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Inside: Junior leaders level up Air Cadets nationwide celebrate 72nd anniversary Air Cadet XTRA News

www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets Spring 2013


Summer 2012

By Royal Command We shall remember Blades just the ticket


Daredevil Helen ...

Flying high with Cadets




COVER IMAGE: SAC Mark Dixon, RAF Valley

Welcome to

2 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013


Contents News 7

Duke of Westminster finalists announced


Cadets honoured for record breaking Poppy Appeal


We shall remember

10 By Royal Command 10 Commandant praises volunteers 17 Air Cadets reach new heights 20 Health & Safety train-ing

17 12

Features 4

Daredevil Helen flying high with cadets


Red Nose Day challenge for cadets

12 Air Cadets celebrate 72nd anniversary

Managing Editor: Denise Parker Housby E: ACO-HQAC-MC-Head @mod.uk


Editor: Carol McCombe E: editoraircadet@hotmail.com Design: Steve J Davies, Air Media Centre, HQ Air Command Every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, but the ACO cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequence arising from it. Views expressed by contributors and customers might not reflect the views of the ACO. Produced by Air Media Centre, HQ Air Command 0242_12SJD Š UK MOD Crown Copyright, 2012



Daredevil Helen flying

high with cadets I was sick with nerves and excitement before the flight but I feel honoured to have had this opportunity ... More than 350 Air Cadets from across the country have joined forces with the Red Arrows to support Blue Peter, Helen Skelton, in her latest Red Nose Day Challenge – a 45 minute flight with the world famous aerobatic team. 4 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

Renowned daredevil Helen took to the skies with the Reds as part of the latest mission in her ‘Helen’s Magnificent 7’ series, which will see her complete seven different challenges, aiming to raise money for Comic Relief. After attempting a rugby conversion during the recent Six Nations’ match between England and Scotland at Twickenham and appearing in two West-End Theatre shows in one evening, this challenge took the Blue Peter

presenter high above Lincolnshire’s famous countryside. During her first day in Lincolnshire Helen began preparations for her 45-minute aerobatic sortie by meeting the Red Arrows team at RAF College Cranwell – their current base until March. That afternoon she came face-to-face with current Red 1, Squadron Leader Jim Turner, her pilot for the planned flypast over the Cranwell skyline. That evening Helen was taken to meet air cadets and staff at nearby 2160 www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets

(Sleaford) Squadron – voted the Air Training Corps top unit in 2012. More than 50 excited cadets gaveup their Friday evening to meet the famous presenter. Throughout the visit cadets spoke at length on camera about their fundraising efforts and the typical activities they take-part in on the squadron. Before leaving Helen gave the cadets a rousing speech and revealed that she would be flying over Cranwell’s stunning

RAF Colllege building just days later and invited all of the cadets to support her latest unique challenge. Returning to Cranwell on the Monday, Helen had her first flight in a Hawk as she was flown to RAF Valley in Wales, where she tackled a challenging simulator which is used by real-life aerobatic pilots. After acclimatising to the conditions that would face her the following day, Helen spoke about the upcoming flight. She said: “I’ve walked a high wire over Battersea Power Station to raise money but I’ve never done a challenge at this height or speed before! I’m nervous and excited and I just hope it inspires people in Lincolnshire to get sponsored to do something challenging this Red Nose Day. “It’s really important that we all rally together. I’ve seen first-hand how Comic Relief makes a big difference and changes people’s lives for the better, both here in the UK and in Africa, so I really hope people join the challenge.” The next day saw more than 350 air cadets and staff arrive at RAF Cranwell to meet Helen and support her during, arguably, the biggest challenge she has faced to date. Despite not yet knowing the role they would actually play, the cadets arrived excited and ready to play their part. 5

IMAGES: SAC Mark Dixon, RAF Valley



RND challenge for cadets Comic Relief has thrown down the fundraising challenge to cadets everywhere. The Air Cadet Organisation has teamed up with Comic Relief to create the ‘Air Cadets Red Nose Day Challenge’, a competition which could win your squadron a visit to RAF Scampton, where you will spend a whole day with the amazing Red Arrows! Blue Peter’s Helen Skelton has already set a high standard of teamwork by joining the Reds for one of her “Magnificent 7 Challenges”, in which more than 350 Air Cadets played a key role.

