Page 1


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

The award winning magazine brought to you by the award winning LaSER Media Team

October 2013

Welcome to


Welcome to another full to overflowing edition of the LaSER! Since our last edition in June, Air Cadets from the London & South East Region have been on adventures in the UK and abroad, undertaking many summer camps at RAF Stations. Air Cadets across the Region have been involved in many Air Shows, getting meet famous faces and including our new Ambassador, Sir Chris Hoy. Air Cadets have been actively competing in a range of sporting events including athletics, swimming, hockey and rugby! Air Cadets have been putting the Air into our name, with many going flying and gliding, with some have been lucky enough to complete flying and gliding scholarships. The Region came together at RAF Northolt in the first trooping of the Regional Banner – a truly memorable and spectacular event for all involved. Many musical Air Cadets have been actively playing to audiences far and wide whilst others have been on expeditions, achieving their bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, whilst many completed the challenging Nijmegen marches... All in all, it’s been business as usual for Air Cadets – a vast, diverse and truly inspirational number of achievements and smiles during the summer! Just what being an Air Cadet is all about! As ever, please continue to share your success stories with us by sending them to Thank you! ■

Issue 8 - October 2013 Managing Editor: Sqn Ldr Caroline Gourri RAFVR(T) E: Editor and Design: FS James Parker ATC E: 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)

In this Issue Page 4

Trooping The Banner

Air Cadets Regional Headquarters London and South East Region RAF Northolt Ruislip Middlesex HA4 6NG T. 020 8833 8278 F 020 8833 8391 W: 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, 2013 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.

Page 20

At the Airshows Front Cover: Things are looking up at the Trooping of the Region Banner

2 The Laser October 2013

A word from the


Page 6

31 Tower Hamlets Squad


As the summer comes to an end we look back to the visits enjoyed by many of our cadets and staff to the camps at active Royal Air Force stations. The parent service gave our people an insight into the contemporary force and influenced career choices for many of our cadets, who saw the roles and trades of the servicemen and women at first hand. We are now entering the autumn activity phase with sports, competitions and Region Field Days. All of these will stretch our young people and make the CFAV really work hard at time management to get the best out of all the different activities. For the first time my Region Field Day will be combined with the Annual Formal Inspection, when Commandant Air Cadets will be come to check our activities and administration. Given the qualities of the people in Team LaSER I know she will not be disappointed! I look forward to seeing many of you at our autumn activities and I thank the CFAV’s for giving up their time to supervise and lead these many and varied cadet competitions. ■

No deviation Group Captain L Hakin OBE Regional Commandant London & South East Region

Page 30

ts Awards and Appointmen London Wing’s Band palyed at the Tower of London.

For all the up to date news from London & SE Region follow us on Facebook 3

Trooping the Banner

Cadets from all six Wings paraded at RAF Northolt to “Troop� the Regi

4 The Laser October 2013

Queen’s Birthday Flight PHOTO: Mr Brian Pallett

ion Banner Air Cadets from across the London and South East Region (LaSER) came togetherat RAF Northolt to Troop the Region Banner, the day after the Guards had Trooped their colour at Horse Guards. Over 325 cadets were on parade for this unique event, with the Region Band providing the musical beat. Surrey Wing provided the Banner party, with the best drill cadets from across all six Wings providing the Escort Flight. Mimicing the parade at Horse Guards the day before, the Banner was Trooped past contingents from each wing, before each contingent marched past the Regional Commandant. ■

Queen’s Birthday Flypast Whilst the Guards were Trooping their Colour for the Queen’s Birthday Parade at Horse Guards, specially chosen Air and CCF (RAF) Cadets were enjoying the view from above. The lucky cadets, including those from across London and SE Region, were passengers in the RAF’s transport aircraft taking part in the Queen’s Birthday Flypast. The cadet flew in either the Tristar or the brand new Voyager aircraft, and got to see the fighter escorts of Typhoons and Tornados up close through the window. On top of this they got to experience the views of the London landmarks from the air, such as Wembley Stadium’s famous arch (see below). ■


Spotlight on


Number 31 Squadron from Tower Hamlets in London is one of the newer Squadron’s in the Air Training Corps, only achieving this status this year. Lets see what they have been up to. 2013 has seen the cadets of 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron enjoying their first experiences of gliding with Tower Hamlets cadets completing both the Gliding Induction Course and Gliding Scholarships. The earlier part of the year saw cadets travel to MOD Wethersfield to undertake their Gliding Induction Course in the winch-launched Viking gliders. For some cadets, this was not just their first experience of gliding, but their first experience of flight. Cadet Corporal Jayasinghe commented; “I have been looking forward to going gliding for a couple of years and the thrill of the first launch really lived up to expectations. It was really good to be given control of the glider and put some of the academic training that I gained on the way to my BTEC in aviation studies into action”. The later part of the year has seen three Tower Hamlets cadets progress onto their Gliding Scholarships at MOD Wethersfield, Kenley and Abingdon. The gliding scholarship is taught over approximately 40 launches or 10 hours of flight with the aim of training a cadet to reach a standard where they can undertake a first solo flight. Cadet Corporal Hussain said on gaining her gliding wings: “Gliding was a fantastic experience and learning the skills to pilot the glider whilst difficult at first, are really rewarding. The instructors were really knowledgeable and great at explaining things. I now want to go on a learn more and would like to eventually gain a private pilot’s licence”. ■

The 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron shooting team are celebrating a double success of qualifying for the Cadet Inter-services Skill at Arms Meeting (CISSAM) and being selected to attend the London and South East Regional Field Day as part of the London Wing shooting team. Cadet Flight Sargent Malcolm Smith, a member of the shooting team said: “The year to date has seen significant results for the 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron shooting team. Having evaluated our performance following CISSAM last year and made a number of changes in the way we approach our marksmanship we are starting to see some positive steps forward; winning the London Wing Full Bore Shooting competition this year was an unexpected bonus and a great boost to

the team’s confidence.” Marksmanship is an area Tower Hamlets Air Cadets has given significant attention to since formation with Flying Officer Rex Nicholls noting: “2013 has seen a significant rise in our marksmanship capability both in terms of qualified staff and cadet ability. With three long-range conducting officers and more L86A2 LSW qualified staff, we have been able to run our own gallery ranges this year for the first time and held a very successful squadron skill at arms camp at Longmoor bringing our total up to 16 marksman badges awarded this year. To be able to qualify for CISSAM just seven points behind the top Squadron in the Corps is testament to the hard work going on and the expertise and commitment of the staff and cadets in this area.” ■

6 The Laser October 2013

Spotlight (Lewisham) Spotlight onon 311921 (Tower Halmets) Squadron

Photo: 31 Squadron ATC outside 31 Squadron RAF; CREDIT: SAC Tracey Dobson, RAF Marham Summertime is the season for the annual cadet camps and this year a unique meeting took place between 31 Squadron and 9F Squadron cadets and their flying squadron namesakes. The visiting cadet units were attending their summer camp at RAF Wittering, in Cambridgeshire when the opportunity arose for them to visit their namesake Squadrons at RAF Marham. 31 known as 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron and 9F (Islington) Squadron were given a tour of the Station’s new Aviation Heritage Centre and tested their aviation knowledge in a quiz, provided by Corporal Keates, a volunteer with the museum. Following this the Cadets were introduced to members of the Tornado squadrons and shown around the aircraft they fly. Flying officer Rex Nicholls OC 31 (Tower Hamlets) Sqn said: “In our inaugural year it was great to be able to visit 31 Sqn so soon after their return from a successful deployment on Operation HERRICK. The 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron Air Cadets were delighted to be shown around a Tornado GR4 with many now wanting to become Goldstar pilots of the future!” Flt Lt Taz Bachoo, the Camp Commandant and OC 9F Sqn added,

“We [9F Sqn] are approaching our 75th year and it was very interesting for the cadets to see where our Squadron badge originates from, and to understand some of XI (B) Squadron’s impressive history.” All the cadets agreed the visit to their namesake Squadrons was the highlight of their week and it is planned that the links between the four squadrons will continue to grow. ■ The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron are celebrating the first anniversary of their affiliation. The inaugural year of this valuable relationship has seen ties and bonds grow as the year has progressed with the Fishmongers attending the Squadron’s annual awards night, an adventure training camp held at Crowborough where the Fishmongers observed an obstacle course, navigation and marksmanship training. It also saw the Squadron provide a guard of honour to HRH Princess

Royal and the Fishmongers during their attendance at the oldest rowing race in the world; the Doggett’s Coat and Badge. Pilot Officer Joseph Wales, the Squadron’s Training Officer commented: “The Fishmongers have been fantastic friends to our newly formed Squadron. They have been generous not just in terms of helping us purchase our Squadron minibus and fund our cadets to attend a static line parachuting course but also generous with their time; making the effort to get to know our cadets, help celebrate their successes and support the Air Training Corps”. Cadet Corporal Joshua Taylor met the then Prime Warden, Lord Phillimore at Crowborough camp when he was presented with his Leading Cadet certificate and noted: “it was great to chat with Lord Phillimore, not only was he really interested in learning about my time in cadets but as a keen shot himself, he gave me a couple of useful marksmanship tips for next time I am on the range”. ■

If you want the spotlight to fall on your Squadron, send your stories to


Spotlight on 31 (Tower Halmets) Squadron PHOTO: London Brough of Kensington & Chelsea

Sixteen cadets from 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron in London Wing, formed a guard of honour for HRH The Princess Royal, as she attended the 299th annual Race for Doggett’s Coat & Badge. As well as presenting the winning waterman with his prize, Princess Anne met the cadets and staff, and discussed their upcoming activities planned for the summer. The Squadron was invited to attend by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, with whom they have held an affiliation since the squadron formed in early 2013. Andrew Morgan Esq, Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, said; “We were extremely happy to have once again been able to invite Tower Hamlets Air Cadets to take part in one of our events. They have consistently proved themselves to be a very smart and effective group of young people, and have performed their duties admirably. Their attendance to the Princess Royal will hopefully be something they will remember for many years, and it was an absolute pleasure to host them for lunch at Fishmonger’s Hall, after the race.” The Fishmongers have managed the race since 1721, and have seen it evolve a long and colourful history. The race takes place each summer on the Thames, between London Bridge and Cadogan Pier (Chelsea) – with competitors rowing under 11 bridges on the 4 mile 7 furlong (7,400 metre) course. Up until 1873, competitors rowed against the tide using four-seater passenger wherries and there are stories of the race taking over two hours to complete. Since then the race has been rowed with the tide and the passenger wherries have been replaced by modern sculling boats, and the fastest time to date was set by Bobby Prentice, now Bargemaster to the Fishmongers’ Company and Upper

