107 Aberdeen Squadron Air Cadets
Location: Activities -> Exercise Saltire Star

Exercise Saltire Star - 2008 Expedition to Ghana


Expedition summary
Detailed Expedition Itinerary
Activity Map
Weather forecast
Nominal Roll
Pen Pictures (Adult Staff)
In-Country Accommodation
Community Projects
Adventure Training
Cultural Experience
Interaction with Local Youth Organisation
Expedition Financing
Photo Gallery

Ghana flag

Expedition summary

107 (Aberdeen) Squadron Air Cadets are launching an expedition to the Republic of Ghana from 6-21 July 2008 with the following aims:

a) To interact with the indigenous community and assist them to make a difference to their everyday life.  The project aims will be realistic and achievable.

b) To engage a local youth or cadet organisation.  We will seek to make contact with the National Cadet Corps of Ghana (NCCG) and include within some of our activities.

c) To experience the wilderness and wildlife of Ghana by visiting a National Park and spend days and nights venturing in a safari environment.

The expedition is made up of 20 personnel from 107 Sqn (14 cadets and 6 staff).   Cadets are male and female 15-18 years old.   The adult contingent includes two commissioned officers, one adult senior NCO and 3 Civilian Instructors.

Exercise Saltire Star has a budget of £28,000 which is offset by personal contributions totalling £12,000 (£600 per person).  The remaining £16,000 will be raised by 107 Sqn cadets, staff, families and friends.  Our fund raising activities include bag packing events in local supermarkets, charity events including ceilidh dances and race nights, and sponsorship from the local Aberdeen community and local and national businesses.

The expedition plans to provide a 'down to earth' experience for the team and so will use budget style accommodation such as guest houses and lodges rather than expensive 4-5 star hotels.  In some areas, camping may be an option however this will be balanced against the logistics and equipment requirements, not to mention the need to some air condition from time to time!

A key element of our expedition will be the community project and we plan to have 4 days of activity where we can fulfil one of the expedition aims to make a difference.  The expedition has chosen the Redemption Children's Home as the beneficiary of this community work.

The expedition will involve activities in and around Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi and adventure training and trekking in Kakum and Mole National Parks.  All cadets are enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and it is planned that many can complete the expedition and residential sections of the Gold Award scheme during Exercise Saltire Star.   Those cadets not eligible to enrol in the Gold scheme will work on their Silver scheme.

During Exercise Saltire Star we will also work with the National Cadet Corps of Ghana (NCCG).

Detailed Expedition Itinerary covering travel and activities.

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Activity Map

Ghana map

Our activities will include the following;

  • Mole National Park (big game park)
  • Kakum National Park (natural rain forest & canopy walk)
  • Accra city (shopping & culture)
  • Kumasi city & Ashanti craft villages
  • Kintampo Waterfalls
  • Mognori Eco Village
  • Buabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary
  • Elmina Castle & Slave Dungeons
  • Cape Coast
  • Beaches
  • Redemption Children's Home (Orphanage)
  • Commonwealth War Graves, Kumasi
  • NCCG School
  • GAF Accra Reception
  • Local Church Service

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Weather forecast

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Nominal Roll

Flt LtLumsdenBruceExpedition Leader
Fg OffGreigDonnaDeputy Expedition Leader & Adjutant
Off CdtSinclairGregoryMedia Officer / Health, Safety & Welfare Officer
A SgtCarvalhoStavlonTraining Officer
CIMassieStewartEquipment & Logistics Officer
CIWhiteheadAlanRisk Assessment Manager / Comms & IT Officer

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Pen Pictures (Adult Staff)

FLT LT BRUCE LUMSDEN, Expedition Leader

Flt Lt Lumsden, 30, has been a member of the Air Cadets for 17 years and has been Officer Commanding 107 Sqn for 5½ years.   During that time he has built up a strong unit and has won the Wing Efficiency Trophy on 5 consecutive years.  Flt Lt Lumsden's main interest is in Adventure Training and he is a qualified Winter Mountain Leader.   Through his work as a Subsea Engineer in the oil industry, Bruce has travelled and worked around Europe, Norway and in the Republic of Congo, West Africa.  In his spare time he has completed five mountaineering expeditions including to the Alps, Norway and Russian Caucasus and most recently led a successful expedition in Sep 07 to an unclimbed mountainous area of the northern Tien-Shan in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.  In between his work and expedition planning Flt Lt Lumsden is looking forward to his wedding, and honeymoon (!), in Apr 08.

FG OFF DONNA GREIG, Deputy Expedition Leader & Adjutant

Fg Off Greig, 37, has been a member of the Air Cadets for 24 years and has been Adjutant 107 Sqn for the last 6 years.   Fg Off Greig's main interests include Sports and Adventure Training and she is a qualified netball coach and umpire.   Fg Off Greig also holds a secondary duty as Deputy Regional Sports Officer (North).   Donna has an extensive knowledge of health, safety and first aid and is the Manager of a dental practice in Aberdeen.   In her spare time, Donna has travelled extensively around the World including across South America, USA, Europe and in Nigeria, West Africa.

