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LaSER THE

The Journal of the Air Cadets in London and the South East

Winter 2012


Welcome to

LaSER THE

In this Issue

Welcome to edition 6 of The Laser!

It doesn’t feel that long since edition 5 came out in the Autumn, but already the magazine is overflowing with exciting Air Cadet news! This edition sees a new feature, a special Squadron spotlight. If you’d like your Squadron to feature in the next edition, please start getting your stories to us! As we draw a close on 2012, may I wish you all a joyful Holiday period and a happy new year. I look forward to 2013 with great excitement as our members - be they cadets or volunteers continue to live our motto: Venture Adventure! As always, submissions, comments, feedback or suggestions most welcome at media.laser@aircadets.org ■ Squadron Leader C Gourri London & SE Region Media & Communications Officer

Page 5 Editor: Sqn Ldr Caroline Gourri RAFVR(T) E: media.laser@aircadets.org Design: FS (ATC) James Parker E: media.surrey@aircadets.org London & SE Region Media Team Essex: Sqn Ldr I Woodward RAFVR(T) Kent: Sqn Ldr M Cremin RAFVR(T) London: Sqn Ldr P Gourri RAFVR(T) Middlesex: Flt Lt N Cumming RAFVR(T) Surrey: Sqn Ldr H Gould RAFVR(T) Sussex: Flt Lt P Welsh RAFVR(T)

Air Cadets Regional Headquarters London and South East Region RAF Northolt Ruislip Middlesex HA4 6NG T. 020 8833 8278 F 020 8833 8391 E: acr-lse-ao@atc.raf.mod.uk W: www.laseratc.org The ‘LaSER’ is not an official publication; unless specifically stated otherwise, all views expressed in the ‘LaSER’ are those of the authors alone and might not reflect official MOD, RAF or ACO policy. © UK MOD Crown Copyright, 2012 No part of ‘The LaSER’ may be reproduced in part or full without the written permission of the Editor. Photographs are Crown Copyright unless credited otherwise. ‘The LaSER’ is the Journal of London and South East Region Air Training Corps and is published quarterly by kind permission of the Regional Commandant.

Lord Lieutenants’ Awards Page 10

RAF Charitable Trust Front Cover: “Waiting for Flight” - Winning photo in the Region Photographic Competition from Cpl Roadway 2262 (Bexhill) Sqn

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The Laser Autumn Winter 2012 2012


A word from the

Commandant

Cadets from London Wing travelled to the USA on an Aviation Adventure. Read their story on page 4.

As we come to the end of this Jubilee year, which has been a great success for our Nation – we must remember that this past year has been a great success for London & South East Region too! All of our staff, whether uniformed, civilian, volunteer and civil servants must be immensely proud to see young people, our cadets, attract praise from all quarters. We have all the ingredients for future success as we march on into 2013. Our Regional Activity Centre (RAC) at Crowborough is coming on line and our simulators and computer based training is being enhanced across the Region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all in LaSER who represent, with pride, our parent service in the public eye. We should all consider ourselves fortunate to show respect and tolerance for each other as members of the ATC, but also have friendship, comradeship and common purpose that crosses all boundaries of culture, race and religion. The LaSER team works!

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As we approach the season of goodwill, I would like to close my brief message by wishing all and every one of you and your loved ones a Happy Christmas, a long relaxing break and the best of good fortune for 2013.â– 

No deviation

358 Welling Squadron

Page 18 Group Captain L Hakin OBE Regional Commandant London & South East Region

Photographic Hot Shots

www.laseratc.org

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Cadets Across the Atlantic

Cadets and staff from London Wing Air Cadets have returned from an amazing aviation camp in the United States of America. u

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Twenty four cadets and staff from London Wing Air Cadets have returned from an amazing aviation camp in the United States of America. Led by 1921 (Lewisham) Squadron, the exercise was focused around visiting the world-class factory of Lockheed Martin, in Georgia, and learning more about the design and building of aircraft including the enormous C5 Galaxy. Aviation, and inspiring the next generation of pilots, engineers and designers, was at the very heart of the trip. An entire day spent on the floor of Lockheed Martin was complemented by experiences at Robins Air Force Base, at the Museum of Aviation with rare aircraft, and at Phoenix Aviation as a business and commercial operator. But underpinning the experience of the cadets was a fantastic spirit of generosity. Famed for their Southern hospitality, all of the units the cadets visited made sure they had an amazing time – whether it was flying a Galaxy simulator, meeting up with

Above: Cadets pose for a team photo at Lockheed Martin Royal Air Force liaison officers, or even just getting to know their counterparts in the local Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Sandy Springs, Georgia. “There is no doubt that the American hosts were brilliant. This is the third trip we’ve run, and it was the best of all” said Warrant Officer Andrew Lidinson, the Project Leader. “But we’ve had nothing but support from all of the places we’ve worked with. The trip wouldn’t have happened without a huge effort in the UK – almost two years in the planning and effort. We had great support from Sainsbury’s, who allowed us

to fundraise there, and the cadets worked hard themselves with sponsored marches and personal challenges. Big organisations helped us too – the Greater London Reserve Forces and Cadets Association made a big different in helping some of our cadets to make the trip.” The cadets have returned inspired and motivated by their trip to the aviation capital of America – and we hope that they will be inspired, too, by the support and effort of those who helped make it happen. Thank you to them all. ■

A cadet from 1921 Sqn experiences flying the C5 Galaxy simulator

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The Laser Winter 2012


Lord Lieutenant’s Awards

Lord Lieutenant’s Awards

Air Cadets and instructors are regularly recognised by their county Lord Lieutenant. The Laser rounds up the awards from Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Warrant Officer (ATC) Wendy Shone of 500 (Headcorn) Squadron has been awarded a Lord Lieutenants Certificate of Meritorious Service in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Kent Wing. WO Shone was one of 30 Military and Cadet Forces personnel presented with Honours and Awards by The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, at a prestigious and moving award ceremony held at the Ashford International Hotel. The evening was attended by Senior Officers and Dignitaries, including LaSER Regional Commandant, Group Captain Hakin OBE. WO Shone joined 500 Sqn in 2003 as a Civilian Instructor having previously served as a Junior NCO in the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC). She was appointed as a WO (ATC) one year later and then completed her Drill Instructors course which led to her becoming an integral member of the Kent Wing NCO training team where she helps to mould the cadet leaders of the future within Kent Wing. In addition, WO Shone is a key member of the Kent Wing Nijmegen marching team where she has led or completed the march every year since 2003 – including 2010 when Kent were judged the best cadet team overall. WO Shone was joined at the awards ceremony by OC 500 Sqn and her two sons who are both ex cadets now serving in the Army and the Royal Air Force. Officer Commanding Kent Wing, Wing Commander Garrod Bell said “For her outstanding contribution to Kent Wing and the ATC, I was very happy to recommend WO Shone for a Lord Lieutenant’s Meritorious Award”. Flight Lieutenant Trishia Welsh RAFVR(T), Sussex Wing’s Media & Communications Officer was awarded The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Meritorious Service Award for her services to Sussex Wing. Flt Lt Welsh joined Sussex Wing in 2000 as a Civilian Instructor at 304 (Hastings) Squadron. Commissioned in 2002, she was given a secondary duty in 2005 as the Wing Media & Communications Officer and in 2006, was appointed to Command 304 (Battle) Detached Flight, whilst retaining the Wing Media duties. www.laseratc.org