So just how good is your squadron’s teamwork? Put your skills to the test, and see how much money you can raise for Red Nose Day by working together. Enter the Red Nose Day competition and, if selected as the best squadron by Comic Relief, you will win a day at RAF Scampton with the ultimate team: the Red Arrows! The closing date for the competition is Friday 12th April 2013. More details can be found in the special PDF document on the Air Cadets Facebook pages. Good luck! n

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Just two hours before the planned flypast at noon, Helen met the youngsters and was astounded by the huge turnout. As the whole scene was filmed for Blue Peter, she informed the crowd that they would be creating a huge visual ‘RND’ (Red Nose Day) on the grass outside College Hall, as she flew over at the forefront of the world’s most famous aerobatic team. Despite near freezing conditions the cadets began rehearsing for their part on camera, while Helen was taken to prepare for her flight and pull on the famous red flying suit for the first time. Just after midday the roar of jet engines taking off from the Cranwell tarmac was met by excited whispers from the immaculately turned-out cadets. Minutes later a quintet of the current Red Arrows appeared over the RAF College, armed with a familiar trail of red, white and blue smoke. On the ground below came cheers from hundreds of cadets, who each in-

turn waved a black or red umbrella supplied by the Blue Peter team. Cameras on-board a following aircraft in the sky captured the visual impact below, as the youngsters showed their support for Helen through the creation of the huge ‘RND’ letters. As cadets were taken indoors to escape the cold, the action in the sky continued. At the head of the formation Helen experienced the synchronised manoeuvres that the Reds professionally display year upon year and Lincolnshire residents have now become accustomed to. Flight Lieutenant Mel Walker, Commanding Officer of 2160 (Sleaford) Squadron Air Cadets took more than 50 cadets to the event. Speaking after the flypast she said: “My cadets were delighted to spend time meeting Helen at the squadron and extremely excited to be invited to join fellow cadets for this historic event. “It’s not everyday Blue Peter film in the area and this was a unique opportunity that could not be missed. They are now all very excited to see the final programme on television.” After 45 minutes in the sky Helen came back down to earth thrilled after completing her fastest and highest challenge yet. She said: “I was sick with nerves and excitement before the flight

Air Cadet XTRA News

Cadets reach final stage of competition Nine air cadets, including two CCF (RAF) cadets, have reached the final stage of the prestigious Duke of Westminster Award. The nine will now join 12 colleagues from the Sea and Army Cadets to face a challenging four-day assessment in the Quantock Hills in Somerset next month to determine which of them, selected from over 20,000 young people earning extracurricular qualifications with educational charity CVQO, can prove themselves worthy of the top prize. Not only are the hopefuls competing for the highest accolade of being named winner, but also for a place as one of the top nine learners to participate in a three-week expedition to South Africa in the summer. During their time in Somerset, the 21 candidates will earn a Level 3 qualification in Leadership from the Institute of Leadership and Management. The overall Duke of Westminster Award winner will be announced at the Awards lunch at the Ironmonger’s Hall, London, on 26 June. The air cadets selected are:- Jordan Byrne, 146 (Northwich) Squadron; Bridget Donaldson, 404 (Morpeth) Squadron; Kayleigh Fisher, 2386 (Keynsham) Squadron; Akshay Mandalia, 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron; Jacob Rosen, Devon & Somerset Wing, Matilda Sherwood, 2530 (Uckfield) Squadron, Sussex Wing, Gemma Smith, 617 (Heber) Squadron, William Peck, Loughborough Grammar School, CCF (RAF) and Magnus Lee, Bournemouth School CCF (RAF). n

Caroline keeps on running!

but I feel honoured to have had this opportunity and feel completely ecstatic now that it is complete. “The Air Cadets have been fantastic and I was genuinely overwhelmed when I saw all of the hard work they have done fundraising and how many turned out to see the flypast.” For more information and ideas about your own challenges, visit www. rednoseday.com/challenge n


Despite saying ‘never again’ after running the Virgin London Marathon last year, Squadron Leader Caroline Gourri from London & South East Region, has decided to do it all again! She has been fortunate enough to secure a place through the generosity of two of the oldest of the City of London’s Livery Companies, The Worshipful Company of Patternmakers and The Worshipful Company of Glovers and will be raising funds for ‘Hounds for Heroes’ and to help injured soldiers recovering at Headley Court, the Defence Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey. Caroline said: “Together last year we raised just over a staggering £5,000 and I would love to beat that if possible! In return, I shall try my best to beat last year’s time of four hours and twenty minutes. She added: “I’m also looking for another willing and enthusiastic cheer squad - AKA Caroline’s Caterpillars - on the day, so if you fancy coming out to give me some chosen words of encouragement do let me know! “ To support Caroline in her marathon bid on April 21st, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ CarolineGourri n 7

Air Cadet XTRA News

JT’s legacy The John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation, set up in memory of Royal Marine and ex-cadet, John Thornton, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008, has announced £65,000 will be allocated in awards to young people this year. Since the Foundation was formed five years ago in memory of John who was also a Junior Leader, more than £230,000 has been donated, helping more than 500 young people, including cadets from John’s old squadron, 2358 (Ferndown) Squadron, achieve their dreams. One of those helping raise funds for the Foundation is 18-year-old Cadet Sergeant Samuel Jackson of 301 (Bury St Edmunds) Squadron who has just competed in the ‘Tough Guy Challenge’. Samuel, who is tackling the Junior Leaders Course now, has raised more than £200 – adding to the £4,000 collected so far by the current JL course. Samuel said: “There were times when I felt so cold and exhausted I thought I wasn’t going to finish! I kept thinking to myself, what would John Thornton have done, would he have given up so easily? That’s what kept me going.” n .......................................

