What we do


There are a wide range of activities that the air cadets offer, all of these are designed to challenge, excite, and provide knowledge and adventure to those taking part. You will learn along the way with a mixture of activities, through structured lessons and first-hand experiences.

Here are some of of our activities:

Flying and Gliding

Flying and gliding are how we put the air in Air Cadets. These activities are central to our purpose and your cadet experience. You’ll have many opportunities to take to the skies in dual control aircraft, with an instructor, learning how to control the aircraft and how an airfield operates; there are also some opportunities to experience flight in a range of RAF aircraft, usually as part of a station visit.

Training and development

Classification training forms a large part of our activities, progressing through the training syllabus allows you to take part in more activities that we offer. This training ranges from teaching you the basics of the structure of the RAF and its history, to understanding how pilots navigate in aircraft and the systems used. Upon completion of the classification training cadets can qualify to earn a BTEC in aviation studies.

Drill and parade also form a large part of what we do in the cadets. Not only does this activity teach discipline and organisation, it shows your ability to work in a team and is a way of displaying the high standards of dress and behaviour which air cadets are renowned for.

As you become more experienced as a cadet you’ll be able to take on extra responsibilities and have further opportunities to develop your self-confidence and leadership skills. The challenge of teamwork and leadership is a great opportunity for development as a cadet and could lead to the greatest achievements of your time with us. 


Opportunities to undertake shooting and marksmanship training are widely available in the Air Cadets, and it is one of our most popular activities. We’ll teach you to handle a variety of weapons safely. To be allowed to fire the rifle, a cadet must be formally trained on the weapon by a qualified instructor and pass a standardised Weapon Handling Test (WHT). The WHT tests the cadet’s knowledge of safety with firearms, reactions to range orders and to rifle defects (misfires). Once the cadet has passed their WHT there are opportunities to progress through the syllabus and experience different types of weapons, firing positions and shooting competitions if you really prove your skills.


Music is a popular part of the cadet experience, even if you don’t have access to a band at a squadron level there are always opportunities to get involved. Getting involved in music is a great way of socialising and of promoting the RAFAC wherever you play to the public. Each year there are competitions representing the squadron at musical events, and if you show real talent you could take your playing to the next level in wing, regional or national bands. 

First Aid

First Aid is another essential skill you can pick up. Multiple levels of qualification are available all the way up to becoming a first aid instructor. Training in this area is important, if these skills are called upon you could make all the difference in a life or death situation.


Fieldcraft training is a great way to learn new skills in an exciting environment. Fieldcraft exercises vary widely and each places emphasis on different aspects of your training, such as tactical movements, survival and navigation. This is where Air Cadet training gets closer to what RAF personnel do in their training. The principle is the same – learning to think on your feet, adapt to your situation and work to your team’s strengths.

Duke of Edinburgh’s award

The Royal Air Force Air Cadets is a licensed operating authority for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Every cadet in the corps is offered the chance to take part in the award which rewards cadets for their dedication, physical abilities, navigational skills and services to the community.

Cadets can achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold awards depending on their age, level of commitment and work put into the respective award. Every cadet who takes part in the scheme achieves an internationally recognised award whilst having fun at the same time. For more information please visit http://www.dofe.org/


Adventure Training

Adventure training allows cadets get to take part in a variety of activities such as hill walking, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, mountain-biking, sailing and more. The wild country areas of the UK are the perfect places to practice skills that cadets learn in their training


As an Air Cadet you can take part in seven main sports at different levels, these include: athletics, cross-country, football, rugby, hockey, netball and swimming.

If you wish to partake in these sports competitively there are frequent tournaments between squadrons, where the best cadets can be selected to represent the wing, regional and even the entire cadet corps. Whatever activity you take part in it will help you improve your physical fitness levels, team skills and have fun at the same time. Each squadron runs loads of different sporting activities; don’t worry if you don’t think sport is your strength, these activities can be enjoyed for fun too.