International Air Cadets witness C-17 operations
19 August 2014
Twenty seven air cadets from across the globe got a rare first hand glimpse inside a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft during a visit to Eindhoven Airfield in the Netherlands.
The cadets, including three Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC),visited the country as part of an international exchange program.
Three C-17A Globemasters and a contingent of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were operating out of Eindhoven, providing vital air lift capability to the international investigation and recovery effort surrounding downed aircraft MH17 in the Ukraine.
For Air Force Cadet Casey Piket, from Hobart’s 502 Squadron AAFC, the impromptu opportunity to get up close and personal with the Globemaster and her crew was one of the highlights of his 16 day visit to the Netherlands.
“I really enjoyed looking over the C-17; actually it’s been great visiting all the different Dutch Air Force bases and seeing their operations,” he said.
“The Chinook and Apache Helicopters were also really interesting.”
RAAF pilots and ground crew guided the cadets on a tour through the aircraft which included the cockpit and loading areas.
Exchange coordinator Peter Herbert from Canada says the exchange is designed to give the young participants a wide range of experiences.
“While this type of activity with the Royal Australian Air Force is great, we also try and provide the cadets with a mix of cultural and educational experiences, like visits to museums and to the Dutch Parliament,” he said.
“In saying that they are air cadets so there was an opportunity to go gliding, which they all loved.”
For Casey Piket though, the exchange has only increased his appetite to be an Australian military aviator, although not flying C-17s.
“I really want to be an Australian Army pilot, hopefully flying the new MRH-90 (Multi Role Helicopter)”, he said.
Meanwhile, cadets from 10 different countries are currently in Australia as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange program (IACE). Additional information is available at http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2014/07/31/parliamentary-secretary-to-the-minister-for-defence-international-air-cadets-visit-canberra/.