In 2008 she was appointed full time to Wing Staff as the Media & Comms and Deputy Personnel Officer posts and is a Wing nominated Child Protection Adviser. Flt Lt Welsh has attended numerous Public Relations courses to enhance these skills, and was instrumental in the procurement, refurbishment and support of a Wing Exhibition trailer, which has been used to enhance the profile of the ATC at public events, in and around Sussex. She has also been one of the most proactive Media Officers in the Corps, recently winning a National Award. She has also undertaken additional responsibilities as Manager of the Wing Band and Kit Plane teams, using her experience and interpersonal skills to develop and enhance the teams. Finally, Flt Lt Welsh has also worked as a volunteer at the Royal International Air Tattoo where she has managed the Jubilee Garden enclosure, helping in the process to raise a considerable amount of money for the RAF Charitable Trust each year. ■

ABOVE: WO Shone receives her certificate from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent PHOTO: Stewart Turkington

Flt Lt Welsh receives her certificate from the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex PHOTO: Stewart Turkington

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Lord Lieutenant’s Awards

Lord Lieutenant of Surrey’s Cadet of 2012 At a recent ceremony held at Clandon House near Guildford, the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Dame Sarah Goad, appointed her Cadets of the Year. Included in the awards was Cadet Flight Sergeant Fiona Ross of 229 (Farnham) Squadron. Fiona has been a ‘high achiever’ throughout her Air Cadet career to date. Her ‘can-do’ attitude has lead to early promotions and excellent ATC exam results, including a Distinction in her BTEC in Public Services. She has since developed into an exemplary SNCO and is proud to have been selected as the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey’s Cadet of The Year for 2012. Her aptitude for flying resulted in her achieving her silver wings and a gliding scholarship at 618 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at RAF Odiham flying the Vigilant glider. This in turn led to her selection to receive a GAPAN gliding scholarship which she took at Kestrel Gliding Club (RAF Gliding and Soaring Association). She was then awarded two flying scholarships, the first an Air Cadet flying scholarship, followed by the RAF Association’s top scholarship award this year. As a result of the latter award, she kindly gave back the air cadet scholarship. The RAF Association award was for a complete National Private Pilots Licence but taken together with her previous

efforts has led to her achieving a full European Aviation Safety Agency Private Pilots Licence. On the sporting front, Fiona has represented Scotland at Fencing at Junior (Under 18) Level in the past. She is currently a member of the Scotland Epée Squad and could be selected for the team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow. Her spirit of adventure has seen her complete arduous expeditions and other outdoor pursuits as part of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Following her excellent A-level results she plans to spend the early part of 2013 exploring India and South America, before returning to Glasgow University, where she plans to join the University Air Squadron. On the same evening Civilian Committee Chairman Mark Siggers of 1349 (Woking) Squadron was awarded a Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate for Meritorious Service. Mark has been with the Civilian Committee at Woking Squadron for the last 11 years. ■

BELOW: Cadet Flight Sergeant Ross joins Dame Sara Goad and the other Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets after the award ceremony.

267 Sqn Remember 267 (Twickenham) Squadron took part in their annual Remembrance parade through Twickenham High Street to Radnor Gardens. The parade was well attended with a croud of nearly 500 people supporting. 267 (Twickenham) Squadron was lead by Commanding Officer Flt Lt Peter Smithson RAF VR(T), Plt Off Richard Pallett RAF VR(T), Plt Off Mathew Burton RAF VR(T) and Sgt (ATC) Darren Pollington. The 267 (Twickenham) Squadron wreath was laid by Cdt Timms and the ensign was carried by Sgt Evans. VIP guests on the day were the Lady Mayor of Richmond and MP Vincent Cable.

Cadets Collect at Rugby International

The cadets from a combined force of six Squadrons from Middlesex Wing raised £4944.30 for the Royal British Legion whilst collecting at Twickenham Rugby Ground on Saturday the 10th of November for the England vs Fiji game. The cheque was handed over to the President of the Twickenham Royal British legion at Twickenham RFU on Monday 17th December 2012 by Plt Off Mathew Burton RAF VR(T) of 267 (Twickenham) Squadron. As well as the Poppy collecting two cadets were chosen by Paul Murphy Managing Director of the RFU to usher whilst wreaths of poppies were laid in the RFU Headquarters at Twickenham.

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The Laser Autumn Winter 2012 2012


News Round Up

Tower Hamlets net affiliation with Fishmongers 12 (Tower Hamlets) Detached Flight of London Wing Air Training Corps has recently celebrated a new affiliation with the Fishmongers Livery Company, one of the 12 great London livery companies. The affiliation was cemented at a court lunch held at Fishmongers Hall in central London, hosted by Prime Warden, Lord Phillimore and attended by HRH The Princess Royal. 12DF Air Cadets Shehan Jayasinghe and Malcolm Smith attended together with staff from the unit with the wider Air Cadet Organisation being represented by London and South East Region Commandant, Group Captain Les Hakin and Squadron Leader John Battram. The Princess Royal greeted the staff and cadets, and discussed their experiences of attending the Air Cadet unit. She entertained them with many exciting stories of her experience of the military, as well as demonstrating her impressive knowledge of flying and gliding. The guests from Tower Hamlets Air Cadets were treated to a three-course predominantly fish-based meal and invited on a tour of the Fishmongers’ impressive London Bridge headquarters, Fish Hall. Pilot Officer Rex Nicholls, Officer Commanding 12 (Tower Hamlets) Detached Flight said “Having seen the unit form only this year, I am delighted that we have been able to form an affiliation

with the Fishmongers Company so soon. I am very grateful to Fishmongers for the universally warm welcome that they have extended to the Air Cadets and look forward to welcoming them to our unit’s awards night later in the year to celebrate the many achievements of 12 (Tower Hamlets) Air Cadets in our extraordinary first year of operation”

Hornchurch Air Cadets keep their promise The Cadets at 452 (Hornchurch) Squadron delivered on a promise made earlier in the year and took a WW2 veteran Lancaster tail gunner to be reunited with the aircraft at the RAF Museum at Hendon then on to the Bomber Command Memorial at Green Park in London for him to lay a wreath in memory of his former crew mates that never returned from their missions. Former Flight Sergeant Jim Fisher (86) and his wife, Rene, were transported by taxi from their home in Brentwood courtesy of some fundraising activities by the cadets themselves. Mr Fisher proved www.laseratc.org

to be an attraction himself at Hendon with many member of the public, young and elder alike, asking him about his service and the Lancaster plane. The trip took a more solemn tone at the memorial which was only opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth this year, when Mr Fisher placed a wreath himself accompanied by the Last Post played by Cadet Warrant Officer Murphy (the current

deputy mayors cadet of Havering) and a squad of Cadets from the Squadron. Pilot Officer Vince Ferguson RAFVR(T), the Squadron Adjutant said; “ It was a very moving day from the moment Mr Fisher was reunited with the Lancaster to the placing of the wreath which was a highly emotionally charged moment. Great credit must be given to the cadets who worked hard both on the day and behind the scenes as well as the Civilian Committee at 452 to make this trip happen” A good and at some points, tearful day was had by all. ■

