August 4th 2022

Local Cadets go abroad for International Air Cadet Exchange

Left: FS Halford with the UK and US flags behind him. Right: WO Griffen-Edmondson in a cockpit.

Flight Sergeant Benjamin Halford went to the USA, whilst Warrant Officer Lauren Griffen-Edmondson visited France.

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for two local Cadets, Flight Sergeant Benjamin Halford of 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron and Warrant Officer Lauren Griffen-Edmondson of 2160 (Sleaford) Squadron, who were selected to take part in this year’s International Air Cadet Exchange.

The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) links the Royal Air Force Air Cadets with the world. For 15 days every July and August, they exchange students so each gets a taste of the other’s culture and another great Cadet experience.

More than 20 nations and around 600 cadets/volunteer staff exchange annually. About 90 of those are from the UK, who head off to about 15 different countries around the world.

FS Halford in a helicopter with views over Virginia.

FS Ben Halford in a Blackhawk Helicopter.

Flight Sergeant Halford went to the United States of America, landing in Washington DC to see sights including the White House, the Capitol Building, and Arlington National Cemetery.

Amongst visits to Maryland and several Air Force Bases, Ben’s particular highlight was an hour-long flight over Virginia in Blackhawk helicopters with the doors open.

He commented: “The past 16 days have been the best of my life. I’ve spent it in an amazing country surrounded by brilliant people.”

WO Griffen-Edmondson and friends with the Eiffel Tower behind.

WO Lauren Edmondson-Griffen was with Cadets from Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany.

For Warrant Officer Lauren Griffen-Edmondson, it was a trip to Paris, where she saw the final assembly lines at Airbus Toulouse and Dassault Aviation, visited the simulators at Flight Safety International, and attended the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses, whose role is to investigate air crashes and work to find ways to improve air safety.

Lauren was in a group with Cadets from Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, and all got to meet a former Concorde Pilot.

She said: “It was an amazing two weeks shared with some wonderful people.”

Does the International Air Cadet Exchange sound like something you’d enjoy? Join Air Cadets now!