Never been to RIAT before and was wondering what the difference between normal and extended camp is? I’ve also heard of special flights (comms, admin etc) are these only on main or on extended too? What special jobs can you apply for?

The normal camp is shorter then the extended and extended do the behind the ‘‘scene jobs’’ such as putting up all the tents, you should only do extended if you are willing to put in more work and stay longer then the normal camp

Do they join normal flights during main camp period? If not what do they do?

yeah you join flights whilst you are on camp and each day your flight is given a diffrent task to help out with the airshow

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What sort of jobs is there to do?

So things like setting up the campsite , giving out id to the normal camp when they arrive , behind the counter with snack and i believe breakfast lunch and dinner duty.

And what sort of things happen at normal camp? (excuse my lack of knowledge)

haha thats fine , at normal camp there are multiple flights each of which will be assigned to a diffrent area of the air show these include VIP section , crowd control and helping out on the pimms deck ( opening the gate for trucks and so on) these are just a few i can remember but there are alot more and i highly suggest this camp it was one of the best ones i’ve ever been on.

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Difference between normal (main) and extended camp:

Main Camp – a week long camp (Wednesday-Tuesday) where you’ll be a part of a 12x Cadet flight working party assisting with the many duties of the AIRSHOW (see tasking list below)

Extended Camp – a two week camp arriving the week prior to the show (Saturday) and departing the Friday after completing the “engineering” elements of the campsite.
This will generally building the tented accommodation – using 18x24 tents to create 18x48s. Other tasks include setting up the dining hall, the canteen and logistics, and the airside tents (task control, first aid and various rest tents)

There are various “specialism” tasks/teams:
Comms – as the name suggests the team that oversee and support or radio comms for the two weeks. Those applicants with Bronze Comms badge are more likely to get a place. These are required for the full extended camp duration but in only limited numbers, the main camp Comms team is larger (due to the increased comms requirement)
First Aid – those Cadets with First Aid quals and deemed suitably mature can apply for the first aid team taking care of any minor injuries on camp or airshow
Media – (Main camp only) Those Cadets with proven media skills, able to take photos of Cadets at work, particularly if happy to write articles and/or create videos (either videos or slide shows of photos) are always welcome to apply
SWAT – originally for 18+ Cadets but nowadays 16+. These teams stay for 10-14 days building the Airshow – fences, cones and rope, stake and rope, Harras and snow fencing and general “heavy duty” work loads
(all of the above can be applied for separately)
Admin – this is a very limited role open to the extended camp Cadets only required for 3-4 days and is not a “team” to apply for – the Cadets are chosen at the time.

Tasking throughout the Camp includes (but is not limited to)

Campsite build/maintenance – self explanatory
Welcome leaflets – handing out maps to arriving public
Departure leaflets – handing out “please come again/book your DVD pamphlets” to departing public
Arrivals assistance – attaching lost child tickets to young children
FRIAT – assisting with the “Friends of RIAT” enclosure
FOD PLOD – litter picking
Flight Centre – acting as a hospitality team/helping flight crew arrive at RAF Fairford post customs/pre and post display (typically getting teas and coffees – very much personal attention with the display pilots)
Pack Lunch Centre – making 2000-3000 pack lunches
Mess Hall waiting Staff – assisting with the Cadets passing though the mess hall
Park & View – assisting/overseeing the public at the park and view stand
Disabled Enclosures – see enclosures below
Cotswold Club/ Pimms Enclosure – see enclosures below
Media Centre – See enclosures below
Viewing Village – see enclosures below
Enclosures – these are areas where the public/media have paid extra to get into and are themed in some way (Pimms serves Pimms for example, Media is for the press, park and view for the days before/after for the public to park up to view the arriving/departing aircraft etc)
Disaster Exercise – acting as “general public” for a mock disaster exercise
Drop Zone – assisting with the “kids zone” of the airshow
VIP Duties – self explanatory
Crowd Line – self explanatory
Service Stations – ensuring the service stations are manned, kept tidying, answering general public questions etc

Taskings will typically be an early/late or am/pm slot on the show days (Friday-Sunday) to give everyone chance for time off and to see the show. The days leading up to Friday either helping building the show or manning the park&view areas and the like.
Monday a mass airfield FOD PLOD takes place ending by lunchtime.
The afternoon is then your own (encouraged to pack) and then the mass camp photo, presentations and a BBQ/Disco.
Tuesday 85% of the camp disappear in the morning leaving the extended camp/SWAT Cadets and Staff to take everything down.


Thank you for this brilliant summary of the RIAT camp, I’ve already been asked questions about it, but my knowledge is limited. Are you happy for me to save this into a document for my reference?

crack on…I am happy to answer any further questions.

of course there are Facebook groups for the camp, one a general Staff and Cadets board to post comments/questions and the like and a Staff only forum for more specific Staff questions/annoucements

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What Steve said however …

Media cadets are for the extended camp.
SWAT will be made up from over 18’s this year
First Aid, first year in trialing cadets on that team but will need more than just heartstart!
Admin is a limited and do get selected from the extended camp cadets however there are 2 senior cadet places to assist the Admin team for the whole period

By all means ask questions however you can E Mail the team at anytime.


I’m going on a bronze radio soon and might have a place on RIAT (extended or main, not confirmed yet), when do you apply for comms team? Can you do it when you’re there?

you’ve almost certainly missed the chance this year…

the Comms Officer for the camp put out a calling notice out at the beginning of January which filtered down to Squadrons.

the deadline for Staff showing interest was the end of January, for Cadets interested "· Successful applicants will be notified shortly after the e-Nominal role closes."

If you are only showing interest now you’ve missed out…

by all means get your Squadron Radio Officer to pass your name to your Wing Radio Officer or indeed go straight to the RIAT Radio Officer but i suspect you’re interest is about a month too late

A brilliant summary of RIAT
I have saved this as an overview document ready for next year when the Cadets ask.

I can also update it from a CI point of view, as I’m going this year :slight_smile:

Is this for1 2019

Sorry only just read the date what time of year do you normally aply for a space

Follow the RIAT cadet detachment page on Facebook. They are changing things a little this year latest I read was they were waiting for 1 region to agree it’s allocation before details being released to wings

Used to be that staff could bid for places from November and then find out the allocation in February. From there we would advertise places to cadets and choose who got to go.

Used to but @Canoe_crazy is accurate for 2019

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