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Spotlight on 358 Sqn

358 (Welling) Squadron of Kent Wing have been busy over the last few months. The Laser takes a look at their stories in depth. Welling Air Cadet Benjamin White (17) was the first student of The Marlborough School in Sidcup that specialises in students with complex physical, mental and educational needs, to achieve a mainstream educational qualification; The BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Music, undertaken as part of his membership of 358 (Welling) Air Cadets. Benjamin is celebrating his formal appointment as Drum Major of the Welling Air Cadet Corps of Drums. Benjamin has profound physical disability coupled with learning difficulties and despite a mental age of seven he continues to be a full and active member of the Air Cadet Organisation. Benjamin is a friendly and gregarious young man, who is well liked by his fellow cadets and a real inspiration to the junior cadets of the Squadron. In recognition of his fantastic achievement the Corps Director of Music, Wing Commander Gill Singleton has authorised him to be appointed, and to wear the insignia and rank slides of a Drum Major. This privilege is normally only bestowed on the attendees of the national ACO Drum Major course. However, finding a set of drum major rank slides proved to be elusive. In addition to the regular supply lines, Squadron staff trawled the internet and the surplus shops to no avail. But on hearing of the plight of the squadron, Warrant Officer Terry Gardner came to the rescue; “As senior Drum Major, for the RAF, I will source some

rank slides for young Benjamin and supply them with our compliments”. True to his word, four weeks later the rank slides arrived from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and were presented to Benjamin. Benjamin’s father and Squadron Chaplain said; “Thank you, Ben has mobility difficulties and a mental age of about seven, but he loves cadets and is obsessed about running drum practices! You have made a young man very happy.” Benjamin’s membership of the Air Cadets has shown that ‘disability’ is no barrier to gaining new abilities. The Air Cadets have provided him with the facility to fully engage and integrate with other young people who have similar interests. The careful selection of activities he partakes in and undertaking these activities at a rate with which he can cope, has enabled him to complete a fantastic array of awards and accomplishments; a Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award; The British Safety Council, Entry Level Award in Workplace Hazard Awareness (Entry 3); his first class cadet badge; a first aid qualification; his swimming proficiency; musician’s (drum) proficiency badge; and via the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation (CVQO) he has completed the BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Teamwork & Personal Skills for Cadets, the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Music and is soon to complete the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Public Services; furthermore he has nearly completed the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Aerobility’

(British Disabled Flying Association) are providing him a 30 minute flight in the New Year, allowing him to achieve his ‘first flight certificate’. In 2011 he was one of the cadets who represented the Air Cadets in a Health & Safety Quiz vs the Trustees of the British Safety Council, which the Air Cadets won. During his cadet career he has been a steward at the ceremonial duties of the ACO in the London Borough of Bexley Civic Parade, Remembrance Sunday, the East Wickham & Welling War Memorial Trust Festival, and at awards and presentations at the Civic Centre and other venues. Officer Commanding Welling Air Cadets, Flight Lieutenant Kris Cottier, said of Benjamin’s membership of the Air Cadets; “Benjamin has had a more impressive cadet career then many more able but less dedicated cadets... Some of the other cadets also have mild disabilities, specific learning difficulties, ADHD, autistic type tendencies and such like. But, they see that Benjamin is doing something, and they think ‘if he can do it, so can I’... It is this positive influence his presence

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The Laser Winter 2012


Spotlight on 358 (Welling) Squadron has on the other cadets that is greatly impressive. They see him as just another cadet, and this can only help to enrich all their lives”. Welling Squadron are celebrating their success in the London Borough of Bexley’s Environmental Challenge 2012. Founded in 1993, and this year sponsored by Cory Riverside, the challenge encourages schools, community projects, business and individuals to increase recycling, encourage wildlife & plants and build a greener and more sustainable environment. The six cadets were assisted and supported by Civilian Instructor Brian Marsh and Honorary Squadron President Peter Weston, to undertake and complete the challenge. The project used wood salvaged from skips in the Welling area, which was recycled to produce functional garden furniture. The items made included a wishing well, a garden bench and a bird feeder. Mr Weston said; “The cadets have become ‘Wizards of Wood’ learning new skills and attributes like using a hammer, a screwdriver and a paint brush. This project has shown the cadets the value of recycling, that things can be utilised and used again, it need not end up in skip and in the tip”. The competition was fiercely contested between schools, allotment holders, local environmental groups and individuals. The cadets themselves were delighted to have earned a ‘Gold Certificate’ for their efforts, and were amazed to come third in the overall competition, and received prize money totalling £450. In addition to this Cory Riverside have invited a delegation of cadets to a ‘VIP’ tour of their recycling facility to see how the professionals go about recycling the waste of the Borough. Flight Lieutenant Kris Cottier, Officer Commanding Welling Air Cadets commented on their achievement, “This challenge proves that the youth have an active and positive role to play in the future of the Borough. All the young people who undertook the challenge should be commended for their diligence and commitment to the environment” Welling Squadron were formally congratulated on their successes and achievements over the last year at their Annual Inspection held in November. Ex-Welling Air Cadet, Major Chris Booth, now officer commanding 10 (Kent) Cadet www.laseratc.org

Company, Army Cadet Force (ACF), was he deserved the award when he falsely the inspecting and awarding officer for claimed “I have done nothing worthy of the majority of the awards. He returned to this award”! his old unit to find it a vibrant and active In addition to the certificates the cadet squadron that has undertaken cadets presented displays of their project and an immense amount of activity work over the past year. Sergeant Thomas during 2012; flying, gliding, community Ridler and his brother Corporal Joe Ridler work, nationally recognised BTECs, cadet presented video to the squadron’s entry in classification examinations, sporting the Bexley Environmental Challenge. The blues, leadership courses, target shooting, team won 3rd overall in the competition. swimming awards, drumming badges, Sergeant Lewis Southgate spoke about his aero-modelling and Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition with the Air Cadets to Alaska, Awards. that included sea-kayaking, ice climbing In a continuation of the ongoing link and camping in the wilderness. Lewis was between the Worshipful Company of supported in completing this expedition Spectacle Makers and Welling Air Cadets by the generosity of East Wickham and the Master of the Company, Mr Gordon Welling War Memorial Trust and the Jones presented 15 cadets with their BTEC Rotary Club of Bexley. Cadet Drum Major Level 1 certificates in Teamwork & Personal Benjamin White led the corps of drummers Skill for Cadets. Twenty cadets in a tribute to Michael from Welling Jackson playing ‘Smooth Squadron have Criminal’ in their unique now completed style. this award. Next, the squadron’s Mr Clinton Riley, silverware was Head of Business presented by Major Development Booth, recognising for the Cadet diligence and Vocational determination by Qualification the cadets over the Organisation past year. In addition said “358 Welling to his awards and Squadron has the certificates Sergeant largest group to go Thomas Ridler through the CVQO The Master of the Worshipful Company excelled by being led BTEC Level 1 of Spectacle makers presents BTEC awarded; The certificate in Teamwork Level 1 Certificates Examination Shield, & Personal Skills for The Shooting Shield, The Cadets across the UK Drill, Dress & Discipline Cup, The Senior since we started offering the Qualification. NCO Trophy, The Inter- squadron Senior I am delighted that The Worshipful Aero-modelling Trophy and a part share in Company of Spectacle Makers supported The Inter-squadron Diorama Trophy. the project and they were able to fund Finally, promotions and appointments it. Fifteen cadets, at a very young age will were made with the squadron formally now be receiving this BTEC Certificate from recognising the advancement of Thomas Edexcel which I am certain they and their Ridler to Flight Segeant, Callum Rye and parents will be very proud of”. Luke Arpino to sergeant, Joe Greenstreet, Also presented were awards of the Jack Joshua Minchin and Alex Trueman to Petchey Foundation (JPF), recognising corporal, and Benjamin White as Drum achievement and dedication within and Major. to the Air Cadet Organisation. Cadet Flight Lieutenant Kris Cottier, in corporal Callum Rye and cadets Alexander charge of Welling Air Cadets said of the May, Joshua Minchin received their JPF evening “All too often the successes medallions to accompany the certificates of young people are overlooked. It is already presented. The cadets themselves on evenings like this that we publicly unanimously decided to award the recognise the dedication, hard work squadrons JPF ‘outstanding leader’ award and endeavour needed to undertake to Mr Peter Weston for his service to the and complete these awards. Each and squadron over more then 20 years. Mr every cadet can feel justly proud of their Weston is presently the Honorary President own accomplishments, and those of the of the Squadron and exemplified why squadron as a whole.” ■ 9


