On Sunday 20th November fourteen teams from around the Wales & West Region met at RAF Cosford to compete in the most competitive competitions of the year – The Regional Air Squadron Trophy or RAST for short. The competition sets out to test our cadets in six key areas of RAF syllabus with all the points being added up to produce an overall winner for the day. The events consisted of Marksmanship (shooting), First Aid, Command Tasks, Drill (marching), RAF Knowledge, and Aircraft Recognition. This was our first year at the regional competition and many of our team of thirteen cadets were excited (if not a little apprehensive) at what to expect over the duration of the day.
We started the day with the command task which tested the teamwork and communication skills of our cadets, with the first event over and no one knowing the scores our attention moved to the next tasks – Shooting, First Aid and Aircraft Recognition. For these three events, the team had to divide themselves so that only four would shoot, four would conduct first aid, and the five remaining cadets being left to recognise aircraft. With the team going in different directions the staff headed up one group each – of course I had the joy of escorting the shooters in order to feel the nostalgia from my army days. With Thomas L of 9B1 shooting an impressive 5mm group we had high hopes for the individual marksmanship trophy, but alas it wasn’t meant to be when a cadet from a rival school achieved a 4mm group!!
The team reconvened for lunch and a final uniform check/drill rehearsal before it was our time to march out to the parade square. The team, commanded by Flight Sergeant Katie O of 12M1 began their drill sequence and were looking sharp until suddenly the rain decided to get too heavy in order to carry on. After a brief break, a few needed words of encouragement from Group Captain Simon (Commanding Officer responsible for all RAF cadets in the region) and the weather improving slightly, a very soggy team of Barr Beacon cadets completed their sequence displaying discipline and courage.
Lastly it was time to give out the trophies for the event. All of the cadets gathered in the main hall of No1 Radio School and waited anxiously. As the categories got read out there were cheers and praise to all who had competed displaying the sportsmanship of the event. Barr Beacon School especially excelled this year in Aircraft Recognition with Cadet Edie H of 9M1 coming joint top individual in the category – a very proud moment as this was her first ever cadet competition. After a long day of competition, highs, lows and being rained off of a parade square the cadets all enjoyed the challenges placed upon them throughout the day, and are looking forward to the next competition. Well Done to all of our cadets who took part!!!
A big thank you goes out to Flt Lt Muller & Mr Garner from the school for supporting the team throughout the day.