Get involved in RAF100

Posted on January 15, 2018

Air Commodore Dawn Mc Cafferty With Honorary Air Commandant The Duchess Of Cambridge And Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman

The RAF was formed on 1 April 1918 – a century on, major celebrations are under way to mark this milestone.

The RAF100 commemorative campaign will mark 100 years of extraordinary achievement and sacrifice. It aims to celebrate the contribution that the RAF continues to make to UK Defence today, as a driving force behind leading-edge technology. It also intends to motivate the general public and inspire future generations to think about the part they could play in the next 100 years.

Some preliminary activities have already taken place, but 2018 looks set to have a bumper calendar offering opportunities for CCF (RAF) contingents to get their cadets involved.

Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant Air Cadets, said: “I invite all volunteers and cadets to embrace the challenges and opportunities that arise from RAF100 and to put your collective thinking hats on to consider how you might like to commemorate, celebrate or inspire those around you to mark the RAF’s historic milestone.”

A whole host of national and local events will be taking place and Squadron Leader D-Reg Bhasin is taking the lead for CCF coordination. D-Reg served 17 years with the RAF and is now an airline pilot, but he was also a contingent commander with Bradford Grammar School CCF and a training officer at Eton College CCF.

“If you want to participate, let me know,” he says. “I can match you to events based on date, location and availability. And if you’re already involved in an RAF100 event, I’d love to hear about it.”

Key national events

The main events will take place during spring and summer. Highlights include:

11 February 2018 RAF100 parade in London on ATC Sunday, culminating in a reception at the Royal Courts of Justice.

14-17 March 2018 RAF100 will be at the Big Bang Science Fair, NEC Birmingham. Visitors are being promised to ‘expect some surprises’.

Summer 2018 A National Aircraft Tour will visit six major UK locations, with the potential for tens of thousands of visitors to interact with the RAF.

10 July 2018 The RAF100 parade along the Mall, a mass fly-past and a consecration of a new Queen’s Colour for the RAF.

13 July 2018 Royal Review of Her Majesty’s Aircraft at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), Fairford.

3-25 August 2018 The RAF will take the lead at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Science and technology focus

The RAF is looking to the next generation for innovative ideas to shape its second century.

Its expanded youth engagement programme, RAF Inspire, is expected to reach up to two million nine to 15-year-olds across the country through a range of activities including:

  • The distribution of 1,000 STEM boxes to schools and free online downloadable resources.
  • Hosting 100 school activity days – delivered by RAF STEM Ambassadors – reaching every corner of the United Kingdom.
  • O­ffering cadets and other youngsters a chance to attend one of three STEM residential courses, taking up to 100 students per course at RAF Wittering, RAF Cranwell and RAF Cosford.

Other activities with a focus on STEM that all contingents can get involved with include:

  • The staRRship project – a virtual mission to Mars powered by Rolls Royce and inspired by the Royal Air Force: www.starrship.space
  • The RAF100 Schools Project – a national project that uses the story of the RAF to explore concepts in both history and physics, in partnership with the Historical Association and the Institute of Physics: www.raf100schools.org.uk 
  • The 2017/18 Robotics Challenge – a programme that sees students (11-14) working in teams to solve real-world engineering, technology and computing challenges, run by Tomorrow’s Engineers: www.robotics.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

To find out more, take a look at the RAF100 dedicated website or email Sqd Ldr D-RegBhasin projects2.ccf@aircadets.org