CADETS SAMPLE LIFE ON GIBRALTAR

The Air Training Corps is fortunate to be able to hold camps at a number of overseas stations. One of those is Gibraltar. This year 1220 (March) Squadron were fortunate enough to get places on two of the camps.

In mid August Sergeant Katie Dickson (18) attended and in late August Flight Sergeant Lauren Arnold (19), Corporal Scott Goodall (17) and Cadet Aline Johnson (15) joined the last camp of the summer season. Flying Officer Colin Arnold also of 1220 joined the staff contingent on the last camp.

On each camp some 60 cadets from across the South East and Midlands took the opportunity to sample life at an overseas station. Gibraltar, is unique in that not only are their UK personnel there but also the locally staffed Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

The cadets were housed at the Devils Tower Camp which is dominated by the Rock itself on one side and the airport on the other.

The time was split between seeing how the military contingent in the territory operates and taking in the sites and sounds of the area including trips into Spain.

The cadets visited the Boat Squadron as well as The Royal Gibraltar Regiment Training Facility at the Buffedero Training Area. The Bomb Disposal Unit opened its doors giving cadets the opportunity the test drive one of the Remotely Controlled units. The military theme continued with a guided tour through the WW2 tunnels.

Time was also spent on the Rock itself. The weather was excellent on the days we went to the top and North Africa looked so close. Whilst at the top cadets took the opportunity to visit the caves at St Michaels.

Back at sea level the trip out into the Strait of Gibraltar brought the thrill of the Common Dolphins showing off around the boat and a close encounter with the Cunard Liner the Queen Elisabeth.  Into Spain and a visit to the Selwo Wildlife Park kept the nature theme going. There was also time to relax on the beach near the camp and on a trip to the waterpark at Mijas.

Cadet Aline Johnson (15) said of the camp “This was my first ever time going abroad and going with the cadets was fantastic . I really enjoyed every part of it and will be applying for an overseas camp again next year. ”

The week wasn’t without its stranger moments. Coming back from Spain we found the border into Gibraltar closed due to a bomb scare. It turned out to be just a discarded bag but gave us an extra few hours in Spain.