The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) are currently hosting an International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) program till 6 August 2014. Forty five Air Force cadets from Canada, China, France, South Korea, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium, United Kingdom and the USA are enjoying a two week educational tour of Australia.
All the cadets have been selected on their leadership attributes and ability to represent their respective organisations and countries. The group of international cadets are escorted by senior staff. The Australian IACE Detachment Commander, WGCDR(AAFC) Tony Lee has been organising these exchanges for nine years and said he enjoyed the interaction of the various cultures and nationalities.
“Technology today allows cadets to keep in contact with the push of a button and so cadets have remained lifelong mates,” he said.
“It also proves that people from all different cultures can get along and respect each other. By the end of the fourteen days they are definitely one team and an international family.”
The international cadets will visit significant Australian landmarks and cultural sites including: Sydney Harbour, the Blue Mountains, the Australian War Memorial, the Australian Defence Force Academy, RAAF Amberley, Parliament House, the Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast highlights and surfing lessons at Bondi.
Whilst visiting the Gold Coast, the group will get a taste of the contrasting Australian culture with the theme of the ‘Bush to the Beach’. This theme will see the cadets visit the Australian Outback Spectacular and attend a training session at the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club.
The IACE group were transported from RAAF Amberley, Queensland to RAAF Fairbairn in Canberra via a C130.
Throughout the tour the international cadets will also interact with past and present members of the Royal Australian Air Force, veterans from the Air Force Association, and other young members of the AAFC. As a part of the program, the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO (also a former Air Force Cadet) will host a formal dinner for the group in Canberra on 31 Jul 14. Boeing Defence Australia provides substantial sponsorship to the Cadet Cultural Exchange Program.
At the same time as the international tour commences in Australia, a group of Australian Air Force Cadets are travelling overseas to various countries on a similar two week cultural exchange program.