Troops say thanks Cadets from (1188) Coalville Squadron, who supported the troops in Afghanistan by sending them shoeboxes full of gifts for Christmas, have received ‘thank you’ letters in return. The cadets sent 23 shoeboxes to Army Police officers and RAF personnel and have since received letters, emails and even photographs of the grateful troops opening their shoeboxes. n 8 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

Cadets honoured for record-breaking Poppy Appeal Remarkable’ cadets and officers from Manchester raised nearly £160,000 for the national Poppy Appeal and won high praise from the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester. Young Air, Sea and Army Cadets in Greater Manchester alone raised nearly £135,000 with additional money coming from officer units, colleges and other groups. At a prestigious awards ceremony at University Barracks, Manchester, Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Colonel Warren J Smith, said: “Five years ago, when I first started presenting these awards, you raised more than £75,000 then £100,000 and now you have exceeded £150,000. It is a remarkable achievement but we are dealing with a group of remarkable young people.” Cadet Lewis Taylor, from 2200 (Oldham) Squadron, personally raised £5,223.63 – nearly 40 per cent of his squadron’s awardwinning total of £13,418.77. Whilst his school was closed as students changed campus, Lewis dedicated 56

hours in a week to the appeal helping Oldham Squadron raise more than any other cadet group taking part in this year’s Greater Manchester competition. Lewis, 15, said: “I turned up at The Spindles Shopping Centre every morning at 9am and stayed until 5pm for seven days. Several people bought more than one poppy from me and people were putting in notes for a single poppy. It was a shock to me that I raised so much. “It gives me a great sense of achievement; I feel like I have created a positive image of youth to the community. It shows that young people can be good,” he added. Greater Manchester VicePresident of The Royal British Legion, Wing Commander David Forbes, said: “We have more than 60 cadet forces in the Greater Manchester area with more than 4,000 young cadets. “I am extremely proud of their efforts to raise money for the Poppy Appeal and their fantastic achievements richly deserved the accolades they received at the awards ceremony. This is the 17th Poppy Appeal competition we have held – when it started in 1996 the first appeal raised £8,674 and now we raise nearly £160,000. n

Air Cadet XTRA News

Junior Leaders level up

We shall

remember Cadets from Paderborn’s No 4 Overseas Squadron Detached Flight have just returned from a battlefield tour of the Mohne Dam, the setting of the famous World War Two Dambusters raid carried out by the Lancaster crews of 617 Squadron. As well as it being an act of remembrance, it was also a profound learning opportunity for the cadets involved. Already briefed on ‘Operation Chastise’ – the name given to the raid on the German dams – and the history of the Mohne Dam, the group of cadets met three German eyewitnesses from the night the dam was attacked by Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s Lancaster bombers. Karl-Heinz Wilmes was just five at the time but still remembers the night of 17th May 1943 clearly. He is now the Mayor of Gunne, the village closest to the dam, and was able to share many photos of the aftermath of the raid. He also invited the cadets to return to Gunne on 17th May 2013 for the 70th anniversary remembrance parade in the town. Hubert Kohler was ten at the time of the raid. He remembered his father being the only one on duty that night in the power station directly below the dam and how worried he and his mum had been. His father, hearing the Lancasters overhead, had left the power station, www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets

convinced that the dam was about to be attacked. Rochel Josef, who was 12, spoke about how low the planes were flying, recalling “that he could even see the pilots’ faces”. Later, the cadets travelled to the crash site of Flight Lieutenant John Hopgood’s Lancaster that was hit by flak over the dam. Five of the crew, including Hopgood, were killed – just two members of the crew survived and were taken prisoners of war. The cadets placed crosses of remembrance in front of the memorial. Cadet Sergeant Charlotte Haggarty said: “The whole day has been amazing. I’m doing the Second World War at school but to actually speak to people who were there and to see pictures from before and after, I’ve learnt a lot today.” ■


The Air Cadets Junior Leaders course has been officially upgraded from the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading to the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management. The upgrade is effective immediately and will support the current course, which ends on 6th April. Cadets who take the course gain a range of key management skills and are given the opportunity to put new skills into practice. The course builds their leadership capabilities and develops the ability to motivate and engage teams as well as manage relationships confidently. The ILM Level 3 Award enhances UCAS applications and has a hugely positive impact when looking for employment as it delivers effective and confident first-line managers with skills that can effectively be transferred to their business. Flight Lieutenant Tony Stevenson, officer in charge of course evaluation, said: “The qualification with the Institute of Leadership and Management is so important because it will give the graduates of the Junior Leaders course a real head start in life and out there in the world.” Selection for JL Course 15 takes place from 6-8 September. To register or for further details contact: adjt. jl@aircadets. org n