Warden of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, who completed the race in just 23 minute 22 seconds. The Fishmongers’ Company is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London, and among the most ancient of the City Guilds. As well as supporting various fish and fisheries related organisations, the Company have provided generous and on-going support to 31 Squadron, which was established as a Detached Flight in 2012, achieving squadron status in 2013. ■ Tower Hamlets Air Cadets are celebrating a boost to the Squadron’s delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme thanks to a generous donation of £2,500 by the Ford Britain Trust. With the addition of two basic expedition award leader qualified staff to the team, the squadron has already been very active in delivering the Duke of Edinburgh expedition section this year. With trips to Ashdown and Epping Forrest, the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and the Isle of Wight, and bronze and silver awards rolling in, the Squadron looks set to enjoy a

further step change in its delivery. Civilian Instructor Christopher Carleton, the Squadron’s Duke of Edinburgh officer commented: “last year saw us deliver our first five bronze awards and this year’s vintage looks set to treble the number and see our first silver awards come through. The Ford Britain Trust grant will now enable us to turn our attention to the sports section of the award, purchase sports equipment and massively increase our capacity yet further.” Cadet Corporal Josh Taylor commented: “Duke of Edinburgh has been one of the highlights of being a Tower Hamlet Air Cadet. From improving my fitness on the obstacle course and improving my marksmanship on the range, the award has been great fun. The best bit is always the expeditions and the Dorset coast whilst challenging, was a beautiful place to be walking. Hopefully in 2014 I can crack the gold award.” ■

8 The Laser October 2013

In the Air

Rotarians give first flight

Welling Air Cadets were celebrating this week as Cadet Drum Major Benjamin (Ben) White [18] completed his ‘first flight’ in an aircraft. Ben, who has disabilities is precluded from undertaking the normal Air Experience Flying (AEF) due to his complex additional needs. Undeterred 358 Welling Squadron Air Training Corps approached Aerobility – flying for the disabled, to do an introduction flight at their base in Blackbushe near Camberley. The Rotary Club of Bexley covered the associated costs. Rotarian Malcolm Fox presented Ben with the monies at the squadron’s annual inspection in November, and the family has waited for the best weather

so Ben could thoroughly enjoy the flight. He described Rotary Internationals involvement thus Bexley Rotarian’s are happy and proud to provide Ben with the fiscal means to undertake this flight. It is a fantastic opportunity which we hope he will enjoy and remember’ Taking advantage of the recent good weather Ben and his instructor James Brown, accompanied by Ben’s father the Rev. Andrew White (who is chaplain to the squadron) took to the skies in a Piper 46, 4 seat aircraft for an hour long flight over Sandhurst and the local area. The P46 is a very stable aircraft

and once airborne and clear of the aerodrome, instructor James Brown was able to say ‘Ben, you have control...’ and Ben was able to fly the aircraft himself, with James only resuming control to finally land the aircraft. The views from the aircraft were fantastic with over thirty miles of visibility. On landing, James asked Ben – ‘Did you enjoy that?, ‘Yes’ Ben replied; ‘Do you want to do it again?’ ‘Er – No!’ he stated. Whilst he definitely enjoyed the flight Ben prefers his flying to be in really BIG aircraft, with someone else piloting and a holiday at the end of the flight, and you can’t argue with that. Unit leader, Flight Lieutenant Kris Cottier RAFVR(T) stated, “Our heartfelt thanks to Rotary Club of Bexley and to Aerobility for making this event happen”. ■

1571 (Aylward) Squadron Flight Simulator Takes Off It took three years but 1571 (Aylward) Squadron have officially held the opening event for their state-of-the art Flight Simulator. The event was a great success, attracting visitors from the Air Cadet Organisation as well as industry personnel. The flight simulator was developed and built with collaboration from individuals from the aviation industry as well as staff members from 1571 Squadron. Producing a realistic and feature packed flight simulator. The project aims at giving flight training to both trainee pilots as well as the experienced ones alike. The facility will be used by both 1571 cadets as well as cadets from Middlesex Wing.

The 1571 (Aylward) Squadron Flight Simulator provides the following Features: - Realistic flying and ‘in-cockpit’ environments. - Progressive Flight training on all major aircraft types and systems. - External facility for flight planning and post flight analysis. - External facility for introduction of faults and failures to all major aircraft systems, at any phase of flight. - External Air Traffic Control facility - Fully automated system management. - User friendly and care free operation. - Minimal system maintenance, with remote maintenance facility. ■ 9


LaSER on Summer Holidays

24 8


The highlight of many cadets’ year is the annual summer camp, where they get to spend a week living with the RAF. This year some 1158 cadets together with 268 adult staff visited 16 RAF stations across the UK. This map shows where they went. The bars indicate number of staff (red), and Cadets (Blue) from London and SE Region who visited each station this summer. ■


90 120



16 80



16 18


80 16 24 90


38 8

82 80

72 40 10

36 16




10 The Laser October 2013

LaSER on Summer Holidays

LaSER Travels the World Cadets’ summer camps are not restricted to the UK. Some lucky cadets get to travel the world, either to Royal Air Force Stations overseas or as part of the Internation Air Cadet Exchange programme. The overseas RAF stations cadets are allowed to visit is limited to Europe, with 14 staff and 29 cadets spending a week in Gibraltar. Another six cadets and one

member of staff spent a week at the US Air Force Base Rammstein in Germany. A London Wing led camp further in the north of Germany allowed some 50 cadets the chance to see another country as part of their summer break. Other cadets, usually the top cadets in each wing, are offered places on the coverted International Air Cadet Exchange. Each year cadets from aviation related

organisations in 20 countries join together sending to each other and hosting cadets from other members too. This year LaSER cadets visited Australia, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey and the USA. ■

Surrey Cadet Puts First Aid Skills to Good Use Cadet Sergeant Zach Robinson (17) of 328 (Kingston-Upon-Thames) Squadron conducted potentially life-saving first aid on a choking cadet in the Junior Ranks Mess (JRM) at Royal Air Force (RAF) Leeming whilst on Summer camp in July. The 28 Air Cadets were in the JRM eating lunch when Cadet Sergeant (Sgt) Robinson noticed one of the cadets appeared to be in some distress. A few moments earlier, Cadet Honor Rudd had been enjoying lunch with her friends when a piece of food became lodged in her throat. Her friends at the table thought she was having a giggling fit but Sgt Robinson realised the situation was not as it first appeared. Sgt Robinson used his Air Cadet First Aid training to perform a primary survey of the Cadet which confirmed she was suffering from a full throat obstruction and showing early signs of hypoxia. Sgt Robinson quickly

followed the choking protocol in line with the St John’s Award in Youth First Aider Training. He confirmed with her that she was choking before administering back blows to remove the object. After five attempts the object cleared. Sgt Robinson then treated the cadet for shock and stayed with her whilst she recovered from the incident before a member of staff was able to take over the situation. Squadron Leader Shaun Parkes, London & South East Region First Aid Officer said; “I am in no doubt that Sgt Robinson’s quick, calm and decisive action on the day saved Cadet Rudd from a potentially life-threatening obstruction, and due to his presence of mind and calmness under pressure and his use of the correct protocols, staff were able to deal with a mild case of shock and a very sore throat rather than a potentially tragic event.” ■

ABOVE: All smiles outside the JRM after Sgt Robinson’s swift action. PHOTO Flt Lt Chris Ronaldson 11

Around the Region

Cadet “Honoured” to be Chosen as Mayor’s Cadet

More Wings for 101 Sqn

An Air Cadet from 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron has said she is “honoured” after being been chosen to represent the organisation as this year’s Medway Mayor’s Cadet. Each cadet organisation in the Towns is invited to nominate one cadet to represent their organisation as Medway Mayor’s Cadet and this year Cadet Sergeant Zoe Onegi has been chosen to represent the Air Cadets during Councillor Josie Iles’ term in office. Cdt Sgt Onegi, aged 16, has been at Gillingham Squadron since January 2010 and since joining she has been involved with many of the activities available to all cadets. In addition to flying and gliding, Cdt Sgt Onegi has attended numerous adventure training weeks and camps at Royal Air Force stations across the UK, represented the squadron in Kent Wing competitions including athletics and swimming and completed her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. She is

currently working towards her Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and is due to attend her first overseas camp this summer. Gillingham Squadron prides itself on encouraging cadets to get involved with fundraising events for good causes, and Cdt Sgt Onegi has been involved in many of these, including the annual Royal Air Forces Association Wings Appeal and Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Cdt Sgt Onegi and Cadet Claire Cooper, aged 16, also raised £332 for Cancer Research UK after taking part in the Race for Life in Rochester on Sunday, 19 May. Cdt Sgt Onegi said “I was honoured to be selected to represent the Air Cadets as the Medway Mayor’s Cadet. I am thoroughly looking forward to this new experience and hope that I can do Kent Wing proud over the next twelve months.” 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins, added “Cadet Sergeant Onegi has volunteered herself for most of the activities on offer to our cadets and faced every challenge with enthusiasm. I have no doubt she will represent the Air Cadets well throughout her time as Medway Mayor’s Cadet.” ■

Air Cadet Flight Sergeant Amit Kurani has become the third currently serving member of 101 (Kenton & Kingsbury) Squadron to achieve the coveted Air Cadet Pilot Scheme Wings. Cadet Flight Sergeant Kurani was formally presented his wings by Flight Lieutenant Tom Straw, Officer Commanding 101 (Kenton & Kingsbury) Squadron, Middlesex Wing. Cadet Flight Sergeant Kurani joins Cadet Flight Sergeant Douglas Cohen, who graduated last summer

and Cadet Corporal Stephen Connell, who won his wings this summer as the third member of the Squadron to have completed the scheme. After the presentation, Cadet Flight Sergeant Kurani said; “I’m honoured to have been chosen for this most prestigious course. Flying is what the Air Cadets is all about and winning my wings has been my goal ever since I joined. I look forward to helping other cadets achieve their goals.” ■

