43 Cadets from five different squadrons (12 cadets from Number 17 Squadron - Coningsby) of Trent Wing were treated to a rare tour into RAF Air Combat Power Visit (ACPV) at RAF Coningsby.
The ACPV is the RAF’s opportunity to broaden understanding of Air Power roles, the RAF’s expeditionary capability and how Air Power assets are deployed, commanded and controlled. Whilst the ACPV is normally only open to specially invited guests included Ministers, MP’s, the media, VVIPs, Air Attaches and Defense Industry personnel, this is the first time in five years that any Cadets have been allowed to visit this annual event.
The Cadets where treated to a very special tour of the event, where they got see; Eurofighter Typhoon, E-3D Sentry AEW1, Tornado GR4, Hercules C130-J, CH-47 Boeing Chinook, amongst others. What was of special interest was Atlas A400M as they were the first cadets to see this new aircraft in Lincolnshire as it was only delivered to the RAF under a year ago.
In charge of the tour was Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) Andrew Robson, supported by Subject Matter Experts in the field of ISTAR and Joint Force Headquarter Support. The Wing Commander put aside protocol and asked to be addressed as, “Andy”, which set the pace for a relaxed and very interesting tour.
After the tour was complete, Andy did an informal Q&A with the all cadets. He started by telling them they would not be allowed to leave unless they asked him five questions, which certainly helped start the flow of questions. The questions ranged from, ‘Where he had served?’, to whether he still enjoyed being in the RAF? Andy answered all the questions in an informative yet casual way.
Wing Commander Andrew Robson said about the cadets tour: “It was great to see you all here today. I was once sat where you are sat today and through my time in the Air Training Corps I developed my own interest in aviation”
Cadet Hunter Ayling, from 17 Squadron, said afterwards: “This is the best day ever!”
Special thanks should go to Wg Cdr Andrew Robson for hosting us and FS Paul Fido for coordinating the event for the Air Cadets