RECENT issues of Air Cadet magazine have featured grant awards by the RAF Charitable Trust to help Air Cadets fund expeditions and equipment, and the publicity is paying off with more applications than ever being sent in. Air Cdre Tim Winstanley, Secretary & Director to the Trust, says: “In the seven years since it was founded, the Trust has granted almost £1.75 million, with almost £1 million of that being given to the Air Cadet Organisation. “So the Trustees are delighted that, since Air Cadet magazine has been covering the work of the Trust in some detail, the number of ATC Sqns who have applied for assistance has increased considerably. “They’re also particularly impressed with the variety of applications: along with the usual bids for expedition funding and new minibuses – and the Trust is well aware that this is the vital piece of kit for most squadrons – we’ve also been asked for help with funding towards canoes and kayaks, ceremonial banners and marching drums, clay target shooting equipment and computers, sports kit and climbing ropes, simulators, laboratory equipment, bikes, trailers, radios and trumpets!” He adds: “The only limit on the challenges which Air Cadets are prepared to take on seems to be the imagination of the cadets and staff – and we look forward to seeing what the Cadets will come up with next!”

Under and Over the Sea! CADETS and staff from across No 3 Welsh Wing ATC returned home from Operation Felix 2012 clutching their PADI Open Water certificates. The expedition to Gibraltar received a grant of £3,649 from the RAF Charitable Trust to enable as many as possible to take part. The 40-strong party enjoyed the twoweek expedition, learning about theory, then confined water and finally open water diving. Having built up their skills and confidence in Rosia Bay, the cadets progressed to dive in and around a set of four barges, sunk to create an artificial reef off the coast of Gibraltar. Along with the internationally-recognised diving qualification, many of the Cadets also used the experience to complete their DofE award. In addition to the diving, the Cadets enjoyed a walking tour of Gibraltar, a dolphin safari, and a trip to the Naval contingent based in Gibraltar, where they were treated to a rib-boat ride around the harbour. Cadet Cpl Seb Payne of 2227 (Mid Gwendraeth) Squadron, said: “Absolutely brilliant! Loads of fantastic memories, especially of the diving and everyone on the camp.” SCWO Nico Fitzgibbon, of 2117 (Kenfig Hill) Squadron, said: “This was an

experience of a lifetime! I met some really great people and learnt some amazing skills. I’d recommend this camp to anyone; no cadet would regret this experience.” Flight Lieutenant Liam Brace, the Camp’s Commanding Officer, said: “This expedition has been an experience for all concerned and has shown how much can be achieved when the entire Wing combine their efforts and work towards a single goal. Without the funding from the RAF Charitable Trust, this expedition could not have taken place. We are extremely grateful to the Trust for ensuring we could run this camp at the lowest possible price to ensure inclusion for the maximum number of cadets. Thank you for your generosity and kindness.”

SENIOR cadets from units across the UK enjoyed the West Coast Challenge, offshore sailing around Scotland’s Western Isles, this summer. The expedition, on board the 72foot yacht Alba Endeavour, offered the cadets a new experience in a challenging environment, sailing as far as St Kilda where they were able to go ashore and climb the highest point in the island. Ocean Yacht Trust skipper Trevor Farrar said: “Conditions have to be just right to get to St Kilda, anchor in the bay and go ashore – we manage to get here maybe once or twice a year - so well done to the crew.” They then sailed on to Loch Dunvegan, Rhum, Loch Ceann Triagh and Tobermoray before returning to Oban. The cadets were unanimous in their praise of the experience. CWO Chris Moore, 633 (West Swindon) Sqn, said: “This was my first time sailing on the open sea and I’m glad I took on the challenge. The trip has been so rewarding on so many levels . . . my favourite part has to be heeling over at 30 degrees travelling at seven plus knots!” Cdt Flt Sgt Sally Thompson, 85 (Enfield) Sqn, added: “This week has been a master class in communication!” The cadets would like to thank to the sea staff and all those at OYT Scotland who made the voyage possible, and the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust for their generous and continued support.

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The Laser Winter 2012


RAF Charitable Trust

Paddle Power PADDLE power will be helping Cadets from 2484 Bassingbourn Sqn to complete their DofE awards by kayak – and the youngsters are thanking the RAF Charitable Trust for their help in providing the kit. The keen kayakers were left stranded when their boats and safety equipment were deemed to old to be safe to use, but a grant of £3,479 (plus funds they raised themselves) means they’re now back on the water with nine new kayaks and equipment, busy practicing for their expeditions. Staff member Witjse Powell, who was instrumental in putting together the grant application, said: “The Cadets are very excited about the new equipment and are getting a full paddling programme in place for next Spring.” The new kit will allow the cadets to make longer touring and overnight journeys. Cadet Matthew Springall, 14, said: “I am really looking forward to the new boats: it will be brilliant to have this top-of-the-range kit to use. Thank you so much to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust!” PHOTO: Cadet Cpl Martin Walls, 16, tests out a kayak similar to those the Cadets are set to purchase.

Drums! CADETS from1084 (Market Harborough) Squadron used their three new snare drums, jointly funded by the youngsters plus a £1,200 grant from the RAF Charitable Trust, to win the ACO National Marching Band Championships at RAF Halton. The band had won the Central & East Regional Championships in September and competed in the national final in November against the best bands representing the other Regions in the Corps. Drawn to play last, the young musicians had a nervous wait before being called in to start their display, and they were delighted to be declared the winners, retaining the trophy they won last year, and making this their third title win. Sgt Callum Dilley said: “It was great playing the new drums in the first competitive performance, and it’s a lot easier to get a consistent and crisp sound from them than from our old drums.” Officer Commanding Flt Lt Valerie Smith paid tribute to the cadets. She said: “The band is an important part of the Squadron but all the cadets take a full and active part in the wide range of activities offered by the ATC. The fact that many of the cadets only play music through the Squadron band makes it all the more remarkable that they can play at such a high level. Needless to say I am very proud of them and what they achieve.” PHOTO: band members from 1084 (Market Harborough) Squadron celebrate after winning the ACO National Marching Band Championships.

www.laseratc.org

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Around the Region

Epping Cadets Community Project Epping & North Weald Air Cadets celebrated the 1st December with residents of Wheelers Farm Gardens by throwing an Advent tea party. Cadets helped residents put up their decorations in the communal hall to create a festive atmosphere in a kick-start to the Christmas season. Cadet Rosie Mercer, 14yrs, said “We were going to give a gift of a special Christmas decoration for residents to remember this day by, but I’m glad we decided on something different – they have so many already!” The residents of the sheltered housing community were presented with a bird table as a more permanent feature to remember the occasion by, which they agreed should be given pride of place beside the tree that was planted by the cadets to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee earlier in the year. The teenagers chatted with residents whilst serving sausage rolls and mince pies. Christmas Crackers got the party started with a bang. Corporal Nathan Walton, 15yrs, said of the residents “It was amazing to listen to their stories which sounded so interesting and fun.” The cadets’ community ‘Back Chat’ project has entered a ninth month during which time the teenage volunteers have offered companionship and a helping hand to an older generation of residents in their local community. Resident Sylvia said “We always look forward to the cadets

coming. They have done a grand job of the decorations which look better this year – we can’t do the climbing you see. We are looking forward to the cadets visiting again in the New Year and have challenged them to a games evening.” Sgt Lewis Kelly, 17yrs, said “This was a perfect way to give back to our local community. We bridged the generation gap through a fun and meaningful evening that I know was appreciated by both parties.” The Commanding Officer of 414 Squadron ATC, Flt Lt John Hawkins, said “I’m proud to say our cadets have committed to maintaining their relationships with older communities in the district and both young and old have greatly benefited from the experience.” ■

Lewisham Air Cadets Dig Deep for Royal Air Force Family Every journey begins with a single step, but for the cadets of 1921 (Lewisham) Squadron, that was followed by quite a lot more! In November, twenty of the Squadron’s cadets travelled to Atlanta, Georgia, to visit Lockheed Martin’s factory and see the cutting edge aviation in the Southern USA. Getting there, though, needs a lot of fundraising. So the cadets decided to take part in a sponsored “yomp” across the Ashdown Forest – covering over 25km carrying a full kit load – to help their ambitious trip. But the generous cadets decided that the best way they could support the 30th anniversary of the “yomp” across the Falklands would be to support a Service charity with their fundraising, too. And recently, in front of parents and friends of the Squadron, 12

The Laser Winter 2012


Around the Region

Cadets Dance with Military Wives When members of 1846 (Southall) Air Cadet Squadron decided to introduce bangrah dancing as one of their extra activities, noone thought it would lead them to stage appearances with the Military Wives Choir but the cadets have been working with a choreographer from Bollywood Dance London to put the finishing touches to their energetic routine. “It all started after we won our wing drill competition” said Flying Officer Amen Manget, “and the girls asked if we could do some dance. I felt it would be good for team working and attention to detail so they spent some weeks putting a routine together.” The cadets first performed their routine in public at an Air Cadet tattoo in June but could never have guessed that six weeks later they would receive a call from top music promoter John Hessenthaler. Mr Hessenthaler is working with the renowned Military Wives Choir from Wattisham in Suffolk which, having recorded an album and sung for Her Majesty the Queen, is about to begin a theatre tour. The cadet bangrah dancers were asked to appear as one of the supporting acts in the first two concerts at the Embassy Theatre Skegness on Saturday 13th October and at the Corn Exchange Theatre Kings Lynn on October 27th. Cadet Warrant Officer Priyanka Narain said: “We are all very excited to be part of these concerts which will help to raise money for service charities. The Military Wives are inspiring and it is such an honour to be appearing in their show. We have all enjoyed working hard for these concerts and getting some expert tuition from our choreographer has been amazing.” Another unexpected outcome from this project relates to what the cadets have

learned about themselves. “None of the staff really expected this, “said Amen, “but the quiet self discipline that dance requires has brought out qualities in some of the young people that we hadn’t previously seen in other cadet activities. For example, there are two cadets who, through helping to develop the dance team, have demonstrated real leadership. These could well be among our cadet NCOs of the future. We are all very pleased that this idea which came from the cadets themselves has taken off in this way, it will be such an experience for them” ■

a cheque for £500 was donated to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund – supporting current and former RAF personnel and their families in times of need. “When cadets join the Squadron”, explained the USA project leader, Andy Lidinson, “they get told that they are now part of the family. We work together all the time, but sometimes, it’s good to be reminded that we too, are part of the Royal Air Force family - and it’s good to support them where we can”. Miss Rosie Gibbons, the Regional Fundraising Co-ordinator, took time out of her busy schedule to explain to the cadets what the Benevolent Fund does, and how their money would go towards helping. “We rely on the Royal Air Force for an awful

lot”, added Flt Lt David Preece, the unit’s commanding officer. “It’s great for these cadets to see what they can give back, and how they can help say “thank you” to all those who have gone before.” The cadets’ have now been to the USA (see page 4), and the memories they made will stay with them for a long time. The impact on the Benevolent Fund, and their hard work in raising it, should have an even greater impact. ■

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News Round-up

A Golden Invitation to St. James’s Palace

A small group of current and ex-Air Cadets from Sevenoaks attended a prestigious event at St. James’s Palace with other guests including Matthew Prentice, Matthew Gerry, Lara Turner and Michael King. The quartet travelled to London to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award certificates from the scheme’s Patron and Founder – Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. A speech was given by Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty who was attending her first Gold Award Presentation in her role as Commandant of the Air Cadets. The Gold Award Presentation was a celebration and recognition of the young

people’s achievements in completing their Gold DofE programmes. The award presentation is a unique event and a fitting culmination to mark the hard work, determination and perseverance required. As a member of 2158 (Sevenoaks) Squadron Air Cadets, all four young people completed the Bronze and Silver DofE programmes before working towards the Gold Award. All of them worked tirelessly through the five sections of the Gold DofE programme over a number of months to achieve the Gold Award, proving themselves to be great team members and confident leaders. The diverse activities undertaken included acting as Assistant DofE Leader at the

Air Cadet squadron, training towards the RAF fitness test, achieving a gliding scholarship, completing expeditions in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia as well as attending a combined cadet residential project at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Matthew Prentice said of his experience “Working towards my DofE awards has really changed my outlook on life, where I want to take myself in the future, and what I want to be doing. By having the responsibility of mentoring younger cadets, assisting with the management of a Cub Scout Pack, and helping my own cadets in preparing for and achieving their DofE awards, I have grown in maturity and sense of duty. The volunteering sections have, over the three award programmes, helped to develop my perspective of the Air Cadets from that of a young person, towards that of a staff member who plans activities, organises events and looks after the cadets. Since completing my Gold DofE I have continued to assist my Commanding Officer in the running of the squadron, and I intend to make the transition to staff when I turn 20. I have progressed to becoming an Assistant Cub Scout Leader at my local Cub Pack, and I have also completed a Flying Scholarship at Tayside Aviation in Dundee, culminating in a solo flight.” These experiences show that taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme can have a huge impact, and can develop the skills needed for life. ■