12 The Laser October 2013

Around the Region

Gillingham Air Cadets Launch Recruitment Drive RAF Air Cadets in Gillingham have launched a new recruitment poster with funds from an O2 community program. Cadet Sergeant Zoe Onegi from 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron organised a competition among the cadets to design a new recruitment poster. During the course of the competition, Cadet Sergeant Onegi also explored options for funding the printing of the final poster and applied to the O2 Think Big program. She was awarded £300 to use on the production and printing, which has been spent on obtaining a licence to use an image which was under copyright,

printing A4 posters for display and printing A5 leaflets with the same design to hand out during recruitment events. The posters have been put on display in schools and businesses around Gillingham, as well as on local community notice boards, and they were also used to advertise an Open Day organised by Squadron in September. Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins, 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron's Officer Commanding, said; "I was really impressed by the initiative Cadet Sergeant Onegi showed in organising the competition and seeking funds for the finished poster. The best advert for the squadron is our cadets,

so to have them involved in the poster in this way was fantastic.” He went on to add; “"The design really catches your eye and makes people want to find out more about who we are and what we do." ■

Wethersfield Gliding Instructor Reaches 10,000 Launch Milestone Flight Lieutenant Graham Hayes RAFVR(T) from 614 Volunteer Gliding School (VGS) in Wethersfield has reached the significant milestone of 10,000 glider launches. Qualifying on 12 variants of Service aircraft since the start of his flying career, Flight Lieutenant Hayes holds an extremely impressive Service gliding record, totalling in excess of 1,100hrs airborne. He recently achieved his 10,000th launch while teaching Cadet Sergean tAdrianne Mercer, a member of 414 (Epping & North Weald) Squadron, on the principles of stalling. Flight Lieutenant Hayes has personally given more than 210 Cadets their first opportunity for solo flight in an aircraft, and has contributed in the instruction of countless others. He is the second Instructor on the unit to achieve this impressive total, the other being the former OC and current A2* instructor Squadron Leader Terry Horsley.

The Squadron’s current Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader George Capon said; “I am delighted to congratulate Graham on his achievement. This milestone in Graham’s flying career shows the depth of experience that the Air Cadet gilding movement is able to offer today’s cadets.” He added that Flight Lieutenant Graham Hayes’ “…total dedication and unwavering commitment in support of the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force spans over 40 years of unbroken cadet and adult Service in the roles of a Civilian Instructor and, since 1991, as a Commissioned RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) Officer. He has served with 614 VGS since 1968. He is currently the Squadron’s Chief Flying Instructor and was formerly the Technical Officer and Flight

Commander.” Flight Lieutenant Hayes said, “Over the years I have flown with a large number of cadets, many with their first experience of flying in a glider. I have taught a number of cadets on their Gliding Scholarships and seen then go solo, I have also had the pleasure to bring Flight Staff Cadets up to a standard where they themselves start on the road to becoming an Instructor. I hope that I have instilled in them an interest in flying which I still have today after 44 years.” 614 VGS maintains the long traditions of service flying at its base at Wethersfield in Essex, once home to operational RAF and USAF aircraft and now the HQ of the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency whose support the Squadron is pleased to acknowledge. ■

Photo: Sqn Ldr Philip Jones


Pulling a Plane with a Pain in the Drain A resourceful group of air cadets who pulled an aeroplane with a rope made of wet wipes are the stars of a YouTube film. The cadets, from 1440 (Shoreham-bySea) Squadron of the Air Training Corps, made the rope out of ordinary household wipes and used it to pull the half-ton Luscombe aircraft. The cadets were keen to demonstrate the strength of wet wipes which are a pain in the drain if they are flushed down the loo as they cause blockages, flooding and pollutions. The rope was made without using knots to replicate the way wipes get tangled up in customers’ pipes and the public sewer. Along with solidified cooking oils, wet wipes contribute to about three quarters of all sewer blockages. A film of the challenge, which took place on a private airfield near Horsham, West Sussex, can be seen on Southern

Water’s YouTube channel. Pilot Officer Rich Sage, Adjutant at 1440 Squadron said: “When we were approached by Southern Water for help with this challenge we didn’t think it would be possible but we were surprised at just how strong these everyday wipes actually are. “The cadets were chuffed to be asked to help out, especially with such a lovely vintage aircraft being involved and with the film going up on YouTube. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to promote an important message for everyone – wet wipes should go in the bin, not down the toilet.” Simon Parker, Southern Water’s Head of Wastewater, said: “Wet wipes, along with other non-biodegradable items flushed down toilets, are one of the biggest culprits in sewer blockages. “Even wipes described as flushable cause blockages and the biodegradable ones often don’t spend long enough in

the sewer to start to decompose. “They can cause toilets, sinks and baths to overflow inside homes, costing families hundreds of pounds to clear. If sewers flood externally, they can pollute watercourses and the environment. “That’s why we ask customers to only flush the three Ps – pee, poo and paper. Anything else should be put in the bin as the Pain in the Drain campaign on our website explains. “Using wipes to pull a plane was a great way to demonstrate their strength and we’re now eyeing up larger, heavier vehicles to pit against our rope.” To view the plane pull challenge, visit For more information on Pain in the Drain, visit paininthedrain. ■ Photos courtesy of Southern Water

14 The Laser October 2013

The Great Escape

Launching rafaYOUTH Welling Air Cadet Tim Lawson was celebrating the launch of the Royal Air Forces Associations new youth organisation, rafaYOUTH, having being selected to attend RAF Brize Norton with four other young people from across the country. Air Marshall Sir Graham ‘Dusty’ Miller KBE, the national President of the Royal Air Forces Association, formally launched rafaYOUTH in the Vickers Room of the officers mess at RAF Brize Norton in front of a gathering of senior RAF Officers, including Air Marshal Baz North OBE, Deputy Commander Capability and Air Member for Personnel & Capability and Station Commander, Group Captain Stephen Lushington ADC, local dignitaries including the Mayor of Carterton, Mrs Lynn Little and local & national RAFA members and executive. He explained the need to formalise the links between the air minded youth of the cadet organisations, the Air Cadet Organisation, the Girls Venture Corps, Air Scouts and Air Explorer Scouts. With rafaYOUTH aimed at young people aged 13-17 years of age, who love adventure, aircraft and aviation, and who wish to

support the RAF Association, enjoy great benefits and win some amazing prizes,

AM Miller also highlighted the youngsters’ overwhelming desire that any such organisation should be formed around the social network Facebook. Preceding the formal launch, a Facebook page was established by rafaYOUTH community manager Helen Gibson, herself a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer. Within three weeks over 2000 ‘likes’ were received showing the immense popularity of the scheme. From these likes six were chosen to attend the day (although illness prevented one attendee). Arriving early on Friday morning, the five lucky winners were first taken to RAF Brize Norton’s VC10 flight simulator to try their hand at landing the VC10 into Kai Tak, Hong Kong’s former airport renowned for the unnerving dog-leg descent through the sky scrapers of Hong Kong. Fortunately, Flt Lts Ian McNicholas and Phil Webb of 101 Squadron were on hand to guide the cadets in aviation skills and reset any ‘mishaps’. Next the cadets joined AM Miller, and the VIPs to witness the formal launch of rafaYOUTH and each was awarded a certificate of achievement by AM North. The entourage were then taken to the flight line to have a VIP tour of 10 Squadron’s brand new Voyager aircraft, and then on 99 Squadron’s new C-17 transport aircraft. The C-17 is so big that the whole entourage were able to have a comfortable buffet lunch in its hold. ISS Facility Services kindly coordinated and funded luncheon and refreshments, and provide a very large cake. Stewards from 216 & 10 Squadrons were on hand to ensure that all were well catered for. All were then transported back to to the officers mess for tea, coffee and farewells. The whole concept of a ‘Young RAFA’ group was conceived in April 2011 by Kris Cottier, unit commander of 358 Welling

Squadron ATC. Having received an email about the opportunities available for cadets within the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), he recognised that a cadet-link with RAFA was more appropriate to the needs of Air Cadets. 358 Welling Squadron and RAFA Bexleyheath & District branch already has fantastic links with each other, as a number of the unit’s staff also hold office within the RAFA branch. Bob Hounslow, RAFA Director of Membership at RAFA HQ instantly saw the potential in the proposal to formalise the bonds that already existed between the two groups. ‘Project Pathfinder’ was established with Brian Ramsey leading focus groups and speaking to Air Cadets, ACO staff and RAFA branches, slowly the concept took shape. Nicky Loveday then led the due process, bringing all the stake holders together. rafaYOUTH was formally launched 2 August 2013. rafaYOUTH formalises those strong links between the RAF Association and the Air Cadets, as Kris Cottier, recalls “When I first mentioned the whole concept to my most senior cadet on the squadron, about the cadets becoming part of RAFA she replied - But I thought we already were?” She went on to add, “rafaYOUTH is a fantastic and exciting development for aviation minded youth.” Vickers, the armament manufacturer founded 74 Crayford Squadron Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC, later 74 Squadron ATC) for the children of their factory workers. Crayford was a huge squadron with four detached flights within The London Borough of Bexley, one of which became 358 Welling Squadron. It is therefore apt that in the 70th Anniversary Year of RAFA that rafaYOUTH was launched within the Vickers room of RAF Brize Norton, and that Welling Air Cadet Tim Lawson was there to be a part of it”. ■ 15

The Great Escape

Recently, Air Cadets from 1015 (Horsham) Squadron worked behind the scenes to make Race for Life at Horsham Park a success. The cadets formed a line to channel the runners into their respective categories – runners, joggers and walkers - and helped start the race with Tom and Jack from the Heart Breakfast show. The cadets then handed out medals, water and snacks to runners as they crossed the finish line. After nearly all the runners had finished the cadets formed a ‘guard of honour’ for the last runner to cross the line. The Training Officer of 1015 (Horsham) Air Cadets, Pilot Officer Richard Foster said:

