Air Cadets Wow VIP Guests at Dechmont

Air Cadets and VIP pose for a photography

On Saturday 20 August, Cadets from West Scotland Wing ATC (Air Training Corps) took to the vast terrain of Lowland RFCA’s Dechmont Range in Cambuslang for a day that was full of physical and practical training.

Although the activity day got off to a rainy start, conditions brightened up by the time the visiting VIPs arrived for a tour. These guests included representatives from Jacobs Engineering, Rolls-Royce and Virgin Money, organisations that have sponsored various Cadet units and donated Duke of Edinburgh Awards equipment in the past. Also present were Janet Low, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant for Lanarkshire, and Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Richard Maddison OBE, Air Officer Commanding 22 Group Royal Air Force and a volunteer pilot at 6 AEF (Air Experience Flight) at RAF Benson.

Air Cadet CFAV talks to guests

Throughout the morning, the Air Cadets threw themselves into their training activities with great gusto, regardless of what the weather threw at them. In between sessions of 25m range shooting, Fieldcraft, archery and mountain biking, the Cadets happily chatted with the visitors. AVM Maddison was particularly impressed with the stories the Cadets shared with him, and also enjoyed sharing some of his own.

Air Cadets in shooting booth

‘I’m really impressed with everything I’ve seen so far,’ said Janet Low during a quick chat with a group of Cadets out on Fieldcraft training. ‘You’re all amazing and I wish you the best of luck in everything that you do.’

AVM Maddison, himself a former Air Cadet, spoke highly of the academic syllabus on offer: ‘It’s amazing because it gives you qualifications that are really impressive to employers.’

Next up on the visit to the Cadet activity day was clay target shooting (CTS), where the VIP guests got a chance to roll up their sleeves and get involved. Cadet David Bishop of 498 Wishaw Squadron and Cadet Young 449 Lanark Squadron, CTS novices, agreed that the experience was initially a little nerve-wracking, but that they soon adapted to the challenge.

Deputy Lord-Lieutenant fires rifle

‘My shoulder’s a bit sore from it, but it was really good getting to try something new,’ said Cadet Young. ‘It’ll probably get easier with a bit of practice, plus everyone’s really supportive here and will help you whenever you need it.’

Following a well-earned lunch break, the activity day continued with classroom exercises that included radio communication, First Aid, cyber security and flight simulation practice, before a final parade in the West Scotland Wing ATC grounds wrapped up the afternoon. 

Air Cadets march along the road at Dechmont

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