Kent Wing Has Its First “Arms Drill” Instructor Congratulations to Flight Sergeant Keith Gordon ATC of 1051 (Dartford) Squadron who has completed the Senior Staff Drill Instructor (Arms) Course at Royal Air Force College Cranwell and is now qualified to instruct weapons drill to cadets and adult Senior Non-Commission Officers (SNCOs) and Sword drill to Officers. The course has been created to provide trained and qualified Air Cadet staff that can then return to their respective Wings and teach cadets, SNCOs and RAFVR (T) Officers the skills needed to parade with weapons under

controlled circumstances. These skills can now be taught in Kent Wing by Flight Sergeant Gordon and he will be joined by further Kent Wing personnel who will be selected to attend courses in 2013. Flight Sergeant Gordon said; “A very high standard was set from the outset with students having to learn 21 drill movements on the first morning! The course is intensive and physically very demanding and this pace continued throughout the week as there is a lot to learn. The course covers the teaching of all types of drill for rifles including

continuity and ceremonial rifle drill and how to teach sword drill to Officers. It is hard work but very rewarding”. He continued; “Anyone wishing to attend a course should have some prior experience in arms drill as it is accepted that a certain level of ability is already held prior to arrival”. Places are limited to Adult SNCO’s who are also Drill Instructors.

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The Laser Winter 2012


News Round-up

Kent Commanders Discover their own Cadet Link 2012 has been a very busy year for cadet forces in Kent, and has seen the Air Cadets and the Army Cadet Force working closer than ever before. A year of successful collaborations, including the opening of two new, state-of-the-art Joint Cadet Centres in Faversham and St Mary’s Bay, have led to the two people in charge discovering that they were actually cadets at the same squadron in Buckinghamshire. Sharing memories and stories from their cadet years, Colonel Jeremy Wilson TD, Commandant of the Kent Army Cadets Force, and Wing Commander Garrod-Bell RAFVR(T) , Officer Commanding of the Air Cadets in Kent, noticed interesting similarities in their experiences, and then, to their surprise, discovered that they were both cadets at the same Squadron, 2409 (John Colet), at John Colet School in Wendover, Buckinghamshire. The two commanders, who are now based at Boxley Road, Maidstone, were not at the squadron at the same time, but still fondly remember the squadron, staff and memories of their cadet years. Garrod-Bell left cadets in 1972 after achieving the rank of flight sergeant, and three years later, cadet Wilson joined and achieved the rank of sergeant, before leaving in 1979. Wing Commander Garrod-Bell said: “It was wonderful to discover that we have such a great connection. The experiences and

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friendships that I gained as a cadet helped me develop the leadership and management skills that equipped me for many aspects of my adult working life.” Colonel Wilson said: “I have very fond memories of my time in the Air Training Corps. I very much enjoyed shooting and glider flying in the Sedburgh and Mk III, which we were able to carry out very close by at RAF Halton, and our regular visits to RAF Abingdon for AEF flying in the Chipmunk. I can still clearly remember summer night exercises in Wendover Woods and the long trek of the D of E expedition in the hot summer of 1976.” After his cadet years, Wing Commander Garrod-Bell went on to join the motor industry as a management trainee and became a general manager, Managing Dealership operations for the likes of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover. These days, in addition to his Air Cadet role, he also works as a senior manager

at a company which provides specialist imaging equipment engineering support to a wide range of customers including the MOD and NHS. Colonel Wilson left cadets and trained as a secondary school teacher. He has been a teacher since then and is currently a member of a senior leadership team in an inner London comprehensive school. In addition to civilian work, there was a three-year period where he was on fulltime service with the Army. This involved being mobilised for overseas service twice - first to Iraq in 2004 and, most recently, Afghanistan in 2008. Four decades after their squadron life in Buckinghamshire, Wing Commander Garrod-Bell is now Officer Commanding Kent Wing, which comprises 35 local squadrons, 1,350 cadets and 350 adult staff and volunteers. Colonel Wilson is the Commandant of the Kent Army Cadet Force, responsible for over 1,000 cadets and around 200 staff and volunteers. ■

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Links to the RAF Family

Air Cadets to Take-off with RAFA Wings Lotto The Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) is delighted to announce that it has joined forces with the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA), allowing members to join the RAFA Wings Lotto Weekly and for the first time raise important funds for the Air Cadets.

BELOW: Cadets from 1075 Camberley Sqn have their pounds ready to sign up to Wings Lotto. www.rafa.org.uk/wings-lotto

Launched exclusively in 2008 with Sterling Lotteries, members and supporters of the RAF Association have been benefiting from great rewards, including a guaranteed £1,000 1st prize every week for the past four years. From November 5th 2012 the ACO’s UK based members and supporters over the age of 16 will for the first time be able to raise money for the Air Cadets by joining the Wings Lotto Weekly, while giving the player the chance to win fantastic cash prizes on a weekly basis This new initiative will be huge, with profits used to enhance the cadet experience – meaning extra funds to support top activities such as flying, gliding, expeditions, sport and important

qualifications. Furthermore the Wings Lotto Weekly will continue to help the RAF Association and the wider RAF family. This truly is the Lottery where everyone wins… HOW DOES IT WORK? The Wings Lotto Weekly is easy to enter, with a simple application process available online and the added option of being able to play as a member or supporter of the ACO. An additional choice of Squadron affiliation will mean a proportion of each ticket price could be donated to the unit of the player’s choice. With over 960 Squadrons to choose from, cadets and staff across the UK are sure to benefit. For just £1 per week entrants will be allocated a unique Wings Lotto Weekly number, which will remain with them for as long as they continue to play. Don’t forget, Wings Lotto is also open to all UK residents over the age of 16. Every Friday, the Wings Lotto Weekly super computer will randomly select the winners from all the entries that week. The three weekly prizes will be: - First place - £1,000 - Second place - £250 (With a potential rollover jackpot of up-to £10,000). - Third place - £100 For as little as £1 you get the chance to win up to £1,000 – EVERY WEEK! Even if you don’t win, that pound goes to help the RAF Association and the ACO wherever it’s needed. Everybody really does win with Wings Lotto Weekly. Join in today and make a little flutter mean a lot. ■

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The Laser Winter 2012


Links to the RAF Family

Flight Lieutenant William Walker AE RAF Retired It is with deep regret and much sadness that we announce the death of Flight Lieutenant William Walker AE RAF Retired. Flight Lieutenant Walker was a regular attender at Capel le Ferne where he was the oldest of the Battle of Britain veterans. He was in fact a very sprightly 99 years old on the 24th August 2012 but unfortunately he suffered a stroke on the 20th October and passed away at 3.30pm on Sunday 21st October. With a glint in his eye and a constant smile, the Annual Battle of Britain Memorial Service at Capel was the highlight of Williams year, and the opportunity to attend, mix with his fellow “hero’s” although he never believed he was one, and to talk to the cadets who he admired greatly, was something he looked forward to year after year. William had been shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 (or ME 109 as they were often called) when he and two of his colleagues ran into a Squadron of the German fighters in 1940. They were patrolling in their Spitfires between Dungeness and Dover two days after his 27th birthday when attacked and, during the fight, his aircraft was badly damaged and he received a bullet in the ankle.

