In line with wider RAF transformation
This is an interesting phrase and what does it suggest of the RAF? It seems to imply less flying capability and capacity and so we as the RAF Air Cadets have to accept this, when looking at what we say we offer.
They might as well say I don’t know what teenagers want today when they join an organisation linked to the Royal Air Force, but it mostly involves sitting in classrooms, doing associated activities and getting what will effectively be a once in a cadet lifespan to do some flying and be grateful.
Go back 8/9 years and a flight sim was an interesting thing to do, go back 20+ years and it would be WOW, but now, nearly every squadron has a flight sim of some sort and will use it regularly to make the most of the investment, I know we do. I’m not prepared to see something that we have invested heavily in to just sit gathering dust, especially given it’s computer controlled and like all computers was out of date before we took the PC out of its box, likewise as we installed the software and the controls are equally as fallible.
Touting things like STEM and Aerospace camps is all well and good, but you need these properly funded and resourced centrally and done at Wing level. But you also need to have practical things we can do at squadrons in order to develop the skills and thought processes required. We did projects in the past and it was painful to see teenagers with no practical skills, like I and my compatriots were developing in woodwork and metalwork classes when we were 11 and bit later on small electronics based projects. You soon learn how hot forges get, sharp tools are, soldering irons need to be quite hot and hitting you hand with hammer hurts … but none of them kill you and you survive.
TBPH what do we offer that the Air Scouts don’t? Militaryness has become less and less relevant over the last 28/29 years, except at specific times, which is why we have an Air Training Corps. Given it and it’s precursor was ‘invented’ to prepare young men for service in the RAF in WW2.