Cadets' taste of America hailed as 'amazing experience'

Ely Squadron visit to RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

Ely air cadets “couldn’t have wished for more” after meeting members of the US Air Force (USAF). 

Nine staff and 42 cadets from 1094 Ely Squadron met the force at RAF Lakenheath on July 29, visiting teams that support the likes of the F15 Strike Eagle. 

"What an absolutely amazing experience; we couldn't have possibly wished for more,” said Corporal Logan Constable. 

“The USAF personnel were outstanding, professional and unbelievably enthusiastic in their roles and how they all support the mission of the USAF in Europe.” 

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

1094 Ely Squadron visit to RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

The 1094 Squadron met the flight medical team, showing cadets how they deal with risks such as G-force and disorientation through flying fast jets. 

Cadets got to try on the F35 Lightning Squadron pilot’s helmets and learn about emergency equipment used by pilots. 

“We visited the hydraulic workshop where we had the opportunity to appreciate the precise engineering of the F15's undercarriage and how the engineers repair everything that moves on the aircraft,” Corporal Constable said. 

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

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“We took a tour of the electrical engineering workshops and saw the complex nature of the switches and components they replace and repair on base.” 

Cadets took a trip to the fuel section to see how engineers take on servicing and repairing aircraft fuel tanks.

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

 

The equipment used to store the fuel tanks was something that Corporal Constable described as “something out of a science fiction movie”. 

Jet engine technicians spoke to cadets on how a jet engine works and how they are kept in the air. 

They also caught a glimpse of the air traffic control operation at RAF Lakenheath. 

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

“It was truly amazing just how much and how far the radar operators can see and learn how they keep the skies safe,” said Corporal Constable. 

A trip to the air traffic control tower followed, as cadets saw all aircraft from above and treated to low passes by F15s and F35s. 

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

But at the end of their visit, the Ely Squadron were taken on a flight where they got up close and personal with F15s and F35s as well as other aircraft. 

Corporal Constable added: “It felt like a summer camp squeezed into one day and it was a fascinating experience for every one of us.” 

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron

1094 Ely Squadron at RAF Lakenheath

Ely air cadets met members of the United States Air Force during a visit to RAF Lakenheath. - Credit: 1094 Ely Squadron