Ely cadets visit former US air force base at RAF Bentwaters

PUBLISHED: 15:30 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:30 09 November 2018

Ely cadets visit former US air force base at RAF Bentwaters. Picture: ELY CADETS

Ely cadets visit former US air force base at RAF Bentwaters. Picture: ELY CADETS

Archant

A group of cadets from Ely visited the former US air force base at RAF Bentwaters to take a look at the original buildings and runway.

The visit took place on October 20 to the site which is now known as Bentwaters Parks.

The base used to be home to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, most famous for its operations with A-10A Thunderbolt IIs as well as Agressor F-16s.

It is now primarily used as a business park and film set, but the airfield remains intact.

Cadet sergeant Luca Chadwick said: “The airfield is also home to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum (BCWM) which aims to preserve the airfields heritage as well as some fantastic cold war jets.

“We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the station, which included a look at the museums collection.

“Firstly, we had a behind the scenes look at the hardened aircraft shelters – HAS – in which the BCWM team conduct aircraft restorations.

“The Cold War museum team are currently restoring a T-33A, Lightning F.53, Meteor and a Jaguar GR.1a.

“These aircraft will soon take up their positions in the main museum. All except the Jaguar which is on track to be a ground taxable airframe which will be incredible.

“Also in the main museum is a Harrier GR.3, Hunter GA.11 and a fantastic looking A-10A painted to represent the 509th Tac.”

“Thanks to CI Nick Wilson for arranging this very interesting trip and driving us there and back and a huge thank you to the staff of the BCWM.

“It was fascinating looking back at the history of the RAF during the Cold War.

“The cadets all had a fantastic experience and hope to return very soon.”

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