RAF Adventure Training
Remember when you turned up for your interview at the careers office?
You may have seen one of those videos with people skiing off glaciers and climbing in hot, sunny places.
Now, you may or may not have done much of the skiing or the climbing but it wasn’t a lie and the chances to take part in Adventure Training, travel the world and do all of the things that you thought might be out of your reach, physically and mentally, have never been easier to get involved in!
The Eagle Schemes
This is centrally funded AT organised by Generic Education and Training Centre (GETC), and includes Snow Eagle and Eagles Nest as well as many others. So what does that mean for you? Well it means it requires very little input on your part. In the most, applying for the schemes requires you to ensure you can have the time off to attend, for you to fill a simple application form and then turn up and take part in some great AT. For more information see the link to the Eagle schemes in the info box.
Things to remember:
• It’s important to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance of getting a place on the schemes by ensuring you make use of the justification section on the application form. If the scheme is over subscribed it’s this that may make the difference between getting a place and not.
Force Development Training Centres (FDTC)
These offer a terrific opportunity for sections to get away and use AT to provide individual and team development, as well as getting the opportunity to take part in some exciting activities.
The centres are located at Crickhowell and Fairbourne in Wales, Grantown in Scotland and Danesfield near Marlow. All the centres offer a wide range of activities that can be tailored to your needs and require just a simple application form to be filled in.
Things to remember:
• Space at the centres can be tight. Make sure you plan ahead to ensure you get your preferred dates.
• Each centre has the ability to offer something different due to its location. Think about what you want to do and pick the centre accordingly. For example there is always a good chance of skiing in the winter at Grantown.
Minor & Major Expeditions
“What’s the difference?” I hear you ask. At least that is what I think I heard. It’s simple really, a minor expedition (exped) takes part in the country of your current location, while a major exped takes place outside the borders of your country.
Now, to run one of these requires a bit more work than the previous two options. Joint Services Adventure Training Form Alpha (JSATFA) are required to be completed, admin orders need to be done, accommodation and flights might need to be booked and then there is catering and funding and land clearance and… Well there is a bit of work needed. Don’t worry though it’s our job here at the Ped flight to help as much as possible.
The rewards for this work though are excellent. You gain experience from organising such a trip and the satisfaction of pulling the whole thing off. This year on station, personnel have canoed white water in Canada, sailed in the Caribbean and walked in the Swiss Alps. Sounds like it might be worth doing!
Things to remember:
• Give yourself time. An exped whether it’s a major or a minor is an undertaking with hurdles to overcome. They require authorisation from various people and sections. As a general rule of thumb you need at least two months to plan for a minor exped and at least six months for a major.
• You must have a good reasons for running an exped abroad. If the activity can be run in this country then it will be very difficult to get authorisation to do it overseas. Make sure you think carefully about what you want to do abroad and why you need to go there.
• Remember in most cases participants will be asked to make a personal contribution to the trip. Think about the cost to individuals when planning the exped.
Station AT Programme
Throughout the year the PEd flight will be organising a full programme of AT opportunities available to everyone on camp. This could be a quick taster session at one of the climbing walls in Norwich, a day’s paddling on the little Ouse, a few days away walking in the Lakes or large scale station exped abroad. As well as this there are opportunities to take part in multi station expeds and joint service expeds. Keep an eye on the PEd page for updates and announcements.
I’m Cpl Sean O’Donnell, the new station Adventure Training Instructor (ATI). Having recently arrived on camp I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself and let you know what it is I do. In short it’s my job to facilitate AT on camp and what better way to do this than by writing an article explaining some of the ways in which you can get involved. So, happy reading and if you want to know a little more then get in touch.