Bailing out at some 20,000 feet oblivious to his position because of cloud (we all know the Capel fog!) he finally drifted down and landed in the sea. Seeing something in the water he swam to it and hung on. It transpired that he had in fact drifted onto the Goodwin Sands off of Deal and was clinging tightly to a wrecked ship. He was rescued by a local fishing boat then transferred to an air-sea rescue launch and was finally landed at Ramsgate where he was taken to hospital. He was then transferred to RAF Halton hospital where the bullet that was removed from his ankle was given to William and he kept it as a souvenir! In later years, after working his way to being Chairman of the famous Ind Coupe brewery, William became an accomplished poet, in fact the oldest ever first published poet! He donated the copyright of his poetry to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust at Capel to help raise money for the new learning centre. William was a true gentleman, it was an honour to have been in his company and to meet him was an experience one would never forget. He will be sorely missed but the poetry and memory of this modest hero remain to ensure that he will never be forgotten. ■

Flt Lt William Louis Buchanan Walker AE RAF Ret’d 24th Aug 1913 - 21st Oct 2012

LEFT: Flt Lt Walker with Prince Michael of Kent standing by the plinth with his poem “Our Wall” inscribed at the Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-leFerne. Spitfire photo by Ian Forshaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010

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Photographic Hot Shots Cadets from London & SE Region have been rewarded for their photography skills at the RAF and LaSER Photo competitions. Two cadets from London and South East Region found themselves rubbing shoulders with the Royal Air Force’s top photographers at the RAF photographic competition award ceremony Cadet Sergeant Jack Whitfield from 308 (Colchester) Squadron and Cadet Corporal Jack Skedge from 2187 (Canvey Island) Squadron were invited to the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London after scooping the top prizes in the competition’s “Air

Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force” Category. Sergeant Whitfield took both first and third prize, with Corporal Skedge taking second place. Both received their prize from the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton. The cadets received trophies sponsored by Veritek, who also provided cash prizes for the top three placed entrants. ■

TOP LEFT: Cdt Sgt Whitfield’s winning entry TOP RIGHT: Cdt Cpl Skedge’s second placed photo BOTTOM LEFT: Cdt Sgt Whitfield receiving his trophy from ACM Dalton BOTTOM RIGHT: Cdt Cpl Skedge receiving his prize from ACM Dalton, with Wg Cdr Garrod-Bell of Kent Wing and Veritek.

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The Laser Winter 2012


Photographic hot shots

The results of the London and South East Region photographic competition were announced at the Region field day, held at RAF Northolt The competition was made up of four categories, “the ACO and its people”, and “Aviation” , for both cadets and adult staff. This year’s competition attracted a number of great images, but as always there can only be one winner. Winner of the cadet competition for “the ACO and its People” category was Cadet Corporal Jack Roadway with his photo titled “Waiting for Flight” (Pictured top left).. Runners up were Cadet Flight Sergeant Karki of 1846 (Southall) Squadron and Cdt Musgrave of 354 (Dover) Squadron. The winner of the Cadet “Aviation” category also came from Sussex Wing . Cadet Corporal Whittington of 176 (Hove)

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Squadron won with his photo “Pre-flights” (Pictured top right). Runners up were Cadet Warrant Officer Mandalia of 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron and Cadet Corporal Smart of 323 (Epsom and Ewell) Squadron. The adult “ACO and its People” Category was taken by Flight Lieutenant Bigos of 1381 (West Drayton and Yiewsley) Squadron, with runners up Flight Lieutenant Bird of 56 (Woolwich) Squadron and Flight Sergeant Parker of 1075 (Camberley) Squadron. The final category for avaition related photos taken by adult staff was taken by the Region Aerospace Officer -Wing Commander Morrell. The runners up were Fligth Sergeant Hakan of 85 (Enfield) Squadron and Flight Lieutenant Welsh of Sussex Wing. The winning photos will be printed

in poster size and displayed at the new Regional Activity Centre at the Army Training Camp in Crowborough. The competition will be run again in 2013, so start taking your entries now.

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Around the Region

London Air Cadet Takes Part in the British Military Tournament Flight Sergeant George Carney of 444 (Shoreditch) Squadron has had an amazing weekend participating in the British Military Tournament as a member of the RAF Halton Pipes and Drums It was about three and a half years ago when George first picked up the bagpipes to learn how to play, and that was at the suggestion of his then Squadron Commander, Squadron Leader Peter Gourri. George gained his experience at the Squadron and in civilian bands and has also played at Corps level. He has also played in large pipes and drums bands all over England. It was through a contact in the RAF Halton Pipes and Drums Band that things really took off for George and he started to attend rehearsals and subsequent events. In early October the opportunity came up to be part of the Band at the British Military Tournament and George

Jubilee Hour Event

Air Cadets from London Wing recently attended a reception to celebrate 'The Jubilee Hour' - a year long project where you can give-up an hour of your time to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. While at the event the cadets met Michael Ellis MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. To find out more about the Jubilee Hour, please visit www.thejubileehour.org/

Kent Netball Champs

has been practicing in readiness for the weekend. There were two full days of rehearsal at Earls Court before the actual show days. Speaking about how the first performance went George said, "Being a cadet really helped as I have taken part in lots of parades before and it was not so nerve wracking. I was very focused on playing the bagpipes and I really enjoyed the experience of playing at Earls Court." He explained that the band is composed of a mixture of RAF and civilian members and that they treat him like an adult. When asked about the future, he said, "My long term ambition is to become the Queen's Piper." Every good wishes to George for the future! ■

Region Activity Centre UPDATE The Region Activity Centre at Crowborough Army Training Camp took an important step forward with the installation of the flight simulator. The simulator is a key part of the training facilities at the centre, allowing cadets to be trained in piloting skills, keeping the “air” in Air Cadets. Keep an eye out for further updates about the centre, which will be operational soon.

Kent Wing ran out champions at the recent inter-wing Senior Netball Championships held at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford. The girls from Kent stormed to victory after winning all their games. The runners up were Essex Wing, with Middlesex finishing in third place. Unfortunately the senior boys rugby competition was postponed due to waterlogged pitches. This competition will be run in early 2013. PHOTO: The Kent wing netball team captain receives the trophy from the Region Sports Officer

Sponsored Run

Pilot Officer Wesley Pollard of 1921 (Lewisham) Squadron has been lucky enough to get a place in the 2013 London Marathon. Wesley will be running in aid of the Royal Air Forces Association . Donations can be made online through http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/ wesleypollard