Romford Cadets 75 Cadets and Staff from 6F (Romford) Squadron Air Cadets undertook a sponsored stretcher carry over a weekend around Harold Wood Park. The aim of the weekend was to carry a weighted stretcher around the path network to make 75 miles within 24 hours. The 75 miles was chosen as 6F Squadron celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The event started at 11am Saturday and continued throughout the day and night until 11am Sunday morning with the Cadets and Staff taking 45 minutes shifts to get the stretcher around the course. The Cadets managed the distance and completed it with an hour to spare. Flight Lieutenant Richard Cottam the Squadron’s Commanding Officer said “it was hard work but

“Race for Life is an excellent event supporting a fantastic cause, and we are glad that we could be part of the first Race for Life in Horsham. We look forward to helping out next year” “Throughout the day the cadets were fantastic and I couldn’t tank them enough for all their efforts. So many people commented on how smart and wellmannered the cadets were. “ Charity Work is one of many activities offered by Horsham Air Cadets, they have the chance to do many activities including visits to RAF Stations, Adventure Training & the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. ■

everyone dug deep and gave it their all, they did really well and I am proud of them. I must also thank Harold Wood Sports Association who allowed us access the sports pavilion for the 24 hours without which we could not even contemplated the event. They have been incredibly supportive”. The money raised from the event will be used to update equipment on the Squadron such as training aids and adventure training equipment and help the Squadron minibus on the road. ■

On Wednesday 11th September cadets from 249 Hailsham (The Millennium) Squadron attended a Battle of Britain Celebration at Bowes House, Care Home in Hailsham, but they were in for a surprise. They thought they had been invited to help serve refreshments and to talk to residents and visitors who had gathered for the afternoon’s entertainment with a 1940’s war-time theme. However they were in for a nice surprise. At the end of the afternoon, Mrs Anne Morris, who is the customer relations manager for Bowes House, presented them with five new drums. Mrs Morris had first seen the cadets at their annual presentation evening in July. They had given a short display of their drumming skills using practice pads on tables. She was so impressed with their enthusiasm that she decided she wanted to raise the money for the real thing! She approached her employers Care UK, who run Bowes House and asked for funding for one drum. To her delight they came back offering funding for five drums. Officer Commanding Flt Lt Craig Thomson had known about the drums but had kept it secret from the cadets. He said it was worth it just to see the look of delight on the cadets’ faces. Flt Lt Thomson thanked Mrs Morris and Bowes House for the generous donation saying that this opened up lots of opportunities for the cadets. He hopes that next year the squadron will be able to put a Corps of Drums into Sussex Wings annual Band competition and that in the future they will lead the Hailsham’s Remembrance Parade. The drums were presented on behalf of Care UK by the Mayor of Hailsham Cllr J Bentley, who added to the surprise by announcing that she is planning to buy a Bass drum for the cadets. On Thursday 12th September Mrs Morris bought the drums to the squadron HQ. All the cadets were delighted with the gift and led by Cpl Nic Fenn gave her three hearty cheers. ■

16 The Laser October 2013

Photo: Cathy Watson Associates

Horsham Cadets Make Race for Life a Success

Drum Surprise

News Round-up

New Band Equipment for Welling Squadron Welling Air Cadets were celebrating this week with the arrival of their new band equipment, paid for by a £497 leaders grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation (JPF). Every year a JPF group is permitted to nominate an ‘outstanding leader’ to receive the JPF’s Adult award, and that individual may apply for additional JPF funding for a group project. Honorary President of the Squadron, Mr Peter Weston (80) outstanding leader for 2012 who is a diligent and long standing member of the unit, decided that this money should be used towards the improvement of the squadron band. Mr Weston said “ I am delighted that I am able to assist the cadets in this project. The band is the public face of 358 Welling Squadron and every year new cadets wish to be part of it”. This grant plus the squadron’s own fund-raising has enabled the acquisition of new equipment to replace pieces worn by fair ware and tear; drum straps, drum sticks, leg protectors and bugles. Also, two base drummer ‘leopard skins’ which are affectionately referred to as ‘Bandit & Mitzi’, named after aero-modelling instructor CI Brian Marsh’s pet cats. These items will enhance the cadets learning experience, improve performance capability and promote the overall public image of the band when they

play civic events such as the Bexleyheath Remembrance Parade in November. In addition to simply being musicians in the squadron band the cadets have the opportunity to use their musical skills to undertake the BTEC 2 diploma in Music via the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme skill section in drumming. Squadron Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Kris Cottier RAFVR(T) stated “Our heartfelt thanks to the Jack Petchey Foundation. Donations such as this allows to unit to continue to offer high calibre activities to the membership. But, in addition to these generous funds, we desperately need willing and capable adults, particularly those with previous military service, to volunteer their time to help train and develop the membership of the squadron”. ■

Air Cadets at Westminser Abbey

291 (Westminster) Squadron, Air Cadets along with cadets from the Army, Combined, Sea, Police and St John Ambulance Cadets, under the Command of Warrant Officer Roland Mackenzie, Officer Commanding 291(Westminster & Chelsea) Squadron formed a Guard of Honour at Westminster Abbey for the Lord Mayor of Westminster Civic Service in July 2013. The cadets also formed a Guard in the Abbey’s garden for the VIP reception which took place after the service. Among the VIP guests were the Lord Lieutenant of London Sir David Brewer, Deputy Leiutenant of Westminster Brigadier Paul Orchard Lisle, Col Hugh Purcell Chief Executive RFCA and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Stringer RAF.. The Air Cadets from Westminster Squadron were Corporal Filipe Jesus (17), Corporal Omar Shafi (16) and Cadet Sananu Avadzi (16). ■

Erith Visit Manston Education Day Cadets from 1579 (Erith) Squadron Air Training Corps visited the Education Day at this year`s Manston Airshow. This event is the first airshow to be held at Manston in over 20 years. The day before the airshow opened to the public, the cadets took part in the airshows “Education Day”. They learned about different career opportunities within the Military Services and were able to talk to veterans of past conflicts. The day started with a short presentation from staff of the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum. Cadets were then able to speak veterans of the conflict and were able to handle some of the artifacts from the museums collection. One of the highlights of the day was a guided tour of the only remaining Avro Vulcan that is flying in the world. Vulcan XH558 know as ‘The Spirit of Great Britain’

which has been restored by the “Vulcan to the Sky Trust”. The highlight of the tour was meeting various members of the crew who took part in ‘Operation Corporate’, now known as the Falkland Islands Conflict. The cadets were also able to speak staff from DFTDC Manston and try on some of their equipment. The day ended with visits to the both the Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum and Manston Museum. ■ RIGHT: Cadets with the crew of the Vulcan


Around the Region

Remembering Flight Lieutenant Richard Reynell

Cadets Meet Sir Chris

On the 7th September 1940, the Luftwaffe embarked on a massive daylight bombing raid over London. Only six of the Hurricane aircraft sent up to defend the skies, returned to Tangmere that day. In Blackheath, Greenwich, an aircraft was reported to have been seen falling from the sky and began to break up. At St. Ursula’s Convent on Croom’s Hill, a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine crashed through the roof bursting into flames. Other parts of the aircraft fell in the area between the A2 main road (Blackheath Hill), West Grove and across a small park area named The Point. A Flight Lieutenant was blown out of the disintegrating cockpit, unable to deploy his parachute, he was found near the intersection of Dartmouth Row and Dartmouth Grove. He was reportedly found to be alive but sadly succumbed to his terrible injuries before he could be taken to hospital. These were the last moments of Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell, an Australian born pilot who gave his life defending London during the Battle of Britain. On 28 June the Air Cadets of 56 (Woolwich) Squadron were invited to attend and participate in the setting of a memorial stone in Blackheath in

When Sussex cadets, as part of the Kit Plane Team, found out that British Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy was also at Goodwood Revival it was difficult to hold them back, knowing that he has a strong link with Air Cadets! Sir Chris was at Goodwood to drive a 1964 Austin Mini Cooper S owned by Andrew Ruhan and when he returned to the Paddock after his first race in the St Mary’s Trophy, the cadets were there to greet him. Sergeant Thomas Willson said: “I congratulated Sir Chris and told him we’re really excited about him becoming Honorary Ambassador.” Sir Chris replied that it was an honour to have been asked. Pictured with Sir Chris are Flight Sergeant James Hildrew, Sergeant Thomas Willson, Corporal Aaron Wingate and Sergeant Naomi Easterbrook, all from 461 (Chichester) Squadron. We all look forward to an opportunity for Sir Chris Hoy to attend an event in Sussex in the future. ■

remembrance of Flt Lt Richard Reynell. The memorial stone has been set in The Point, the park area where parts of his hurricane were found. The Cadets were asked to represent the Air Cadet Organisation and the Royal Air Force. The Cadets formed a Guard of Honour and the Squadron Band was invited to perform from its repertoire. Cadet Warrant Officer Sani said that he “enjoyed the day, particularly as people came out in good spirits to pay their respects and remember the Flight Lieutenant. The weather could have been better but about a hundred people still came.” Despite the weather, the Cadets joined the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, local dignitaries and MPs as well as members of the local press. Flt Lt Mark Bird, Officer Commanding 56 Squadron said, “it is sad that the sacrifices of Flt Lt Richard Reynell are being forgotten but now with the setting of this memorial stone we can help to keep his memory and achievements alive. It was such a privilege for the Squadron to be invited and to be asked to provide a guard of honour as well as provide a band accompaniment.” ■

18 The Laser October 2013

Back Chat

Epping Cadets Keep up the “Back Chat” 414 Squadron Epping & North Weald were first inspired to set up the ‘Back Chat’ project in January 2012. Aimed at building relationships between local teenagers and elderly communities the project organised it’s first event at Wheelers Farm Gardens Sheltered Housing Community in April that year. Since then the cadets have arranged eight events for the residents and have built a strong and lasting relationship. On Sunday 1st September eight cadets spent the last weekend of the summer holidays cleaning and tidying outdoor laundry drying and patio seating areas of moss and weeds. Refreshments were provided for the hard working teenagers by residents

who came out of their homes to thank the young people for their practical help. Resident Sylvia said “It is lovely to know we can call on these young cadets for help with our jobs. Residents enjoy seeing them helping out and having an opportunity to chat with them.” Squadron Commanding Officer, Flt Lt John Hawkins said “I’m proud that our cadets continue to show commitment to helping the community and building relationships with the elderly. We are never short of teenage volunteers for these events.” Cadet Kieran Thompson, 15yrs, said “The time spent helping the elderly was beneficial to the residents of Wheelers Farm and rewarding for me.” ■

