Members of the Stettler Air Cadet Squadron took part in a survival exercise at the end of October. It was the first one conducted in two years. (572 Coyote, Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron photo)

Members of the Stettler Air Cadet Squadron took part in a survival exercise at the end of October. It was the first one conducted in two years. (572 Coyote, Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron photo)

Stettler Air Cadet Squadron takes part in survival exercise

It was the first group exercise in two years

Members of 572 Coyote, Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, Stettler, took part in a field training exercise for the first time in two years at the end of October.

The exercise took place on rural property near Stettler from Oct. 21 – Oct. 23.

During the exercise, cadets learned how to make lean-to shelters and snares. Other activities included taking part in games, a simulated search-and-rescue operation and learning overland navigation using a map and compass.

According to Captain Lisa Long, a public affairs representative with the Regional Cadet Support Unit, the overall theme of the weekend was aircrew survival.

Activities such as the field exercise are just “one of many activities available to youth” through the cadet program, which operates year-round, according to a media release.

Stettler’s Air Cadet squadron is open to all youth from 12 to 18-years-old and helps develop “confident, self-sufficient leaders who form lasting friendships” and ongoing engagement with the larger community.

Opportunities through the Air Cadet program include learning aviation technology, air crew survival and even flight training.

As for the weekend exercise, the cadets were happy to be back in action.

“This was fun, and a great learning experience,” said Flight Corporal Gabriel Trask.

“Building a fire to boil my ration at the end of the day was my favourite part of the weekend.”

Civilian instructor Tanya Wagner agreed.

“After two years of online training, it was really great to reunite as a group,” said Wagner.

“This weekend has increased my motivation to make the squadron stronger and better.”

In order for these programs to remain active in the community, adult volunteers, such as Wagner, are also needed. There are opportunities for adults to assist with training, administration or supervision and no past military or cadet experience is required.

“It’s a lot of fun, and the skills you learn are transferable to your regular employment,” said Long, in a media release.

For more information related to youth joining the organization, or for adult volunteers to help operate it, call 403-412-4282 or email 572air@cadets.gc.ca.

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