An air cadet from the 2040 (Richmond) Squadron, Air Training Corps has been given the opportunity of a life time travelling through New Zealand over the summer.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Max Rutter, 19, from Brompton on Swale, took part in the Annual International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) programme during July and August.
IACE is a different experience to the normal cadet overseas camps or visits in service accommodation, as the majority of the time in New Zealand they stayed with host families, who kindly gave up their time to help the cadets experience life in a foreign country.
This story continues after the adverts:
Max, who is hoping to be selected for a flying scholarship and go on to pursue a career as a commercial pilot, considers the International Air Cadet Exchange the pinnacle of a cadet’s career.
He said: “To have had the opportunity to represent my squadron, the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, and the Country on the exchange was an immense privilege and something I was incredibly proud to have been chosen for.
“To any cadets who are thinking of applying for IACE I would say go for it, it will be the best thing you do in cadets and you will make friends around the world for life.
“I attended in my last few months and to finish nearly 6 years of such an incredible part of my life was simply amazing and something I will never forget.”
Along with cadets from other countries, including the United States and Canada, they experienced a road-trip style visit, starting off in the north of the country, gradually heading south towards Christchurch over a 2-week period.
Early into the visit, a reception was put on for the IACE participants, where Max met dignitaries Deputy Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Air Commodore Brunton and Commandant of the New Zealand Cadet Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Morris.
They visited RNZAF Air Stations Whenuapi and Ohakea and took in the fantastic landscapes of the North and South Islands.
There were also plenty of planned activities, including city visits to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, trips to Waiouru National Army Museum, the National War Animal Memorial, Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and they made new friends with local Air Cadets from units throughout the country.
“The best part for me personally was meeting cadets and staff from around the world and being able to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity with them;” explained Max.
“New Zealand is a beautiful country, full of incredible sights, activities and people and we felt welcome at every location we went to.
“For the Deputy Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force to take time out of his day to meet the group was testament to how welcoming the people are.”
For further information on Air Cadets visit: