On the 14th of April, nine RAF Air Cadets from London and South East Region and two from Headquarters Air Cadets arrived at Joint Base Andrews to represent their regions as well as the RAF Air Cadets in Washington, D.C for the Centenary celebrations.
They spent their first day at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre. Here they had a chance to look at the various historical aircraft as well as have their first encounter with the Chief of Air Staff, Sir Stephen Hillier and other dignitaries; along with a special performance from the RAF Concert Band and the Queen’s Colour Squadron. The cadets also met their American counterparts, the Civil Air Patrol, where they quickly became friends as the day went on.
On the second day of their trip, the cadets were fortunate enough to be able to visit the various stations on Joint Base Andrews, speak with Colonel E. John Teichart, who is the commander of the base, and use the Huey training simulator. In the evening, the cadets had the privilege of watching the RAF and US Air Force Concert Band, as well as another performance by the Queen’s Colour Squadron. Once again, the cadets were greeted by the Chief of Air Staff, AVM Parker who is the Air Attaché at the British Embassy and many more.
The final day included viewing various memorials, such as the Pentagon memorial and the Arlington National Cemetery and touring round buildings such as the British Ambassador’s Residence and the Capitol Building. The evening was spent at the Air and Space Smithsonian Museum, where the cadets volunteered to help with the running of the events. In between the volunteering, they were able to witness the RAF and USAF bands perform for the last time, as well as a final performance from the Queen’s Colour Squadron. However, the highlight for all of the cadets, was being able to watch the reformation of 617 Sqn (the Dambuster’s Sqn) and being able to brush shoulders with high ranking officials from all over the world.