Cadets arrive for training camp

Air cadets from across the country have the chance to polish their skills in gliding, survival, physical fitness, marksmanship and music in Penhold this summer.

Sgt. Jeffrey Allan demonstrates how 'roomy' a hooch

Air cadets from across the country have the chance to polish their skills in gliding, survival, physical fitness, marksmanship and music in Penhold this summer.

It will be the camp’s penultimate year as it will close after the 2014 season.

The first group of cadets, about 600 in total, arrived Sunday to begin their training at the Penhold Air Cadet Summer Training Centre. Air cadets will be at the camp until Aug. 18.

There are three courses cadets are participating in over the summer in Penhold. The two-week program is general training for the younger cadets, which includes basic training and survival skills.

The other two programs run three weeks and six weeks respectively. One is music training wing and the other is basic and advanced training wing. The advanced training adds shooting and drill to the cadet’s summer.

Cadets are woken up by their flight commanders, who run the training wing.

Between their meals in the mess hall they participate in organized activities, classes, parades, performances and at the end of it all they graduate from their course.

Some of the courses they study include general training, basic drill and ceremony, air rifle marksmanship instruction and basic, intermediate and advanced military band.

Over the summer 1,227 cadets from across Canada will come to the training centre, but not all at the same time. At it’s peak about 800 cadets will be in Penhold.

A flying scholarship program at the training centre offers 20 candidates the chance to work towards their private pilot’s licence. As well, six vintage training aircraft will be piloted by about 50 air cadets in Penhold as part of once-in-a-lifetime training week.

From July 22 to 29 the Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative will be at the Penhold Cadet Summer Training Centre.

The initiative uses six vintage training aircraft as unique teaching tools highlighting Canada’s aviation history and the value of pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and math.

The training planes include a Harvard Mk. 4, a Fleet Finch, a Fairchild Cornell Mk. II, a de Havilland Tiger Moth, a DHC-1 Chipmunk and a Boeing PT-27 Stearman.

Each session begins with a video message from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, recorded during his mission on the International Space Station.

On top of the 50 cadets from Penhold who will get the chance to fly these aircraft, 500 across Canada will go flying this summer.

Summer 2014 will be the cadets’ last at the Penhold Training Centre. Since CFB Penhold formally closed in 1994, the training centre facilities have been maintained by the Harvard Park Business Associates. The training centre is in year nine of a 10-year contract on the facilities.

“The numbers (of cadets) are a little down, but we’re looking towards ending with a bang and having a good year, just as it was the year before,” said Sara Wasiuta, Penhold Air Cadet Summer Training Centre unit public affairs representative.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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