Brechin Air Cadets are flying high after moving into their new home.
At the end of last year Brechin’s Army and Air Force cadets got a new cadet centre, and, after years of parading in a draughty crowded hut, it couldn’t come soon enough.
It hasn’t taken Brechin’s Air Cadets long to settle into their new home, an experience they are already enjoying.
The Air Training Corps has always been very active in Brechin but the accommodation wasn’t up to scratch.
Thankfully for the group Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, the Crown Agency that looks after the cadets and military reserves in the Highlands of Scotland, stepped in and offered to build a cadet centre that could be shared with the Army Cadets.
The building was completed late last year and is due to be open by the Lord-Lieutenant in March.
However, the cadets couldn’t wait to get to know their new home so moved in a couple of weeks early.
Corporal Kieren Guthrie (16) has just left Brechin High School and is looking for a job until he joins the RAF Police.
He has been a cadet for the last three years and can really see the difference the new cadet centre makes.
“The old building was okay, but it was cold, the staff had to come down early to switch on the heating or we froze,” explained Kieren.
“There wasn’t a lot of room in the huts and it was a problem when we were studying different things.”
What had been a simple hut arrangement has been upgraded and there are now separate classrooms, a drill hall, offices for the adult volunteers and a ‘NAAFI’ for drinks and snacks.
Robert Williams (15), is currently at Brechin High School and has been an Air Cadet for two years.
With a love of flying Robert now enjoys learning in the new classrooms.
“It means that we don’t all have to crowd into the drill hall when we are studying for our BTEC in Public Service,” he said.
“We can go into the classrooms and do our work whilst others are in the drill hall doing fieldcraft or learning other skills. The old building was colder and the new one is a considerable improvement ”
For Kirsty Brown (13), also at Brechin High, the improved accommodation has meant can now enjoy learning radio communications in the new centre.
“The new centre is brilliant,” she said.
“We have the classrooms with brand new furniture and we can learn loads of different things.
“I’ve been studying radio communications in addition to other parts of the cadet syllabus.”
But not everything can be done in the new centre. As Air Cadets, all three of them get the chance to do things that other young people their age, simply wouldn’t be able to.
Keiren said: “I’m applying for a flying scholarship as I hope to get my private pilot’s licence.
“It would be far too expensive normally, but I can do it through the ATC.”
The formal opening with a host of VIPS will be taking place in March, but as far as the cadets are concerned, Brechin Air Cadet Crops is already well and truly open for business.