Air Cadet XTRA News

Record breakers! Cadets from Welling Squadron have been presented with 15 CVQO-led BTEC Level 1 certificates in Teamwork & Personal Skills – believed to be a record number to be presented within one Squadron. The cadets were presented with their certificates by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, who kindly funded the award and with whom Welling Air Cadets have an ongoing cadet link. Cadet Sergeant Lewis Southgate, 17,Cadet Corporals Luke Arpino, 16, Joe Ridler, 15, Callum Rye, 17, and Cadets Daniel Covington, 14,Regan Cranage,15,Billy Dingain, 15,Joe Greenstreet, 15, Aiden Hewett, 16, Steve Jara, 15,Tim Lawson, 14,Joshua Minchin, 15,Alex Trueman, 15,Benjamin White, 17, and Charlie Wright, 15, brought the total number of cadets from Welling Squadron to have completed this award to 20. Clinton Riley, Head of Business Development for CVQO, said: “Welling Squadron has the largest group to go through the CVQO-led BTEC Level 1 certificate in Teamwork & Personal Skills for Cadets across the UK since we started offering the Qualification. Fifteen cadets, at a very young age will now be receiving this BTEC Certificate from Edexcel which I am certain they and their parents will be very proud of.” n .......................................

Grant - ed! Long Eaton Air Cadets have been awarded a grant of £250 from Derbyshire Count Council’s Community Leadership Scheme. The award was made to 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron to recognise its ongoing community work. A delighted Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Jack Stepanian, said: “It is pleasing to know that the cadets and staff are appreciated for their hard work in and around Long Eaton.” n

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By Royal Command

Praise for volunteers Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, has visited Thames Valley Wing’s annual Training Day and Conference held at RAF Halton in Aylesbury. The Commandant gave a keynote address, briefing the staff and Staff Cadets on her first 100 days in command and her ambitious plans for the future. Addressing the Wing she said: “Success breeds success - I am constantly blown away by the commitment you all make.” Air Commodore McCafferty continued by saying how much her new role means to her and that “people are amazed when they hear that this role is the biggest command in the Royal Air Force.” She added: “This is a massive job and the biggest challenge of my career - it’s the best job ever!” She also briefed the gathering on her 2020 Strategy and more immediate

work including keeping flying and gliding at the very core of the cadet experience and the initiation of an internal communication review to make sure messages can reach squadrons and back to her more effectively. Later, the Commandant spent some time with the Squadron Commanders and Staff Cadets before hearing about the Wing’s new initiative to deliver the Core Cadet Experience - Are You On Target? During the presentation Air Commodore McCafferty explained how the Air Cadet Organisation offers a wide range of challenges and added that she “continues to be amazed at the breadth of the ACO’s activities.” The last word from the Commandant was to the staff. She concluded: “You are the centre of gravity - we simply couldn’t have an Organisation like this without you.” n

Air Cadet XTRA News

Seventy years after air cadets from 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron travelled to Sandringham House to be inspected by King George VI, cadets from the squadron found themselves travelling the same route for another Royal Inspection, this time by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Following the inspection, during which Her Majesty, accompanied by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, paused to speak to many of the cadets, Cadet Corporal Grant Ellis presented a framed, original photograph of the 1942 parade. Afterwards the excited cadets were eager to exchange details of what questions they had been asked. Cadet Flight Sergeant Sam Oakes said: “His

Royal Highness was very interested in how many cadets had achieved Duke of Edinburgh Awards.” Cadet Corporal Grant Ellis added: “This has been the best day ever. It was great to meet the Queen and to actually present her with the framed photograph – awesome!” Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Pauline Petch, said: “I have had some wonderful times since being in command at King’s Lynn, but this one day exceeded all expectations, absolutely wonderful. 'It was a truly memorable experience for everyone involved and something the cadets and staff will remember for the rest of their lives.” n

Boss steps down Flight Lieutenant Richard Slack has taken his final salute after stepping down as OC 104 (City of Cambridge) Squadron after nearly 10 years in the post. After moving to nearby Cambourne in Cambridgeshire, Richard, a former air cadet with 2393 (Billericay) Squadron, is transferring to the local unit there. Cadet Corporal Lisa Perry, said: “We are all very sad to see Flight Lieutenant Slack leave us. He has helped me a lot through my cadet career and all of the cadets wish him good luck as we wave him goodbye.” Flight Lieutenant Slack added: “It will be hard to leave 104 and the squadron will always be close to my heart and I hope it has a lot of success in the future. I am not moving too far away so I hope to see everyone in the near future.” Flying Officer Christian Bates will be taking over the reins at 104 (City of Cambridge) Squadron. n www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets

Service recognised Flying Officer Chris Garrett from 290 (Weston-SuperMare & Burnham) Squadron has been presented with a Meritorious Service Award by the Commanding Officer of Devon and Somerset Wing, Wing Commander Brian Wills-Pope, on behalf of the Commandant. The award, only one of six handed out nationally each year, was presented to Chris in recognition of his hard work over the past five years in promoting his squadron. A shocked Chris said: “I had no idea I was receiving this award - it is a very nice surprise. I am only grateful that I have taken the opportunity to be part of the air cadets and experience the amazing activities on offer over the years.” n .......................................

