A teenager from Merthyr Tydfil has returned from an 18-day ‘trip of a lifetime’ to Asia with the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE).

Cadet Warrant Officer Katie Thomas joined 35 other young people from around the world, including Switzerland, the United States, France and Korea.

The 18-year-old Royal Air Force Air Cadet is a member of 415 (Merthyr Tydfil) Squadron and a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Mid Glamorgan. Katie said: “It was an amazing visit, I learned loads from the other cadets. They even taught me how to write my name in Chinese.

“I would never have gone on anything like this if it wasn’t for cadets. The staff at my squadron and No 1 Welsh Wing have been great and really pushed to help me have this incredible experience.”

The trip started with a boat ride in China and then progressed to Hong Kong. The group’s busy schedule included a visit to the Government Flying Service, where they experienced an exclusive flight with the crew and rescue mission simulators with the Sea Rescue Service.

The International Air Cadet Exchange Association runs annual world-wide exchange trips for aviation-minded young people in 18 participating countries. 500 young people are given the opportunity to expand their horizons, experience different cultures and make life-long friendships.

Young people and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers train at the Drill Hall in Bethesda Street, Merthyr Tydfil. The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales recently completed the building project to improve facilities.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sponsored youth organisations.

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