A team of Air Cadets and staff from across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, including two from 2461 (Sawston) Squadron, are preparing to embark on the trip of a lifetime as they get ready to travel nearly 4,500 miles to Ascension Island.
Ascension Island, which lies in the South Atlantic Ocean, is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Located nearly 4,500 miles from the United Kingdom the island, with its population of nearly 900 people, is used by the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force and is home to many different ‘lodger’ units such as; a European Space Agency rocket tracking station and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station. The island was used extensively by the British military during the Falklands War.
After flying from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire the cadets and staff will undertake a busy programme of activities including trekking on this sub-tropical, volcanic island, exploring everything from the beautiful beaches to the lush surroundings of Green Mountain. The group is hoping to undertake project work with the local school along with supporting local conservation in particular with turtle conservation; Ascension Island is one of the most important Green Turtle nesting sites in the world. Cadets will also learn more about the role of the Royal Air Force in the South Atlantic.
Cadet Sergeant Katherine Hill said “I am really excited about this trip, it is a fantastic opportunity which would not have been possible without me being a member of the Air Cadets.”
Flight Lieutenant Chris Cox added “We will be the first ever Air Cadet camp to visit the island so we hope we can make a good impression. The trip is the culmination of months of planning and hard work and we hope it delivers a first class experience on an island people rarely get to visit or may not have even heard of!”
Once Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing have departed the five other Wings from the Central and East Region will each have a week on Ascension Island.