New era Cadets and staff of 2467 (Nailsea) Squadron are back home - just under a year after building work began on the old hut which has been their home for the past 39 years. A spokesman said: “The Cadet Centre will see a new era dawn for the air cadets in Nailsea as they take on their new home in their 40th anniversary year.” The newly refurbished building, which will be officially opened later this year, is managed by Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association. n .......................................

Nijmegen Cadets and staff from South and West Yorkshire Wing have been gearing up for the challenge of this year's Nijmegen March with a 13mile 'warm-up' march. Despite the cold, morale was high and the team enjoyed the practice. n



Air Cadets celebrate 72nd anniversary

Air Cadets throughout the United Kingdom have been celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the Air Training Corps. 12 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013


Cadets from squadrons throughout the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing, led by the joint band of 497 (Daventry) and 1289 (Stratford-upon-Avon) Squadrons, took part in a parade through Daventry to mark the special anniversary. This was followed by a service at the town’s Holy Cross Church where cadets reaffirmed their promise and squadron padre, Father Neil Bayliss, reflected on the comradeship and family spirit fostered within individual squadrons and throughout the Corps during the last 72 years. Officer Commanding Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing, said: “The parade was a huge success and it was good to see so many cadets and staff from all over the Wing on parade to support what is undoubtedly one of the most important occasions in our calendar.” n ....................................... In central London, more than 500 cadets from across the London and South East Region attended the Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication held at the Royal Air Force Central Church, St Clement Danes. Before the service, the cadets marched from Lincolns Inn Fields down to the church, led by Parade Commander, Squadron Leader Raj Patel of London Wing. Cadets from 97 (Croydon)


Squadron, Surrey Wing, carried the Region Banner whilst1312 (Southend on Sea), Sussex Wing, provided the band and a trumpet fanfare in the church. During the Service, Cadet Warrant Officers Jeetendra Gurung from 78 (Wembley) Squadron and Chelsea Day from 1374 (East Barnet) Squadron – the Regional Dacre Brooch representative read the lessons. Musicians from the regional band provided the music before the service and a group of cadets from Middlesex Wing sang ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’. The memorials and dedication were led by the Regional Commandant, Group Captain Les Hakin, and the Reverend Canon David Nason, Regional Chaplain. n ....................................... Scores of cadets from Central and East Yorkshire Wing marched through Selby to mark the formation of the Corps. Some 150 cadets from squadrons in York, Ripon, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Easingwold and RAF Church Fenton, led by the band of 110 (City of York) Squadron, gathered at Selby Abbey for a special service of thanksgiving. The salute was taken by the Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Air Commodore Bill Gambold, and the Mayor of Selby, Councillor George Carter.

Cadets from 1119 (Shrewsbury) Squadron marked the formation of the Corps with a parade and service at the town’s St George’s Church. A shield with the arms of the squadron was also presented to the church to mark the close links between it and the squadron which was dedicated by the squadron’s Padre Colin Wright. n ....................................... The Cambridgeshire town of St Neots played host to more than 200 cadets and staff as the Western Sector of Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing commemorated the formation of the ATC. Squadrons from 22 (Sandy), 73 (Huntingdon), 134 (Bedford), 2065 (Biggleswade), 2462 (Oakley), 2484 (Bassingbourn), 2484 (Cambourne) D/F and 2500 (St Neots) Squadron marched through the centre of town, led by the band from St Neots Squadron, which was also celebrating its own 40th anniversary. A church service followed at St Mary’s Church led by Reverend Dr Paul Andrews, Chaplain of St Neots Squadron.The salute taken by Squadron Leader Paul ThomsonClark, Sector Commander Western Sector, with the Mayor, Councillor Barry Chapman, his deputy, Councillor Andrew Hansard, President of the Royal Air Force Association St Neots Branch,



John Lee, and Officer Commanding St Neots Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Graham Sturgess. Cadet Jakub Grabowski, who carried 22 (Sandy) Squadron’s banner, said: “It was a really good experience marching through the town, especially being my first time carrying the squadron banner. It was also great that a lot of people in the town stopped to watch the parade”. n ....................................... Meanwhile, the North Sector of Beds & Cambs Wing held its parade in the centre of Peterborough. More than 200 cadets from eight squadrons within the region marched through the city centre to St John’s Church where the service was conducted by the chaplain of 115 (Peterborough) Squadron. The final salute was taken by RAF Wittering Station Commander, Group Captain Richard Hill, and the Mayor of the City of Peterborough, George Simons. Flight Lieutenant Stephen Dalton, Officer Commanding 115 (Peterborough) Squadron, said: “It was a fantastic parade and the cadets representing the organisation from across the sector displayed the highest standards.” n .......................................

