Here is a report from one of our Cadet Sergeants Luca Chadwick
“On Saturday -20th October- a group of cadets from 1094 (Ely) Squadron visited the old United States Air Force Base RAF Bentwaters which is now known as Bentwaters Parks.
The base used to be home to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, most famous for its operations with A-10A Thunderbolt IIs as well as Agressor F-16s.
Today, Bentwaters is primarily used as a business park and film set – however, the airfield remains intact if not in full use and this includes the majority of the original buildings as well as some of the runway.
The Airfield is also home to the ‘Bentwaters Cold War Museum’ (BCWM) which aims to preserve the airfields heritage as well as some fantastic cold war jets.
We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the station, which included a look at the museums collection. Firstly we had a behind the scenes look at the Hardened Aircraft Shelters -HAS- in which the BCWM team conduct aircraft restorations.
The Cold War museum team are currently restoring a T-33A, Lightning F.53, Meteor and a Jaguar GR.1a. These aircraft will soon take up their positions in the main museum. All except the Jaguar which is on track to be a ground taxiable airframe which will be incredible!
Also in the main museum are a Harrier GR.3, Hunter GA.11 and a fantastic looking A-10A painted to represent the 509th Tac. Fighter Squadron which was based at both RAF Alconbury and Bentwaters.
Thanks to CI Nick Wilson for arranging this very interesting trip and driving us there and back and a huge thank you to the staff of the BCWM it was fascinating looking back at the history of the RAF during the Cold War.
The cadets all had a fantastic experience and hope to return very soon.”
If you are interested in joining the RAF’s Air Cadets in Ely and are aged between 12 to 17 then simply come along to our Squadron’s Headquarters at The Cadet Centre, Heaton Drive, Ely, CB6 4RS (behind Ely Hospital) on any Monday night at 7:30pm with your parent or guardian and speak to a member of staff.
From 1094 City of Ely Squadron Air Cadets