Visit from Down Under – UK Air Cadets host Australian Air Cadet Visit

When approached by two Australian Air Cadets, who were due to visit their UK relatives, staff and cadets at 115 (Peterborough) squadron Air Cadets jumped at the chance of organising a visit to their squadron.
Australian Air Cadets Keira and Samuel Wilson contacted the Squadron earlier this year, when they learnt that they were due to visit relatives in Peterborough over the Christmas period. They wanted to see what their British counterparts did within the Air Cadet Organisation and see for themselves, first hand, how the organisation ran over here.
Having a relative who was also an ex staff member of the squadron was also a great way to build relationships between the two squadrons prior to the visit.
Keira, aged 16 and Samuel, aged 13, attended 115 Squadron on Wednesday 09th December. During the parade night, they gave a presentation to the cadets and staff, showcasing what activities they were involved in at their squadron – 418 (Melbourne) Squadron, Australian Air Cadets.
Both cadets attended the Squadron in their native cadet uniform, which was immaculately pressed, even with travelling half way around the world. The Peterborough cadets were given the opportunity to pose questions to the Australian cadets and visa versa, giving both parties an insight into how similar and different the two organisations run.
They were given a tour of the Squadron, which included the Ground Flight School, which was a massive hit with the two cadets. They also spent time joining in with the cadets classification training, learning the aviation subjects that all cadets need to complete as part of their training.
Cdt Keira Wilson was amazed by the Ground Flight School, taking pictures of the set up so that she could take this back to her Squadron to see if they were able to construct something very similar.
Her brother, Cdt Samuel Wilson commented on ‘how different the uniforms are and also the drill moves’!
During final parade, the two cadets presented the Squadron with an engraved Australian Air Cadets plaque to commemorate the visit and the new relationship with the squadron. Within this engraving, was the offer to welcome the squadron to visit their squadron in Melbourne – this was welcoming to all staff and cadets!
Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Karen Barfield RAF VR(T) returned the compliment by exchanging a 115 (Peterborough) Squadron plaque to the Cadets, so this could be presented to their Squadron Commander. The cadets were also presented with a goody bag of Squadron memorabilia, including an Air Cadet beret and badge. ‘It was a memorable experience and both 115 Squadron and also the Australian Cadets had a great evening, being able to share their experiences and compare how different and similar the two organisations are’.
The cadets at 115 Squadron were all presented with a token gift from the Australian cadets – the iconic boomerang!
The visit was a great success and the two squadrons look forward to building relationships moving forward.