14 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

Air Cadet XTRA News

Cadets and staff from 2534 (Fakenham) Squadron paraded at the morning service in Fakenham Parish Church to mark the anniversary of the Corps. Staff and cadets took part in the service which included the ceremonial laying of drums to form a drumhead sltar, parading of the squadron banner and reading one of the lessons. The service was taken by the Squadron Chaplain, Mrs. Amanda Sands. n ....................................... The Wing’s Eastern Sector celebrated the formation of the Corps with a parade through Newmarket. More than 100 cadets and staff proudly marched through the town, led by the drum section of 2417 (Newmarket) Squadron for the parade, which also included 104 (City of Cambridge); 1094 (City of Ely); 1451 (Haverhill); 2461 (Sawston); 2523 (Linton) and 2524 (Oakington) Squadrons. The cadets and staff marched to St Mary’s Church with Squadron Leader Tim Brain, Eastern Sector Commander, taking the salute as the cadets and staff marched past. He said: “The cadets and staff were smartly turned out and represented the Air Training Corps with pride. It was a real honour to see so many young people come


together and show off this fantastic youth organisation.” Cadet Corporal Jack Sawcer of 2461 (Sawston) Squadron added: “I really enjoyed being part of this year’s ATC Sunday parade in Newmarket. It was nice that people came out of shops and their houses to watch us march past.” n ....................................... Cadets and staff from 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron attended a service in St Lawrence’s Church to mark the anniversary of the Corps’ foundation. Twenty-five cadets and staff, including Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenent Jack Stepanian, were welcomed to the morning service by the Church congregation and Bishop Roger Jupp, who led the service. During the service, Bishop Jupp made reference to the cadets of the town and their role in the local community. A prayer was also said in memory of Police Constable Fiona Bone, tragically gunned down in Manchester last year. Fiona was a cadet at the Long Eaton Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Stepanian said: “As a part of the community we were proud to share our anniversary celebration with the congregation and to have the Church’s blessing for the work the cadets do.” n

Going for gold Four cadets from 2375 (Neston) Squadron - Cadet Flight Sergeants Jack Daker, Natalie Fields, Callum Reid and Cadet Corporal James Wilson – have taken gold in the annual Wing adventure training competition. Competing against teams from 17 other squadrons in Merseyside Wing, the four took part in a variety of exercises, including mountain biking, navigation, rock climbing and First Aid. The cadets each received a gold medal and the squadron, who won the event last year too, retain the trophy for another 12 months. n .......................................

Special visit Cadets from 1188 (Coalville) Squadron recently spent the day at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, visiting both the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Typhoon aircraft of 29(R) Squadron, where they were also treated to a demonstration of the cockpit avionics. n .......................................

Honour for Jess Cadet Warrant Officer Jess Bradshaw from 104 (City of Cambridge) Squadron has been named as the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Female Cadet of the Year for 2012 and is also the Wing’s nomination for the Dacre Brooch. Jess, who joined the ATC six years ago, has successfully achieved her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, completed the gruelling Nijmegen March and represented the Corps at First Aid. The most senior cadet at 10 Squadron, Jess helps manage the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the unit, administers the BTEC awards and is a member of the Beds & Cambs Wing training team. Jess said: “I am so happy to have been picked out of all the cadets in my Wing. It’s a great honour and it proves that putting in the hard work at cadets is worth it.” n


Air Cadet XTRA News

Top cadet

Somerset cadet forces compete The Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Elizabeth Gass, visited Yoxter Camp near Priddy to watch Army and Air Cadets engage in friendly competition at this year’s Somerset Inter-Cadet Services Competition. This year’s competition included cadets from Wells Cathedral School Combined Cadet Force, Normandy and Jellalabad Companies of the Somerset Army Cadet Force, together with numerous squadrons from Devon and Somerset Wing. Adverse weather conditions did not deter the cadets from taking part in a wide variety of events, including archery, target shooting, orienteering, first aid and leadership exercises. Lady Gass presented cups and medals to the top scoring three teams, Wells Army Cadets, 41F (Taunton and District) Squadron, Jellalabad Company ‘A’ Team ACF, and took the opportunity to talk with the cadets about their experiences and training. n .......................................

