One of our leaders works for Met Eireann and at a Group Council meeting a few months back, he suggested that we could organise a trip to Casement Aerodrome and Weather Station over the Mid Term break. We all agreed that it was a great idea and set him and another leader off to plan the trip.
A bus was booked and leaders were tapped up for lifts for any members that couldn’t go on the bus due to the number wanting to attend. We were looking forward to a great day and met up at 8:45am to get everyone organised.
Some of the leaders headed off, just ahead of the bus, while some others followed it. This was a mistake as unfortunately the bus driver didn’t know exactly where he was going and unfortunately ended up taking an unexpected tour of City West.
When the bus did arrive, we started the tour by visiting the magazine and having a look at some of the tools the armed forces use.
We had a look at rifles, pistols and even rocket launchers. Everyone got to have a look and see how heavy the tools were.
Next we had a look at the aviation museum. Thankfully, this was indoors as the rain had started to come down. It was really interesting to have a look at all of the memorabilia and models and historical artifacts.
The next stop on the tour was over at the weather station. Kilian, who works for Met Eireann showed everyone the various different instruments used to measure the rain and temperature etc. There are a lot of them and although it wsa again very interesting, the rain was a bit distracting.
Since we had a man on the “inside” as it were, we were allowed access to the fire engines that they have at the airport. Now these fire engines were a bit more than your bog standard as they have to be able to deal with fires from aviation fuel and chemicals and the firemen/women need to be specially trained. We were told that the trucks of which there are two (costing €750,000 each) can hold 12,000l of water and have water cannons that will empty the tanks in 2 minutes. The trucks are controlled by two laptop computers in the cab.
Our final area of interest to visit was the maintenance hanger where there were some helicopters that were being worked on. We all had a good crawl around both inside and out and posed for a group photo.
We ended our tour with lunch in the officers mess. It was a pity about the weather, but hey, this is Ireland and as we say, there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. We are really grateful to Kilan for organising the trip and to all of the personnel on the base who gave up their time to show us around. Thanks so much.