Devon and Cornwall celebrate 75 years of Air Cadets

25.08.2016

Cadets from Plymouth and Cornwall Wing will take part in a national torch relay to celebrate the RAF Air Cadets 75th anniversary.

The special anniversary torch will arrive at Okehampton Camp on Saturday 26 August at 12noon.  This is the final part of its six week tour through the country, with cadets, adult volunteers and veterans finding unique and adventurous ways to celebrate its journey.

Starting in John O’Groats and finishing in Cornwall, the torch has visited prominent addresses such as 10 Downing Street and Blackpool Tower, as well local landmarks and cadet activities such as gliding schools, shooting ranges and RAF bases and more. 

The torch will leave Okehampton and travel to nearby Meldon Quarry where it will be abseiled down the Quarry by an air cadet, courtesy of Adventure Okehampton. By road it will travel to Harrowbeer, a former RAF airfield where cadets and staff from Tavistock will take the salute by the old air traffic control building.  It will then travel to the Hoe at Plymouth for photo opportunities at Smeaton’s Tower at 1445hrs.  The torch then travels to the Tamar Bridge for a handover between the Devon and Cornwall cadets.  Deputy Mayor of Saltash, Cllr Jean Dent will see it safely on to the train at 1612hrs at Saltash Station.  Courtesy of GWR it will arrive in St Austell where it will go on the Eden Project for photo opportunities from 1730hrs.  At Eden it will travel down the zip wire with  cadets who will have won the trip as a prize in a national raffle thanks to the generosity of Hangloose.

The torch will then stay overnight at RAF St Mawgan and travel on Sunday morning to Perranporth where it will be accompanied by another cadet or staff member prize winner, this time being parachuted out of  an aircraft by Cornwall Parachute Club.  It will then make its way to Lands End for photographs before heading to Predannack airfield for 12noon for the final party.  The torch will be received on this historic occasion by Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stuart Peach.

Officer Commanding of Plymouth and Cornwall Wing, Wing Commander Francis Reis comments: “Although Predannack airfield is now under the Royal Navy, it first opened as a Royal Air Force base in 1941, the same year that the Air Training Corps was formed. Today 626 Volunteer Gliding Squadron are based here, providing opportunities for Air Cadets to get their first taste of being in the air.  It seems a rather fitting location for the anniversary torch to end its journey.”

The torch has even been fitted with a tracking device so its progress can be followed around the country at http://atc75.mapyx.com/

More information about the RAF Air Cadets, including how to join, can be found at www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets.



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