Epping Cadets Share Balloon Race Winnings Two members of the Epping Women’s Institute shared a £200 cash first prize during a presentation by the Epping Air Cadets. Enid Lake and Betty Farringdon were guests at the parade night at 414 Squadron Headquarters in Epping High Street. The cadets had released helium balloons at Epping Town Show to raise money for their ‘Back Chat’ community project which builds relationships between teenagers and elderly communities. The balloon race started as the colourful conclusion to the Epping Festival 2013 at Stonards Hill on Sunday 7th July. The cadets plotted the returns of balloon race tickets as they headed across London and through the southern counties. Included in the three dozen tickets returned was one found by ‘Lady’ the

black Alsatian in a garden in Guildford, Surrey. Although not the furthest travelled balloon, the cadets rewarded Lady by sending a bone and a letter explaining the good cause. This prompted the dog’s owners to write back to say that due to their age they had thought the project a very worthwhile cause. They enclosed a donation and a photo of Lady with her new bone. After one calendar month the winning ticket number 27 returned from Portsmouth, 80 miles from Epping as the crow flies. Enid received a surprise visit at home from Sergeant Adrianne Mercer, 16yrs, to break the good news. Sgt Mercer said “Enid was really excited when I told her and straight away said she was going to text Betty. I think texting sounds like a funny thing for older people to do and it made me smile - it just shows we have more in common than

we think.” The prize was presented by Corporal Rosie Mercer, 15yrs, co-founder of the project, which has been in existence for 18 months and has resulted in frequent visits by the cadets to Wheelers Farm Gardens sheltered housing community in North Weald. After the presentation Enid, 82, said “I saw a story about the ‘Back Chat’ project in the paper last week - I think it’s great the youngsters are doing what they are; you only usually hear about the bad ones, not the good.” Betty, 89yrs, who used to be in the Territorial Army in the 1950’s and was also Brown Owl to 4th Epping Brownies for 20 years said “Meeting the young people here today has reminded me of things I did back then, like learning to drive in a 500 weight lorry with the T.A. 60 years ago.” Betty, who had also read the newspaper article about the cadets helping with gardening, asked the cadets for help with her weeding and they were happy to volunteer for the future. Enid said “We both want to thank the cadets so much for our prize and for their hospitality this evening.” When asked, Betty said “My daughter told me to spend the money on myself. I think I will go to Pretty Woman!” Cadet Joe Tinsley, 15yrs, said “We all find working on this project very rewarding. It has been good to meet the winners and for them to benefit from the project too.” ■


At the Airshows Every year Air cadets from across the country head to the excitement of the airshow. They don’t just go for the spectacle of the aerobatic displays, the cadets go to help. In fact many airshows would not operate in the way they do without the assistance provided by the Air Cadets. This also extends to helping fundraise for the RAF’s charities. This year cadets from LaSER visited the Royal International Air Tattoo, Eastbourne Airbourne, Shoreham and Wheels and Wings airshows.

Cadets Support Service Charities at Eastbourne Airbourne The cadets attending Eastbourne Airbourne have been helping out not only the RAF but also the Service charities, including RAFA. Cdt Jake Batchelor of 54 (Eastbourne) Sqn and Cpl James Sheriff of 1218 (Newhaven) Sqn stopped for a photo (Below) during their quest to encourage people to donate to a Raffle and guess the name of the RAFA Teddy Bear.

Cadet Dom Hawkins of 54 Sqn and Cdt Dan Carter of 1218 Sqn helping out on the RAFA Stand, pictured below and pictured left is, Cdt Huw Curry of 54 on the left, Cdt Alex Parry of 304DF in the RAFA roundel suit, and Cdt Jack Judge of 54 on the right. All were helping out RAFA to raise funds. ■

20 The Laser October 2013

At the Airshow

The Reds at Eastbourne The Red Arrows have a new marquee in which they sign autographs for members of the public. To help keep the queue going smoothly cadets attending the airshow were asked to provide assistance. Pictured are Cdt Kaitlan Humbles and Cdt Lesley Morton both of 304 (Hastings) Sqn and Cdt Amy Gammon of 249 (Hailsham) Sqn. ■

RIAT 2013

Cadets from across LaSER spent a week helping at the recent Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford. This is one of the UK’s largest airshows and attracts close to 100,000 visitors over the weekend. This year, the excellent weather meant that crowd numbers were especially high. The ATC always play a vital role in the running of this airshow; in fact, it could not run without their help. This year, a total of 582 cadets and staff helped with a wide variety of tasks, including manning the flight-line, helping at the VIP enclosures, entrances and exits, making packed lunches and helping at the Flight Centre (where all the visiting pilots book in and out). On the Monday after the show, they played a vital part in returning the airfield to operational status by carrying out a mass ‘FOD plod’ before relaxing in the sun and watching the aircraft depart. The cadets all worked really hard, with breakfast typically at 6am and often not getting back to camp until after 5pm. However it was not all work and no play. The cadets worked in shifts so they had plenty of free time to enjoy the airshow. Their ATC uniforms gave them unrivalled access to the aircraft and their crews, especially on the non-public days away from the crowds. Most of the pilots were aware of the importance of the role that the cadets play in the running of the airshow, and were happy to let them on board their aircraft, answer questions and sign autographs. Highlights included meeting all the Red Arrows and getting their autographs, and seeing them flying in

formation with the British Airways A380. We received many positive comments from the public as well as the show organisers on how polite, well-mannered and hard-working the cadets were. They were a real credit to the Air Cadet Organisation. Picture below are some of the cadets from Surrey Wing who helped out at RIAT. ■

Wheels and Wings Veterans Area Each year on the Sunday of Wings and Wheels within the hospitality area there is a special area for Veterans. This year amongst the cadets helping out were Cdt Sophie Wales and Cdt Olivia Francis of 2464 (Storrington) Sqn. Picture of Sir Winston Churchill courtesy of the Reg Day Memorial Museum. ■

Cadets Meet the Dambusters Attendance at the recent Wings and Wheels Show at Dunsfold Aerodrome gave cadets from Sussex Wing the chance to meet a past and a present member of 617 Squadron in this the year of the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters. Wing Commander John Bell, MBE DFC, who did two tours as a Lancaster crew member, the second of which was as part of 617 Sqn during D Day, is also President of 2464 (Storrington) Squadron. They also met Flying Officer Matt Brighty, who is a current member of 617 Squadron and coincidentally an ex-cadet from 2464 Squadron. Both spent time talking to and answering questions posed by the cadets. Cadet Greg Knight of 226 (Brighton) Sqn, aged 13 years and in the Corps for just a few months had been watching a documentary just a few days ago about the Dambusters and was very keen to ask Wg Cdr Bell, "How often were you called out on missions" and received the reply, "Once or twice a week whilst on 617 Sqn". He also learnt that Wg Cdr Bell was a bomb aimer on the Lancaster aicraft. Wg Cdr Bell and Fg Off Brighty are pictured below with the cadets.. Cadet Lisa Baker of 1408 DF added on Facebook, “Cadets from 1408 and 1408 DF also met Wg Cdr Bell and had a chat with him, some of us have met him before when he came down and gave a talk at the DF about his achievements. We also met Wg Cdr Baker, who was Squadron leader at No. 1 Sqn and the Harrier Training school who has also flew a variety of planes, and, along with helping out at 2464 sqn and being friends with Mr Bell, happens to be my Grandfather “ ■


At the Airshow

Good to see you at Shoreham again Sir

Surprise Guest In the Veterans Area at Shoreham It is amazing who attends as a guest in the Veterans Area. Once again cadets from Sussex Wing were on duty to assist the Royal Air Forces Association at Shoreham Airshow and the team, led by Pilot Officer

It does not seem that it was August 2009 when staff and cadets from Sussex Wing met Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, GCB, ADC at Shoreham Airshow, just after he had been appointed Chief of the Air Staff, so it was a rather poignant meeting once again this year at Shoreham just prior to his retirement from the Royal Air Force. Sir Stephen has always had time to stop and talk to the cadets and staff and once again he did not disappoint, spending time talking to those who greeted him upon his arrival at the Showground , and at the Kit Plane and Recruitment Trailer. As he arrived at the VIP Enclosure on the flight line he posed for a photograph with Corporal Tegan Page of 1015 (Horsham) Sqn and Sergeant Athol Ruston of 226 (Brighton No 2) Sqn. Sir Stephen was keen to know at what stage they both were in their studies at school and which were favourite subjects. On the question of the future Cpl Page felt that the experience gained in the ATC along with the subjects she is studying, Travel and Tourism, Photography, Communication and Culture, would put her in a good position for the future as her plan is to become an Air Hostess. Sgt Ruston said, "I told Sir Stephen that I was studying Maths, Economics and Art and confessed that the Maths was very hard! He was also interested to know that I am either thinking of joining the RAF or becoming an Architect" We all wish Sir Stephen the very best for the future. ■

Michelle Sheriff, spotted this very famous person, although a Re-enactor, bearing a remarkable resemblance to a famous Second World War Prime Minister. ■

