Cadet Nathan Wattis

RAF Honington Easter Camp 2016

By Cadet Nathan Wattis

RAF Honington Easter Camp 2016

The week-long camp at RAF Honington was one of the best experiences of my life. The time I and the other cadets had there was very well spent. The things that we experienced at Honington were extremely engaging, interesting and fascinating. I and every other cadet are very thankful to the soldiers of the RAF Regiment for making our stay enormously enjoyable and worthwhile. The only negative aspect of the camp was waking up every day at 05:00 for a room inspection!

The week began on Saturday 9th of April, when the coach departed on its 5 hour long journey from Greater Manchester Wing Headquarters to Barnham Camp. Upon arrival at Barnham, we were given our own room key and given a few minutes to unpack. We then had our first 'quick change' parade, where we were given just a few minutes to change into three different types of uniform for an inspection of each one. One of the main purposes of this was to check which cadets had and didn't have certain pieces of uniform.

The next day we were told to get changed into our civilian clothing. This was because we spent the day at Duxford Imperial War Museum. The trip was extremely interesting and informative. It gave us the chance to see loads of different aircraft up-close including the Vulcan, Harrier and the famous Lancaster Bomber.

On Monday 11th we went to RAF Honington in our Greens uniform. There, we were taught a very detailed lesson on tracking with the RAF Regiment. Later that day we visited No. 2 Squadron, which is the Regiment's parachute-trained Field Squadron. Everybody there was incredibly friendly and while we were there, they allowed us to hold loads of different kinds of weapons and enter many different vehicles. 

On the Tuesday we spent the day doing fieldcraft activities in the RAF Regiment training area with members of the Regiment. We spent the day learning survival skills and techniques, as well as attack and defence war tactics.

On Wednesday 13th, we went to the RAF Regiment heritage centre. At the beginning of our visit, we were given a tour of the centre. After this tour we were told that we were able to "do whatever we wanted" in the heritage centre. This included handling whatever weapons we could find, as well as climbing over whatever vehicles we wanted. This was because the people at the centre said "you cannot learn without climbing over everything." After this, we were given a brief with a member of the RAF Police, who gave us lots of information about his job and what he does.

On Thursday 14th, we had swimming activities and drills in the morning, and afterward we travelled to RAF Honington for our camp photo. The camp photo was taken in front of a Buccaneer aircraft (Honington's gate guard). Later that day, we also had a brief with the camp's media officer and another brief with an RAF Police dog handler.

On the Friday, we had the camp drill competition. This was a competition between the two flights that we were split into upon arrival at Barnham. The competition was inspected by a drill instructor from the RAF Queen's Colour Squadron. After the competition, we were given the chance to do a bit of rock climbing with three climbing instructors. A group of other cadets also went to do some shooting with the L98 rifle. On Friday evening we went back to Honington for a disco in the community centre.

On Saturday 16th, we all packed our bags and headed on the long trip home back to Manchester.