday to Saturday sticking to a programme which gave the cadets an insight into life in the Royal Air Force, taking into account numerous visits to sections throughout the Station. Where possible, cadets were also given the opportunity to undertake work experience if they had a particular interest in a specific trade.
So who makes all this happen? Well, it’s a keen bunch of volunteers from various sections on Station, who for the past 9 weeks have given up a good majority of their weekends and evenings to ensure the camps ran smoothly and all ATC and CCF cadets as well as staff had a full action packed programme. Under the command of Flt Lt Dan Marsh of 31 Sqn and delegated down to his deputies, (myself) Cpl Harry Harrison RAF Police & Cpl ‘Hodge’ Hodgson, PTI, we ensured that any issues were dealt with and the wheels kept turning.
The cadets enjoyed a wide variety of extra evening activities outside of the regular programme laid on by the ACLO team and these included SAT range shoots, staffed by Cpl ‘Razor’ Ruddock, RAF Regt Flt and an extra visit to SES where SAC’s Joe ‘Paddy’ Palfreyman and Jules Whitehouse entertained the cadets in the art of all things survival. Another popular event was Go-Carting on a Monday evening and a big thank you must go out to the entire Go-Carting club who ensured that the cadets had a fantastic time at the Cart Club.
It is standard that all ATC and CCF cadets alike are treated to the ultimate highlight of their camp – the NITEX, which for the past 2 years the ACLO team has set up, staffed and takes place off Station within Shouldham Warren. They are given instruction on basic field craft and how to move around tactically whereby they are given a scenario and all cadet staff and ACLO team play a major part in what is a very enjoyable exercise. It is even more enjoyable to hand back the weary cadets to their staff at the end, if only to deal with the issue of removing cam-cream from very tired faces.
All the ACLO team who have taken part this year will testify what a great experience it has been, themselves benefitting from a rewarding and enjoyable time, as well as the cadets. So, if you’re reading this and fancy getting out in the evening, maybe you could bring something to the party and pass on some of your service experience to the future ranks of the Royal Air Force. See you next year?