Officer Cadet Roshni Oberoi
IACE: Washington DC, USA - Full Story
In July, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the International Air Cadet Programme in the USA. In my 7 years as a cadet, I could never have imagined an opportunity like IACE. I'm incredibly grateful for being given this chance, and I'm thankful for everyone who helped and contributed to making this journey possible. The experiences on this trip were truly unforgettable, allowing me to embrace and explore American culture and history while forging friendships with people from Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia.
One of the highlights of the trip was horse riding in the state of West Virginia. We visited Seneca Rocks, a beautiful location that reminded me a bit of New Zealand due to its lovely outdoors. During my time in the USA, we were fortunate enough to get an exclusive tour of the Pentagon, undoubtedly the pinnacle of my trip. Walking through the corridors, learning about its history and significance, was a surreal experience that not many people get to have.
Another exciting part of the trip was the baseball game. Although the game itself was slow, the real fun was when OFFCDT Noah Willcox from 17SQN and I got the opportunity to face off in the Zorb balls. We volunteered to participate in the games during the innings break. This was an extremely fun and cool way to be part of a true American experience.
Another aspect of our IACE trip that I thoroughly enjoyed was interacting with the local Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadets. We had many encounters with cadets from the West Virginia Wing and Maryland Wing. It was great to learn more about the activities and opportunities they are offered, as well as to share our own experiences from New Zealand. We were invited to the local Wing encampment in Virginia, where we completed some leadership training and had the opportunity to join their awards night and banquet.
Overall, my international Air Cadet trip to the USA was an enriching blend of adventure, education, and cultural experiences. It served as a transformative chapter, nurturing both my personal growth and leadership skills while expanding my global perspective on cadet programs. This beautiful exchange has left me with deeper connections and friends scattered across the world's map. I had a lot of fun on this trip and am excited to share my experiences with everyone, inspiring others to embark on their own journeys and create their unique narratives.
- OFFCDT Roshni Oberoi
Participating in the IACE program stands as one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable moments in my life. This experience granted me a remarkable chance to observe the cadet program from a global perspective, transcending the borders of New Zealand and uncovering its international significance. Additionally, immersing myself in South Korean culture on this journey was truly authentic and made the entire endeavor immensely rewarding.
Exploring the heart of Seoul, the capital city, was an adventure that allowed me to grasp the city's vibrant culture, which echoed through iconic landmarks like the blue house, the museum of King Sejong, and Gwanghwamun plaza. Once we had familiarized ourselves with the city's essence, we delved into aviation and cadet-focused activities. Our itinerary comprised visits to local air force bases, witnessing the production of fighter jets in factories, and participating in the captivating "aerospace camp".
Experiencing the world of fighter jets was an absolute thrill. From sitting in and maneuvering a flight simulator of an FA-50 to engaging with the exceptional members of the Black Eagles, Korea's esteemed flight acrobatics team, each moment was a revelation of the extraordinary.
Beyond these aviation encounters, the IACE program facilitated cross-cultural connections. Engaging with fellow cadets from diverse backgrounds, including Australia, enriched the experience further. Not only did this journey provide an in-depth understanding of Korea and its cadet program, but it also fostered international camaraderie.
In essence, IACE was a rare and transformative opportunity that holds the potential to reshape lives for the better. Its impact is profound, and the memories forged during this journey are etched in my heart forever. To my fellow cadets in New Zealand, I wholeheartedly recommend seizing this chance if it comes your way. It is an experience that embodies the essence of growth, learning, and connection.
- F/S Isla Paul