Ely cadet sergeant Emily picked from 1,000 others to escort Air Commodore Dawn Allison McCafferty CBE's VIP engagements at RAF 100 Airshow
PUBLISHED: 10:17 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:17 24 July 2018
An Ely cadet sergeant was picked from over 1,000 others to be the escort for Air Commodore Dawn Allison McCafferty CBE's VIP engagements at the official RAF 100 Airshow.
Emily Pieters, of the 1094 City of Ely Squadron Air Cadets, said she was honoured to be chosen.
She said: “Attending the Royal International Air Tattoo as part of the RAFAC annual camp, I was astonished and proud to be selected from over 1,000 cadets to be the commandant’s escort.
“The first engagement of the day was the royal review of the new queen’s colour. Presented to the RAF on July 10, the new colour was inspected by HRH the Duke of Kent and his brother HRH Prince Michael of Kent before being showcased in a ceremonial parade.
“With seats in the grandstand, we had an excellent and privileged view of the proceedings. It was fabulous to see the highest standard of drill and banner drill first hand. It was very inspiring.
“After a look around the static displays and an impromptu pipes and drums performance at the RAF experience, the commandant was glad to swap the baking heat for the cool shade of the patron’s pavilion where we attended a VIP lunch.
“Here I had the opportunity of talking to Royal Air Force representatives from across the globe, as well as officer commanding 22 Group air vice marshall Warren James CBE.
“It was awe-inspiring to be introduced to so many important figures from the world’s air forces. Still buzzing, I retired to my tent to change for dinner.
“That evening, I was joined by the three other senior cadets who were also invited to the RAF 100 gala dinner.
“As well as the commandant and cadets, the ACO was represented by five group captains, several volunteer staff and honorary group captain Carol Vorderman.
“The evening began with a red carpet entrance and reception. The RAF Central Band made the cadets feel at home with a rousing performance of ‘Living on a Prayer’ and a ‘Top Gun’ medley.
“The ensign was then lowered in a sunset ceremony performed by the Queen’s Colour Squadron with HRH the Princess Royal taking the salute.
“The dinner itself was held in a nearby hanger, stunningly transformed with lights, flowers and more.
“Walking through the doors was like entering a magical world, and the commandant made a point of staying close by to see our expressions of wonder.
“Before dinner, members of the Queen’s Colour Squadron treated the guests to a continuity drill display and speeches were given by leading Royal International Air Tattoo sponsors.
“We then enjoyed a six course meal including pea and mint brûlée and beef fillet. The meal concluded with the presentation of trophies for the aircrew and displays.
“Before we went back to the campsite, the other cadets and I were introduced to the Right Honourable Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier.
“It was a very special evening, and the perfect end to a very memorable day.
“Throughout my time with the commandant, one thing that struck me was her infectious enthusiasm for her role.
“She went out of her way to make the day special for me and, despite her busy schedule, she made sure to make time for every cadet she met.
“Thank you Ma’am, for the pleasure of your company, I had a wonderful time!
Dawn McCafferty was appointed as commandant air cadets in August 2012, taking over from Barbara Cooper, and will serve until 2020.
The 1094 City of Ely Squadron Air Cadets, which is a voluntary youth organisation for boys and girls aged 12 to 20, are currently taking part in a summer camp at RAF Gibraltar.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.1094sqnatc.org