Kiwi kayak Cadets and staff from Sussex and Kent Wings have just returned from a two-week expedition to the South Island of New Zealand. Led by Flight Lieutenant Dave Hill from Sussex Wing, the expedition included sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, a winter skills course on the Plateau Glacier and three days working with the Department of Conservation in Fjordland – a World Heritage site. n

16 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

CCF (RAF) cadet Toby York has been promoted to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer – the first in the history of Queen Ethelburga’s Combined Cadet Force. “We are delighted that Toby has been promoted to the rank of CWO,” said CCF Squadron Leader John Cameron. “The promotion has simply been down to his sheer hard work and efforts in the contingent and that he has always been first to volunteer for activities we have held. He is an excellent role model for the younger and newer cadets and the first CWO we have had,” he added. Toby hopes to become a pilot in the future. He recently completed a Gliding Scholarship which led to gaining his Advanced Gliding Test or “Gold Wings” and has also been awarding a flying scholarship. Toby said: “I really enjoy being a cadet and all that the CCF has to offer – its camaraderie, energy and challenges.

He added: “It is such an honour to be promoted to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer and I hope I can encourage more cadets to aim for such a role in the future.” Toby has also completed his Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell and recently gained his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. When time allows he also helps at the Central and East Yorkshire Wing ATC with rugby training. He is also about to lead the CCF (RAF) team in drill for the National Ground Training Competition, which is being held at RAF Halton later this month. n

Seal of approval One of the most widely-read newspapers in the United States has featured the Royal International Air Tattoo among its top 10 best airshows in the world. USA Today, which has more than two million readers, listed the Air Tattoo alongside other aviation events in Canada, Germany, Florida and Nevada. It stated: “The Royal International Air Tattoo should top your list of must-see events. RIAT includes in-air performances, two miles of stationary aircraft to check out and interactive activities for visitors of all ages.” Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said it was great to know that the Air Tattoo’s reputation stretches across the Atlantic and is recognised as a truly global event not only by aircraft enthusiasts but also by the wider public. He added: “Our aim is to create a memorable family day out that blends all the thrills of a seven-hour flying display with an exciting range of interactive entertainment on the ground.” Tickets for this summer’s Air Tattoo, which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 20-21, can be purchased online at airtatoo.com or by calling the Ticketline on 0800 107 1940. n

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Air Cadets reach new heights Halton air cadets have pushed themselves to reach new heights on the challenging High Ropes Course at RAF Halton. As part of the RAF Outreach Strategy, the group of 16 cadets from 2409 (Halton) Squadron were invited to try out the course, a towering collection of physical challenges that aims to develop vital skills such as teamwork, determination and communication. Sergeant Suneil Raval, Outreach Instructor, who led the day, said: “The team reach out to every element of the youth sector and that includes uniformed youth groups. 'It’s really nice, however, to work with Halton Air Cadets as it offers us an opportunity to cement the relationship between the Station and the cadet unit and therefore the local community.” Cadet Corporal Chris Rotherham, 16, from Aylesbury, who rose to the challenge of the high ropes, said: “I’ve been getting over a fear of heights in the past year so today on the high ropes has been really good. 'The Air Cadets gives me so many opportunities to get out and actually do stuff.” n




Blades just the ticket ... The Blades aerobatic display team has confirmed they will be among a number of star attractions at this summer’s Cosford Air Show on Sunday, June 9, joining celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the West Midlands’ RAF station. During their display, the four pilots, all former members of the RAF Red Arrows, perform 30 separate manoeuvres in their high-performance Extra EA-300s. Air show spokesman, Amanda Butcher, said: “To mark RAF Cosford’s 75th anniversary, we are working on a special opening sequence to the flying display which I am sure the crowd will enjoy. Visitors will also be able to view 18 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

a wide range of ground exhibits and displays demonstrating the various activities carried out at the Shropshire base since 1938.” Air show tickets can be purchased online at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk or by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083. There’s free car parking and free admission for all under-16s accompanied by an adult. All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to local and Service charities. n




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Good conduct More shooting opportunities lay ahead for cadets at 134 (Bedford) Squadron, with the addition of another fully qualified Range Conducting Officer (RCO). Sergeant James Tye has just successfully completed the demanding Range Conducting Officers’ Course held over two separate weekends at RAF Wittering, Cambridgeshire. This will allow him to run indoor and outdoor Barrack Ranges with cadets firing the Number 8, .22 rifle or L98 A2 5.56 Cadet General Purpose Rifle. Flight Lieutenant Khalid Murad, Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing’s Shooting Development Officer, said: “I am delighted to see another qualified RCO joining the existing shooting team.Having more qualified staff within the Wing will allow us to grow the number of cadets undertaking marksmanship training.” n .......................................

