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Special visitor welcomes Air Cadets torch to Cornwall

1 September 2016
The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshall Sir Stuart Peach GBE, KCB, has made a surprise visit to Predannack Airfield on the Lizard Peninsular.

The Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, Captain Dan Stembridge welcomed the most senior man in the British Armed Forces to the airfield, who was there to receive the celebratory RAF Cadet’s 75th Anniversary Torch.  

As part of the special anniversary torch relay across the country it had arrived in Cornwall after starting its journey from John O’Groats, the furthest part of the British mainland six weeks before.

It had spent the night before at RAF St Mawgan in the safe hands of Plymouth and Cornwall Wing of the RAF Air Training Corps. They were the last part of a remarkable relay challenge taken up by young Air Cadets from all the 35 Wings across the UK to celebrate their 75th Anniversary.

Starting its remarkable adventure in Scotland and finishing in Cornwall the torch had visited many prominent and well know landmarks around Britain, including HMS Queen Elizabeth – the biggest Ship the Royal Navy has ever operated, Blackpool Tower, Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street as well as many RAF Bases, gliding schools, shooting ranges and cadet activities around the country.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped with the 75 Air Cadets relay,” said ACM Sir Stuart Peach. “I would also like to give a special thanks to RNAS Culdrose and its Commanding Officer for their continued support to Air Cadets in Cornwall.”

ATC Units, their instructors and adult volunteers had been encouraged to find unique, adventurous and imaginative ways to celebrate the torch’s journey.

And they didn’t disappoint. The torch had travelled in helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, sailing boats, canoes, abseiled, zip wire, train and even parachuted around the UK.  

Officer Commanding of Plymouth and Cornwall Wing, Wing, Commander Francis Reis said, "Although Predannack airfield is now operated by the Royal Navy, it first opened as a Royal Air Force air station in 1941, the same year that the Air Training Corps was formed.

Today 626 Volunteer Gliding Squadron operates from here, providing opportunities for Air Cadets to get their first taste of being in the air. It seems a rather fitting location for the anniversary torch to end its journey."

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