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The Laser Winter 2012


PHOTOS: Sqn Ldr Philip Jones RAFVR(T) Around the Region WORDS: Richard Roberts

Lord Mayor’s Show More than 80 cadets from the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force from throughout the United Kingdom travelled to London, joining other cadets from London and Middlesex Wings, to represent the Organisation at this prestigious annual event. The procession, which marked the appointment of the new Lord Mayor, Alderman Roger Gifford, stretched over three miles and involved more than 6,500 people, hundreds of vehicles and over 150 floats, bands and carriages, parading through the City from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice. The Lord Mayor’s Show harks back to King John’s Charter of 1215 which decreed that the Lord Mayor of London must present himself to the Sovereign on assuming office. The band cadets spent the night at RAF Halton before their early morning briefing at the West Smithfield in an underground car park that doubled as the home of MI6 in the new James Bond film, Skyfall. The band then assembled outside the London Museum, leading the contingents through the city’s streets and past famous landmarks such as Mansion House, St Paul’s Cathedral and St Clement Danes Church. The band played a variety of famous pieces including Aces High, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and Army of the Nile. The young musicians from a mixture of Air Cadet Squadrons and CCF (RAF) www.laseratc.org

Sections across the UK meet three times a year to rehearse and perform at a variety of prestigious events. The band is made up from woodwind, brass and percussion players ranging in age from 13 to 20. The National Marching Band was also joined on the parade by members of the Air Cadet National Pipe Band. A contingent of 10 cadets provided a change in music and the option for the main band to rest. The cadets’ performance received high praise from the London & Scottish Pipes Drums, who had taken time out of their own schedule to help the cadets tune up before the start of the parade. An added bonus for the musicians was having their families and friends present throughout the route and there was even more support from North Region cadets who had travelled down to London to watch the Show. This, combined with

cheers from the crowds, really helped the cadets on their first London engagement and lifted their spirits in what was a warm but rainy Saturday afternoon. Air Cadet Director of Music, Squadron Leader Nick Sermon, said: “We are all very proud of what the band has achieved. This is a culmination of a year’s hard work. It’s been great to work with them and to receive continued outstanding feedback. The band has been to many new places this year, which has given us the opportunity to demonstrate the excellence of Air Cadet Music to new audiences.” The next performance of the Air Cadet National Marching Band will be as a part of the April training camp. Details will be posted later on the band’s Facebook pages, visit www.facebook.com/ aircadetmarchingband ■

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Staff Awards and Appointments

Adult Senior Non Commissioned Officers The following staff have recently been appointed as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the Air Training Corps within the Region. Essex Wing Sergeant M Stuckey, 1096 (Bishops Stortford) Sqn

Sussex Wing Sergeant B P P Hepburn, 226 (Brighton) Sqn

London Wing Sergeant E Flynn, 27F (Chingford) Sqn

Civilian Instructors The following staff have recently been appointed as a Civilian Instructor in the Air Training Corps within the Region. Essex Wing D Manning, 12 (Walthamstow & Leyton) Sqn B J Howard, 1341 (Thundersley) Sqn B Quinlan, 282 (East Ham) Sqn C J Atkins, 276 (Chelmsford) Sqn S A Robinson, 1096 (Bishops Stortford) Sqn Middlesex Wing H Jansen, 342 (Ealing & Brentford) Sqn Kent Wing K Patel, 1846 (Southall) Sqn C D Nolan, 2158 (Sevenoaks) Sqn D Edwards, 593 (Swanley) Sqn Surrey Wing J C Heuerman-Williamson, 1579 (Erith School) V S Chelliah, 261 (Guildford) Sqn Sqn S D Dean-Ryan, 39 (Barnes) Sqn M Fricker, 2427 (Biggin Hill) Sqn J L S Smith, 350 (Carshalton & Wallington) Sqn L J Carter, 213 (City Of Rochester) Sqn S G Ede, 1408 (Cranleigh) Det Flt G M Bolton, 1039 (Gillingham) Sqn J Pontet, 1268 (Haslemere) Sqn S Thomas, 328 (Kingston-Upon-Thames) Sqn London Wing N Fuller, 261 (Guildford) Sqn J Gevaux, 338 (West Ham) Sqn S E T Norman, 1075 (Camberley) Sqn D Brown, 2324 (Chigwell) Sqn K J Babla, 282 (East Ham) Sqn Sussex Wing N Pin, 56 (Woolwich) Sqn C Feltham, 2262 (Bexhill) Sqn J A Mercer, 6 (Romford) Sqn S Grantham, 2464 (Storrington) Sqn S L Crane, 1475 (Dulwich) Sqn T Lee, 1087 (Arun Valley) Sqn C G Baldock, 27 (Chingford) Sqn C Jones, 1140 (Steyning) Sqn B J Wallace, 12 (Tower Hamlets) Det Flt B Spiers, 1140 (Steyning) Sqn

Honorary Squadron Chaplains The following staff have recently been appointed as a Squadron Chaplain in the Air Training Corps within the Region. Essex Wing Reverend S F Vallente-Kerr, 213 (City Of Reverend A A Jones, 2531 (Woodham Ferrers) Rochester) Sqn Sqn Reverend A P Coyne, 173 (Orpington) Sqn Reverend G Hanson, 309 (Sawbridgeworth) Sqn Reverend B C Morrison, 414 (Epping & North Middlesex Wing Weald) Sqn Reverend M Tufnell, 1374 (East Barnet) Sqn Reverend S J Fountain, 1830 (Tendring) Sqn Reverend A J Teare, 268 (Tottenham) Sqn Reverend K Akwasi-Yeboah, 1096 (Bishop Reverend E J Lewis, 101 (Kenton & Kingsbury) Stortford) Sqn Sqn Reverend M H M Bursell, 1163 (Colne Valley) Sqn Surrey Wing Kent Wing Reverend P C Wyatt, 66 (Selsdon) Sqn Reverend O I Aoko, 2433 (Ramsgate) Sqn Reverend D Medway, 1903 (Penge) Sqn Sussex Wing Reverend M J Luff, 45 (Worthing) Sqn 22

The Laser Winter 2012


AIR TATTOO OFFER IS JUST THE TICKET People planning to attend next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, who purchase their tickets before January 7, will enjoy a saving of up to £14 on the price of admission. Special Super Earlybird tickets go on sale from November 21 for next summer’s event, which takes place on July 20-21. In a bid to keep tickets as affordable as possible for its many supporters, organisers have decided to cap the price of the Sunday admission ticket, adding just £1 on to the 2012 admission price. This means that a Super Earlybird Sunday ticket will be available until January 6, priced just £30. This compares with the £35 cost of a Super Earlybird Saturday ticket. Between January 7 and April 3, Earlybird tickets will be available priced £40 for the Saturday and £35 for the Sunday. After April 3, the standard advance ticket will go on sale, priced £45 (Saturday) and £40 (Sunday). Each order after April 3 will be subject to a £4 admin fee. The Air Tattoo’s Head of Marketing Helen Webb said: “We’ve introduced the new pricing structure to reflect the growing number of people who are looking for extra-value in these challenging times. “By introducing specially-priced Sunday tickets and enabling all accompanied under-

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16s to come in for free, visitors can enjoy one of the UK’s greatest outdoor events next summer at an extremely competitive price.” The Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 will bring together air arms from around the world in a celebration of aviation excellence. Helen added: “Last summer’s Air Tattoo was a great success with new aerobatic display teams taking part, stealth aircraft and three new countries participating. We’re planning to match all that excitement with an equally thrilling airshow in July.” For full admission ticket details and to see the wide range of optional upgrades designed to enhance your enjoyment of the Royal International Air Tattoo 2013, visit airtattoo.com

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The LaSER Winter 2012