Essex Air Cadets See Red Whilst on annual camp at RAF Marham, Air Cadets from Essex Wing got a nice surprise when the red arrows preformed a display for a visiting Royal to the station. The cadets watched the display from the airfield and got to the chance to meet the pilots and look around the aircraft. Cadets from Essex wing ended a fantastic annual camp at RAF Marham on a high, when it was announced that the Red Arrows would be preforming a low level display for VIP’s that were visiting RAF Marham, it was also announced the Red Arrows would be landing. After a rapid change to the training program the staff got permission to take the cadets on to the airfield to watch the display. As the whole thing was very last minute and subject to change it was not announced to the cadets until a few hours before the display. The cadets where very excited. It the mean time the camp staff tried to get clearance to take the cadets on to

the pan to visit the aircraft, after a lot of contacting difference people and only an hour before the Red Arrows displayed clearance was given. After the display finished the cadets boarded the coach to head back to camp or so they thought. As we headed off around the edge of the airfield the cadets spotted the Red Arrows on the pan and were all trying to get a snap of them on the ground. We turn off the ring road and headed towards the pan and by this time the cadets were buzzing, it was like watching children at Christmas the excitement was so high. And as if that was not good enough as the cadets stepped off the coach they could see the pilots walking across the tarmac towards them, this heightened the buzz even more. The cadets only got to spend around 20 minutes there, but you could see by all the smiles it was enough. ■

22 The Laser October 2013

Photo: Canterbury College

Cadet Forces join to launch Kent Cadet Week Kent Cadets have joined forces with Canterbury College to support their local communities as part of the College’s Armed Forces Community Covenant. Commanding Officers from Kent’s Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps, Sea Cadet Corps and SERFCA (South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association) signed the Covenant at a special event on Tuesday, August 27. The signing event also celebrated the official launch of Kent Cadet Week, the UK’s first campaign to celebrate the history, heritage, achievements and ambitions of cadets around the county. The Armed Forces Community Covenant is an agreement between Canterbury College and local Armed Forces to work more closely together to benefit each other and the community. Kent Cadet Week will mark the first project the cadet forces, Canterbury College and its partners undertake together. It took place from Saturday, 12 October to Friday, 18 October 2013, and aims to raise awareness of Kent’s cadet forces, recruit adult volunteer instructors, enrol Cadets and generate funding for local squadrons and units. To kick-start the week of open evenings and demonstrations, the various cadet organisations worked together in their town centres and high streets on Saturday, 12 October to hold displays and talks. As well as the Commanding Officers, a cadet from each force was at the covenant signing. Sgt Sadie Young-Browne from 312 (City of Canterbury) Air Training Corps, Able Cadet James Ashby from Herne Bay Sea Cadet Corps and Cadet Company Sergeant Major Liam Cobb, 17, from Herne Bay Detachment of ‘A Company’

Army Cadet Force. Sgt Sadie Young-Browne, 17, from Canterbury said: “I’ve been a cadet three years and have got so much out of it, my confidence has grown so much. We get to do a lot. I’ve had experience at the controls of planes, helicopters and gliders. I’ve been shooting and I’ve done field craft.” Able Cadet James Ashby, 15, from Herne Bay, said: “I wanted to be part of the Armed Forces since I was about 10 years old. My aunty told me about the Sea Cadets and it sounded really fun and exciting. I joined as soon as I could.” Kent Cadet Week received praise from Cadet bosses. Colonel Jeremy Wilson TD, Commandant of Kent Army Cadet Force. He said: “I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of highlighting the opportunities available to young people and adult volunteers.” Col. Wilson described Kent Cadet Week as an excellent example of direct co-operation between Kent’s uniformed cadet organisations to raise their profile. Canterbury College organised Kent Cadet Week, with the support of Kent County Council, SERFCA (South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association) and the KM Group. To find out more about Kent Cadet Week, go to www. or www. kentcadetweek ■

When Ben met Jack... Welling Air Cadet, Drum Major Benjamin (Ben) White had the privilege to met Jack Petchey, whose Jack Petchey Foundation supports numerous clubs and schools across the London Borough of Bexley, London and the home counties, at a recent Bexley Civic event.

Sculptress Frances Segalman was commissioned by the London Borough of Bexley to create a bust of HM Queen Elizabeth II for the clock tower in Bexleyheath's Market place. The resultant sculpture was formally presented to Bexley's Mayor, councillor Alan Downing at the last formal civic event of the year. Ben, a recipient of a Bexley Civic Award for achievement was there as a guest of Bexley Borough, whilst Jack was there in a private capacity as a friend of Ms Segalman. Ben who has profound disability, previously received an 'outstanding achievement' award from the Jack Petchey Foundation and when he realised Jack was there he insisted on meeting him. Encouraged to wait until the end of evening he finally realised his wish when Jack kindly took a few moments to speak to Ben personally and enquired on his achievements both within the JPF and Bexley. Jack encouraged Ben to continue with his activities and do more. Unit leader, Flight Lieutenant Kris Cottier [RAFVR(T)] stated “It was very kind of Jack Petchey to take a few moments from a private evening to engage with Ben. Jack is a true hero of young people in London and without his ongoing support many clubs and society would struggle to provide the kind of activities that allows these youngsters to be 'outstanding achievers'. ■ 23

All Change at the top

Meet the New Bosses of Kent and Sussex Wings After nearly five years as Officer Commanding Kent Wing ATC, Wing Commander Greg Garrod-Bell RAF VR(T) has handed over Command to his successor Wing Commander Russ Goodayle RAF VR(T). The formal handover was conducted in front of a number of Officers, WO‘s and NCO’s who congratulated the new Officer Commanding on his appointment and wished farewell to the departing Wing Commander who leaves to take up his new role as Regional Gliding Officer at London and South East Region HQ, RAF Northolt. On handing over Command, Wing Commander Garrod- Bell said; “Over the last four and a half years I have seen many incredible achievements by our cadets and staff which leave me with a sense of pride and great respect for all in Kent Wing. Moving to a Regional Staff Officer role, it is of course with some sadness that I hand over command of Kent Wing, however, I know I am leaving the Wing in good hands with a strong staff team. I would like to thank all the cadets and staff for their commitment and enthusiasm and look forward to seeing Kent Wing continue to excel in the future.” In reply, Wing Commander Goodayle said; “Having joined Kent Wing as a cadet in 1977 and having served in many roles since then, it is a great honour for me, personally, to have been appointed as Officer Commanding Kent Wing. Kent is a strong, successful Wing, with dedicated, enthusiastic staff and cadets. There are many new and exciting opportunites ahead and I look forward to leading the Wing to continued success in the future.” ■

Command of Sussex Wing has been handed over by Wing Commander Martin Haswell to his successor, Wing Commander Kevin Tucker. The formal ceremony took place at the Annual Wing Field Weekend in the presence of Group Captain Les Hakin, London and South East Region Commandant. Wing Commander Haswell said; "I would like to thank all the Wing Staff and Adventure Training Team for an excellent Wing Field Weekend. With some 380 cadets on parade it was a pleasant end to my fifteen years in command of Sussex Wing. The type of activities has changed little during that time but the formation of the specialist training teams and sector activities has dramatically improved the delivery of the 'Cadet Experience'. I was also pleased to have been involved with some major developments in the Air Cadets including: the introduction of a common ACO wide JNCO and SNCO Courses; and the introduction of the adult SNCOs, which was a significant change for the better. Squadron Leader Kevin Tucker brings enormous skill, experience and enthusiasm to the demanding role of Wing Commander and I am confident he will continue to take Sussex Wing forward. I hope to remain part of the Air Cadets in some capacity in the future and wish Sussex Wing all the best going forwards." Wing Commander Tucker, who joined Sussex Wing as a cadet in 1975 and has wide experience in many roles, said; "I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed to command Sussex Wing as of 24 September 2013 and I look forward to working with all our staff and cadets in the coming years. It is my sincerest hope that I will be able to serve Sussex Wing well over the coming years. We have made great progress in many fields and provide exceptional value to our members. I look forward to meeting you all in the near future and going forward with success for Sussex Wing, our cadets and our adult staff at all levels." ■

Four in a Row

Guildford Squadron were victorious in the recent Surrey Wing Drill Competition for the fourth year in a row Following on from outstanding success at the preliminary area competition, 261 were in high spirits as they arrived at the wing competition, rivalled only by the extremely high temperature of the mid 20s at only 9am! After a quick recce of the square by the Cadet Warrant Officer and the Drill Instructor, the squad went to prepare for the inspection. Jumpers were left right to the last minute, to save the cadets from overheating! The inspection was marked by Sergeant Austen of the RAF Regiment and after a smart turn out the squad marched out onto the square for the nine or so nail biting minutes that it would take to performe the sequence. And what a sequence! Despite the scorching sun, 261 displayed one of their best drill sequences; it would take some beating to better that performance! As they came off the square, the cadets were rewarded with bottles of ice cold water from a container full of ice, kindly organised last minute by Sergeant Linthwaite. It was certainly needed by the cadets! There was nothing else

24 The Laser Spring October2013 2013

w for 261 Sqn

the squadron could do now apart from await the results later in the day. There was the small matter of the Banner Drill competition to get through but this only involved a few of the squad. Again this was another brilliant performance by the banner bearer and escorts. Eventually the time came for final parade and the results. 261 won the best inspection and the banner competition! Unfortunately the DI of the squad, Flight Sergeant Pound, came second in the Best DI category but then came the big one – the Drill award. The winner was… 261 Guildford Sqn! For the fourth year in a row Guildford had won, there was only a few points in it from second placed 350 Squadron but a win is a win. Many thanks to the staff team of Sergeants Cooper, Linthwaite and Aspin for the training and logistical support and Civilian Instructor Marshall for keeping the motivation going! Congratulations go to the winning squad for all their hard work. The squad now move to the Region Competition in October (results in the next edition of the Laser) . At the final parade Sergeant Austen was awarded a Surrey Wing Shield in recognition of all his help and assistance to the Wing over many years. This year marks his last with the Corps as he moves to concentrate on his full time career with the Royal Air Force. ■