On track Cadets from 22 (Sandy) Squadron have been awarded grants totalling £774 – thanks to the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and DHL Inside Track. The money will be used to buy equipment for the cadets to use on their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions. Squadron spokesman, Flight Sergeant Paul Redman, said: “It’s really great to be able to get the funding to provide the cadets with the equipment to allow them to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and open further opportunities to the cadets.” n 20 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

In train-ing! Cadets from 1046 (Fordhouses) Squadron have visited Alstom’s Midlands Traincare Centre at Oxley as part of their work towards gaining an Entry Level Award in Health and Safety. As part of the training programme, the cadets are required to demonstrate their understanding of five key areas including hazards, signs, personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to stay safe. And Alstom, which has around 200 people based in Jones Road, Wolverhampton, was happy to help out with the training, starting with giving the cadets a full site safety induction and issuing them with suitable PPE. Colin Haynes, who is Information Systems Director for Alstom Transport Services and also an officer in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, said: “This was a great opportunity for the cadets to see safety in action. 'We were able to show them how the centre operates and to give them the opportunity to see how we’ve embedded safe systems of work in everything we do.” The 10 cadets were given a worksheet designed to get them to think about the

measures Alstom has implemented to improve safety and efficiency, and to reduce the environmental impacts of operations. Cadet Corporal James Morgan said: “It was interesting to see how such a large-scale operation could be planned at such short notice, and how fast situations can change. Alstom seems to be able to adapt to obstacles in very short periods of time.” Cadet Katie Haynes said: “Everything seemed to have a clearly marked place meaning that there was no clutter, making it safer and easier for people to work here.” Alstom in Wolverhampton is one of the company’s five traincare centres that look after the Alstom-built Pendolino trains operating on the West Coast Main Line. A total of 12 Pendolino trainsets arrive at Oxley every night to be prepared for the next morning’s journeys to and from London. n BELOW: Colin Haynes, Information Systems Director for Alstom Transport Services, with cadets from 1046 (Fordhouses) Squadron

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Tuning up for Ten Tors

First class cadets Cadets and staff at 1921 (Lewisham) Squadron experienced a different side to aviation recently, as they visited a luxury aviation provider as VIP guests. Rizon Jet is a private aviation and business jet operator, based in Doha, Qatar and London Biggin Hill. Their impressive facility offers a departure lounge and terminal building, as well as incredible hangar spaces for the maintenance and engineering support they offer to clients. As well as providing world-class infrastructure, the company aims to provide the very best in hospitality – and the cadets were treated to the full VIP tour by Office Manager, Ms Linda Parry. The tour began in the departures’ lounge, where the cadets saw how the private clients were greeted and checked aboard their aircraft, and then moved out to explore the aircraft more carefully. In the immaculate and gleaming engineering spaces, cadets were delighted to be shown aboard a Lear Jet undergoing maintenance, and shown around the aircraft operations. “It’s shown me a completely different world of aviation” explained Cadet Travis Tomlin. “I want to be an aircraft engineer – and to see the way it is done here is really inspiring. I can’t believe how clean and polished this whole place is:


it’s nothing like what I expected from a hangar facility.” Pausing only for a brief rest break in the board room overlooking Biggin Hill airfield, the cadets were invited to join the maintenance staff for one final challenge – driving the tugs around the airfield. Given the difficulty of the exercise, it is a good thing that they had no aircraft attached! “All the cadets thoroughly enjoyed their visit, and were hugely impressed with the quality of Rizon Jet’s facilities,” said Warrant Officer Andrew Lidinson, who accompanied the cadets. “We are really grateful to Rizon Jet for their incredible hospitality – we were made to feel like valued guests, and that nothing was too much trouble. “The staff and engineers were fantastically supportive of the cadets’ interest – and I think there will be several budding engineers after this visit.” n


Cadets from across Plymouth and Cornwall Wing have begun training for this year’s Ten Tors challenge. Some 120 cadets have been training on Dartmoor, in the hope that they will be selected for one of the coveted team places. Training will step up over the coming weeks as team managers decide final teams for the two-day event in May where teams complete either a 35, 45 or 55 mile set route. n .......................................

Top Award Cadet Flight Sergeant Katherine Hanley, 18, from 2484 (Bassingbourn) Squadron has been chosen as this year’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Cambridgeshire. Katherine, who was recently selected as the best female cadet in the western sector of Beds & Cambs Wing, was presented with her award by the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Hugh Duberly. Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Andrew Kyprianou, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Katherine and is well deserved. “She is a highly respected and dedicated cadet and a good role model for younger cadets.” n

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On a wing and a prayer ... Find out more in the next edition of Air Cadet ...

Image: Philip Jones 22 Air Cadet XTRA SPRING 2013

Profile for Ashley Nettleton

Air Cadet Xtra - Spring 2013  

Spring 2013 version of Air Cadet Xtra, which includes the exciting news and events which didn't quite make it into the hard copy of Air Cade...

Air Cadet Xtra - Spring 2013  

Spring 2013 version of Air Cadet Xtra, which includes the exciting news and events which didn't quite make it into the hard copy of Air Cade...

Profile for aircadets