OFF CDT GREGORY SINCLAIR, Health, Safety and Welfare Officer / Media Officer

Recently commissioned, Off Cdt Sinclair, 20, transferred to 107 Sqn from Highland Wing.  He is in his third year of a BSc Physics with Chemistry degree at Aberdeen University and he is fully intent on joining the RAF once he graduates.  As a cadet Gregory completed his parachute course and gliding scholarship and is currently the Sqn flying and gliding liaison officer.  Most recently he has been responsible for designing and sourcing funds for the squadron's new flight simulator.  Gregory enjoys swimming and golf and is fluent in French.  He is looking forward to his first visit to Africa.

A / SGT STAVLON CARVALHO, Training Officer

Sgt Carvalho, 21, was born in Goa, India and has been a member of the Air Cadets for 8 years.  He has completed many fantastic opportunities including his gliding and flying scholarships, IACE to USA and was one of the top marksmen in the Corps when he achieved his Cadet Hundred award at Bisley in 2005.  He was twice the best cadet in Aberdeen Wing.   Stavlon enjoys hockey and cross country running and is looking forward to graduating from university a few days before we fly to Ghana.

CI ALAN WHITEHEAD, Communications & IT Officer / Risk Assessment Manager

CI Whitehead, 50, is relatively new to the Air Cadets and joined the staff team after a stint on the Civilian Committee.  CI Whitehead has designed the squadron website and is currently uploading information on our Ghana expedition.  Alan is a chartered accountant and currently works as an analyst for a management and technology consultancy company.  Alan's hobbies include swimming and speedway motorcycle racing and has travelled in Canada and across Europe.  He survived unscathed from the squadron's Windermere AT camp in 2007 and is now looking forward to our expedition to Ghana.

CI STEWART MASSIE, Equipment & Logistics Officer

CI Massie, 25, joined the Air Cadets in 1996 and was a successful Cadet Warrant Officer with 877 (Inverurie) Sqn.  Stewart has worked for 6 years as a Constable with Grampian Police where he is also a first aid instructor.  His hobbies include football and martial arts and he followed closely the televised Africa Cup of Nations held recently in Ghana.   Stewart has travelled in Europe and also lived for 18 months in Canada.

INST CDT F/SGT CATRIONA DICK, Cadet Welfare (Support)

F/Sgt Dick, 18, is the senior cadet on the expedition and will assist the staff team with cadet welfare during the expedition.  F/Sgt Dick was the winner of the Andrew Sash of Honour as best cadet in S&NI Region 2006 and is Aberdeen Wing's nomination once again for 2007.

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In-Country Accommodation

The expedition aims to provide a 'down to earth' experience for the team and as such will use budget style accommodation such as guest houses and lodges rather than expensive 4-5 star hotels.  In some areas, camping may be an option however this has to be balanced against the increased logistics, equipment and baggage fees that may be applicable.

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Community Projects

Our chosen community project will be with the Redemption Children's Home in Damongo, near the Mole National Park.  We will spend four days here where we may be helping in the construction of a small restaurant, poulty farm as well as social, sports and teaching activities.

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Adventure Training

The expedition will involve activities in and around Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi and trekking in Kakum and Mole National Parks.   All cadets are enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and it is hoped that many can complete the expedition and residential sections of the Gold Award scheme during Exercise Saltire Star. Those cadets not eligible to enrol in the Gold scheme will work on their Silver scheme.

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Cultural Experience

Feedback from Exercise Jubilee Eagle and Flt Lt 'H' Tanner has confirmed that to experience the wild and rural side of Ghana we will only have to venture outside the capital city of Accra.  We will spend a few days in Accra at the start of our expedition to acclimatise and orientate ourselves and will finish the expedition with a few days in Accra; otherwise we will be working, living and venturing in rural Ghana.  Our community project will allow us to interact, in a meaningful way, with the local people and our peers.

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Interaction with Local Youth Organisation

We have had a number of discussions with the NCCG both at a national and local level and they are well aware of our expedition dates.  We are currently discussing options for interaction.

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Expedition Financing

In addition to personal contributions of £600 per person, almost £20,000 has been raised by the squadron to fund the expedition, roughly broken down as follows;

£12,000   Fundraising by the cadets (bag packing, race night, ceilidh, Poisk sponsorship etc)
£6,000   Grants and CILOR
(The MacRobert Trust, Reserve Forces Ulysses Trust, Scarman Scholarship, Scotland and Northern Ireland Region)
£1,500   Donations & Corporate Support received (or pending)
(Caravan Club, Sandy Reid, Accenture, Oilstates, Abermed, Safety & Technical Hydraulics, Ackergill Tower, Grampian Police, King Street Dental Practice, St Margaret's School for Girls, Nexen Inc, Baker Hughes)

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Exercise Saltire Star - update (7 Apr 2008)
Ghana Expedition 2008 / Vaccinations (20 Feb 2008)

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