Day at the Palace The pinnacle of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is the coveted Gold Award. Reaching this level needs determination and patience. Civilian Instructor Victoria Scarff of 56 (Woolwich) Squadron reached this high and as all Gold Award achievers got her day at the palace. Here is her account of the day. Walking along Pall Mall, getting closer and closer to St James’s palace, you start to notice them. Proud young adults in their best suits and dresses, ready to meet Prince Edward and finally receive their certificates after waiting so very long for them. The day is 12th September 2013, and today is the day of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation. Joining the queue to enter I am looking around for that distinctive blue uniform, the uniform of an Air Cadet. My eyes rest for a second on the person in front of me, a grey suite he wears along with a familiar face. Benjamin Gibbons of 6F, the first person I know! After hanging up coats and bags we were guided into the first room. A large room lined with rows upon rows of chairs on both sides. After a short journey I finally arrived at my room, the Throne Room. Walking inside it was one of the smallest, but it was the most spectacular. There I was, standing in a room with the most famous seat in the world, still adorned with the drapes of Queen Victoria. Everything was red and gold and there were giant paintings around the marble fire place. As I was seated a very familiar face came over to say hello, Sqn Ldr Helen Gerrish, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Officer for Air Cadets. Sqn Ldr Gerrish pointed out a team member from my expedition in the Bavarian mountains, Germany. It was Abigail Pearson, the only other girl in my team. As more and more award holders arrived there were more people I recognised. Luke Benjafield of 241 and Dominic Brown of 2324 were quick to take up seats. Finally with everyone settled we were asked to assemble ourselves into a semi circle ready for the arrival of the Prince. After a short wait he emerged from gold framed doors and soon started to make jokes, after talking with some of the

new award holders he turned round and asked the parents if they had earnt the award them self, only a few had and even fewer had Gold. After the Princes departure we were once again seated, this was for the presentation of the certificates. Alice Beer, our celebrity, who used to be on Watchdog, soon got down to business. Making each certificate she handed out special with a little joke or a few words. She really enjoyed the honour of presenting them, and it wasn’t the first time to. Third from last my name was finally called. Up I went, trying my best not to fall over, to collect it. The bit that made my certificate special was “I love your dress”. I felt rather pleased, last time I dressed up it was Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty saying those words. Two in a row isn’t bad. After the ceremony was over I got to catch up with my assessor, Lt Col Mike Gerrish, husband to Helen Gerrish. After reminiscing for a while about Germany it was soon time to leave, time to say goodbye to the red carpets and walls, goodbye to the Gold trimmings and goodbye to the throne of the British monarchy. ■


Armed Forces Day Celebrations Uniform to Work Day An Air Cadet adult volunteer from Surrey has swapped his usual office clothes for RAF uniform as part of the annual Uniform to Work Day. Flight Sergeant James Parker, who’s day job is a Senior Research Engineer with construction test and research organisation – BSRIA, normally only wears his uniform while training the cadets of 1075 Camberley Squadron. Uniform to work day is an annual event as part of the build up to Armed Forces Day where the part time volunteers of the Armed Forces family wear their military uniforms to work. This is designed to highlight the roles played by the reserve and cadet forces. James joined the Air Training Corps back in 1991 as a fresh faced 13 year old. Having reached the age limit he rejoined as a volunteer Civilian Instructor before going into uniform as an adult Senior NCO in 2005. In addition to helping run 1075 Squadron, currently the Best in Surrey, James is also Deputy Media and Communications Officer for Surrey Wing. Talking about the day he said, “I was surprised and delighted at the reactions I got wearing my uniform at work today. I had expected a few stares and giggles, but it sparked conversations with colleagues with whom I had hardly spoken to, revealing their prior service in the armed forces or membership of one of the cadet organisations.” “It always surprises me how many people have been part of the cadet forces,” he added. “There is always someone with a story of their first glider flight, or the itchy uniform they had to wear.” Talking of the crossovers of skills between the two organisations James commented, “Some skills are directly transferable between both the cadet forces and my day job, such as teamwork, leadership and management. Having the experience of training cadets has also led to me being involved in delivering training courses offered by my company.”

Pilot Officer Richard Sage, who is the Adjutant at 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron in Sussex Wing participated in Wear Your Uniform to Work day. Plt Off Sage bases himself at The Werks in Hove at a co-working space because his employers, a digital agency, are based in Oxford. In the picture you can see his boss in Oxford on the laptop! Richard said, “During the day there was a lot of interest in what VR(T) is, why I was wearing my uniform, and comments such as “That’s awesome”. The comments that I received made me feel proud to be wearing the uniform.” Sergeant Richard Roberts from 312 (City of Canterbury) goes to College in his uniform Richard, a Marketing Manager at Canterbury College was seen by regular students and staff during the day as well as more than 1,300 people visiting the College for its annual June Open Day. There was lots of interest in the Uniformed Public Services courses, which can lead to careers in the Armed Forces. Richard was joined by Uniformed Public Services lecturer, Corporal Darren Bashford from the Military Police, who wore his army uniform. Richard said: “Today was a really good opportunity for Darren and I to show our colleagues and the local community how we are involved in the armed forces. We spent the day explaining to people why we were dressed in uniform and it gave us the opportunity to talk about our involvement in cadets and the military police, and how the College has a unique Military Covenant with the armed forces.” Both Richard and Darren also took part in National Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29th June. ■ PHOTOS - TOP: FS James Parker discusses a project with a colleague. CENTRE: Plt Off Sage teleconferences with his boss. BOTTOM: Sgt Roberts stands outside Canterbury College with Cpl Bashford an Army Reservist.

26 The Laser October 2013

Surrey Wing Paraded at Guildford Cathedral with Cadets from 261 Sqn rasiing the Armed Froces Day Flag for the Lord Lt, Dame Sarah Goad

Air Cadets raise flag for Armed Forces Day at City Hall Air Cadets from 31 (Tower Hamlets), 50F (Lambeth), 241 (Wanstead & Woodford), 282 (East Ham), 452 (Hornchurch) & 56 (Woolwich) Squadrons attended the Armed Forces Day Flag Raising Ceremony held at London’s City Hall with The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The Mayor was joined by members of the armed forces to honour the bravery of servicemen and women in a special flagraising ceremony. Representatives from the London Assembly, the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force were at City Hall to see the Armed Forces Flag raised by two Cadets, one of them was Cadet Sergeant Sudi Gharti (17) from 56 (Woolwich) Squadron, who said; “I felt nervous but honored be to chosen to raise the flag in such surroundings, it was a fantastic experience.” Accompanied by musicians from the Royal Anglian Regiment, the ceremony is part of celebrations across London to mark Armed Forces Day on 29th June. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said; “Our servicemen and women are a key part of all London’s communities and today’s event is particularly important following the shocking events in Woolwich”. ■

Armed Forces Day weekend and a band that just keeps playing! The Cadets of 56 (Woolwich) Squadron demonstrated their commitment and enthusiasm over the Armed Forces Day weekend. A lot of hard work has been put into the band practices, organisation and preparation for the weekend’s events. The weekend began with the setting of the memorial in remembrance of Flt Lt Richard Carew Reynell in Blackheath, Greenwich on Friday 28 June (See page 18) Armed Forces Day saw the Cadets taking part in the annual event at the Woolwich Barracks to support and pay their respects to the servicemen and women who have given so much for our country. The Cadets spent the day representing the ATC at the barracks and took part in the celebration of armed servicemen and women throughout the country. The Squadron band made a number of appearances throughout the day along with other military units who were cheered on by the general public. The band managed to drum up a large amount of interest in the Squadron as the recruitment stall had a steady flow of interest throughout the day. The weekend was brought to an end with an appearance in the Armed Forces Day Parade through the London Borough of Southwark on Sunday 30 June. The 56 Squadron band was invited to lead the Cadet contingency in the military march

past which ended at The Imperial War Museum for a ceremony of recognition and commitment in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park. The parade was the largest in southeast London since the Second World War and the Cadets proudly performed a number of songs from their repertoire whilst marching behind The Band of The Life Guards and The Pipes and Drums of the London Regiment. The ceremony in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park was led by the Bishop of Southwark and the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces with The General Salute led by The Lord Lieutenant, Sir David Brewer. It honoured and remembered servicemen and women, past and present, who have given their lives to serve this country. The ceremony finished with Cadet Flight Sergeant Fairweather playing The Last Post on his bugle followed by a two minute silence, prayers and the presentation of The Honorary Freedom of the Borough to The Royal Marines Reserve (City of London), The London Regiment and 256 (City of London) Field Hospital (Volunteers). To round off the military presence in the park the 56 Squadron band gave a well received static performance to a large number of military and non-military spectators. This was also the last parade day for Cadet Warrant Officer Sani who the Squadron said a fond farewell to. They are hoping to see him return to the Squadron in the future as a member of the staff team. Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Mark Bird commented “this weekend has been a great achievement for the Squadron and the Cadets. It has been a great honour to have been asked to take part in so many important events. It’s important that we keep alive the memories of those servicemen and women who have done so much for this country. I would like to thank all the Cadets for their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication which has made this weekend such a success.” ■

1063 (Herne Bay) Squadron Cadets Show Support For Our Armed Forces On Armed Forces Day 2013 On Saturday 29th June, Cadets from 1063 (Herne Bay) Squadron took part in their local Armed Forces Day event to help raise awareness of the contributions our Armed Forces have made to our our Country. ■


Sussex Wing’s First Band Camp The very first Sussex Wing Band Camp has taken place at Crowborough Training Centre. The weekend provided an opportunity for musicians from both the Marching Band and the Pipes and Drums Band to access tuition by experienced staff. The main teaching and practice sessions took place in the Regional Activity Centre with the focus on perfecting the music in preparation for performances over the two days of Shoreham Airshow. Being able to play whilst marching requires a good deal of practice and this was incorporated into the programme for the weekend with help from the Wing Warrant Officer. An invitation to join the band for the weekend was extended to two musicians from within the London and South East Region, Sergeant James HIll of 1381 (West Drayton) Squadron, who plays the Euphonium and Flight Sergeant Alex Miller 354 (Dover) Squadron who plays the bagpipes. Alex said; “It is good to see some of the other pipers and drummers in London and South East and to see the way the whole band in Sussex plays, especially the drums. I was invited by Civilian Instructor Sally Morante of 19 (Crawley) Squadron, who looks after the Pipers and Drummers in Sussex.” Already an experienced piper, Alex has previously played for HM the Queen at Balmoral in the closing act of her Jubilee with the Army Cadet Force Pipes and Drums. Alex has an ambition to learn Scottish fiddling and would like to take a degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. New to the band and attending only

her second practice session, Corporal Claire Thomson of 1343 (East Grinstead) Squadron, who has been playing the saxaphone for five years said; “This weekend has been good fun, with lots of practice of music in sections. It has definitely boosted my confidence as a musician.” A bonus over the weekend was the attendance of Bugler Nathan Crossley from the Royal Marine Band Portsmouth, a former cadet at 461 (Chichester) Squadron, where he was in the band and played drums, trumpet and bugle. Nathan was attending at the invitation of Sussex Wing Bandmaster. Nathan spent the Saturday coaching the drummers and working with them on drum parts for particular pieces of music, as well as static drums. On the Sunday he worked with the whole band looking at the finer points of a band display, ready for a final performance at the end of the day for Sussex Wing Officer Commanding, Wing Commander Martin Haswell. Nathan said; “I have been impressed with how the whole weekend of music came together and particularly with the Corps of Drums and Drum Majors who were immaculate on inspection on the Sunday morning. I look forward to working with the Band again in the future.” The whole weekend was the brainchild of Flight Sergeant Phil Mabbott, Sussex Wing Bandmaster, who said; “I am very proud of the musicians. The weekend of practice sessions has gone so well. The cadets have progressed and are ready for their performances at Shoreham Airshow. This is the first Band Camp we have had and my thanks go to the supporting staff for their efforts and the cadets for their excellence.” ■

28 The Laser October 2013

Medway Cadets Raise Money for RAFA

Flying like the Royals Cadets from 1454 (Harrow) Squadron got a treat when they visited 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt. The cadets got to experience a flight in the BAe 146, more commonly used to fly members of the Royal family. Here is an account of their day Arriving at RAF Northolt we were welcomed at the Squadron HQ by SAC Blue Ashton our cabin crew for the flight. Paperwork duly completed, we were taken on a short tour of the hangars where the squadron’s BAe 125’s are kept. Having savoured the visual joys of this lovely little aircraft, our next view was on the apron BAe 146 which were due to fly in. What a joy this aircraft is, although it is about 30 years old, it was in sparkling condition. Everything, yes everything gleamed. Having been warned that this was a pilot training flight and the “plane could move around a bit” we all took a tablet to ward off any possible effects and so enjoy the flight to its maximum. After taking our seats came the safety briefing and we all buckled up in great anticipation eagerly awaiting the take-off. We were not disappointed. - WOW! Brakes full on, engines at full power, none of this cissy stuff of gradually winding up the elastic and moving forward. We literally left of the blocks doing a good imitation of Usain Bolt. In no time we were up, up and away to 13,000 ft. Humberside only took 20 mins (this takes about three and a half hours in a car). This is the way to travel. A wonderfully smooth trip with England below bathed in continuous brilliant sunshine. After some practice aborted landings we changed course for Teesside Airport where a couple more

practice landings were undertaken before the final landing being a real one. This was to be our lunch stop while our sturdy 146 had her lunch – 8 tonnes of fuel. It is thirsty work carrying 10 cadets and two staff. After excellent RAF nourishment via a packed lunch off we were again but this time to the Isle of Man and Ronaldsway for more practice landings and navigation training. It turned out that ‘Blue’ was born in Castletown so a short detour was made so that she could show us her home! Back to the flying training. Our Captain, Flt Lt Keith Brown is a qualified VC10 pilot so what possible training could he need? Well a VC10 tanker is a wee bit bigger than a 146 so knowing the differing handling and instrument layouts is required. Besides a VC10 full of fuel is heavier, but only just, than a 146 with well fed cadets on board! Having undertaken a series of practice aborted landings we turn south for the fourth and next leg to Cardiff for approach practises. The scenery travelling down the coast of Cardigan Bay at 3,000 ft was gorgeous with the Black Mountains in clear view. The next leg was to be our last. Cardiff to Northolt. At this point it must be mentioned that all the cadets and staff had plenty of time in the jump seat and experienced the pilot’s eye view of the surrounding airspace all the time listing to the radio traffic and asking questions. Mention must be made of the invaluable parts played by all the crew, from Capt Flt Lt Keith Brown, Flt Lt Gav Drayside, SAC Blue Ashton and Mr Bruce Peat, SERCO ground engineer. They were all great sources of information and could not have been more helpful and considerate. ■

Air Cadets from the Medway Towns have raised £585.42 for the Royal Air Forces Association's Wings Appeal. Cadets and staff from 25 (Parkwood), 213 (City of Rochester) and 1039 (Gillingham) squadrons braved the pouring rain in the High Streets of Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham on support the fundraising drive. The cadets raised a total of £443.19 in the three Medway high streets, whilst other fundraising and donations from cadets during the past year raised a further £142.23. The Wings Appeal raises a significant amount of money for RAFA each year, which then supports various projects organised by the charity for the Royal Air Forces family to ensure that their dedication to their country does not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness. One of the initiatives currently being run by the Association is Storybook Wings, which helps to ease the pain felt by children whose parents are serving overseas. The Association provides facilities for parents to record a bedtime story and a personal message for their child, which is then edited with sound effects and sent to the child on a CD, so that it can be played to them while their parents are overseas. Sergeant (ATC) Andrew Bairnsfather, the Medway Towns Branch Wings Appeal Organiser, said "I'm pleased that once again Air Cadets in the Medway Towns have given their full support to the Wings Appeal. The RAFA does so much work for the RAF family, both current and serving, and the money we have raised will go some way in helping to ensure that their hard work and support can continue. The Association cannot continue to do that work without the hard work and dedication of volunteers, so I would like to thank the cadets and staff who gave up their time to raise money for such an important cause." ■


Awards & Appointments New staff are appointed in the Air Cadets all the time, whilst other staff and cadets are promoted or presented with awards. The next few pages will highlight achievements in the Region Civilian Instructors The following staff have recently been appointed as a Civilian Instructor in the Air Training Corps within the Region. Essex Wing D R Edwards, 494 (Stanstead Airport) Sqn J S Norton, 1312 (Southend) Sqn K R Haskins, 276 (Chelmsford) Sqn D J Harvey, 1312 (Southend) Sqn B Skeet, 308 (Colchester) Sqn S Burge, 1312 (Southend) Sqn Kent Wing D Horton-Clack, 25 (Parkwood) Sqn P R Miles, 2235 (Deal) Sqn H J Rowson, 305 (Ashford) Sqn P C Clack, 25 (Parkwood) Sqn H I Jefferies, 359 (Bexley Heath) Sqn N Thomas, 1579 (Erith School) Sqn M T Norton, 25 (Parkwood) Sqn T P Lissenden, 2316 (Sheppey) Sqn London Wing L Warrell, 9F (Islington) Sqn H O’Keefe, 2324 (Chigwell) Sqn E S Knight, 452 (Hornchurch) Sqn D J Newey, 34 (Balham & Tooting) Sqn J S Greenwood, 31 (Tower Hamlets) Sqn H Gohil, 444 (Shoreditch) Sqn E Inwusiribe, 291 (Westminster & Chelsea) Sqn E J Hoskins, No 4 (Overseas) Sqn B C C Gibbons, 6F (Romford) Sqn R Hassan, 33F (Battersea) Sqn T K W Hougaard, 46F (Kensington) Sqn D Patel, 34F (Balham & Tooting) Sqn C J Rivera, 33F (Battersea) Sqn

F Rousan, 46F (Kensington) Sqn A I Anjum, 82 (Wandsworth) Sqn M D Edmonds, 329 (Finsbury) Sqn Middlesex Wing H L Torbe, 2473 (Highlands & Southgate) Sqn H C Upcraft, 85 (Enfield & Southgate) Sqn M M C Beale, 114 (Ruislip & Northwood) Sqn A M M Galvin, 114 (Ruislip & Northwood) Sqn C Carter, 268 (Tottenham) Sqn Z Husin, 406 (Willesden) Sqn K Ramgoolam, 78 (Wembley) Sqn J Gurung, 78 (Wembley) Sqn Surrey Wing K Lyons, 261 (Guildford) Sqn W N Harris, 97 (Croydon) Sqn D C J Moyses, 1268 (Halsemere) Sqn H F Marshall, 261 (Guildford) Sqn K S Simms, 1408 (Dorking) Sqn M W Finch, 219 (Sutton & Cheam) Sqn S P J Russell, 1924 (Shirley) Sqn R Verrill, 285 (Coulsdon & Purley) Sqn O T Mileman, 1349 (Woking) Sqn N Shatchan, 1172 (Esher) Sqn Sussex Wing S Catt, XIX (Crawley) Sqn T Fox, 1218 (Newhaven) Sqn C MacKinnon, 45F (Worthing) Sqn J A Wragg, 45F (Worthing) 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 M J Cottee, 2531 (Woodham Ferrers) Sqn Reverend M McPherson, 1582 (Stanford-le-Hope) Sqn

Kent Wing Reverend M R Griffin, 2158 (Sevenoaks) Sqn Surrey Wing Reverend C N Lacey, 1349 (Woking) Sqn

30 The Laser October 2013

Awards & Appointments

Cadet Warrant Officer The following cadets have recently been promoted to Cadet Warrant Officer, the highest rank achievable by a cadet . Essex Wing CWO M Rowlinson, 1483 (Brentwood) Sqn CWO J O Smith, 999 (Great Dunmow) Sqn Surrey Wing CWO B Chilman-Hay, 135 (Reigate & Redhill) Sqn CWO A Lugg, 328 (Kingston upon Thames) Sqn CWO K Pound, 261 (Guildford) Sqn CWO T O Collins, 219 (Sutton & Cheam) Sqn CWO A J Blackaller, 219 (Sutton & Cheam) Sqn

Sussex Wing CWO C Boorman, 54 (Eastbourne) Sqn Kent Wing CWO H M Palmer, 25 (Parkwood) Sqn CWO A F Stanley, 402 (Gravesend) Sqn CWO B Hooson, 2427 (Biggin Hill) Sqn CWO T Blundell, 2427 (Biggin Hill) Sqn London Wing CWO H Clubb, 1838 (East Ham) Sqn

Air Training Corps Sports Blues The following cadets have recently represented the Air Training Corps at the listed sports Netball K Flower, 213 Squadron, Kent Wing Rugby L Turner, 1341 Squadron Essex Wing L Molloy, 2476 Squadron Kent Wing

Football R Smith, 593 Squadron Kent Wing L Young 173 Squadron Kent Wing Hockey R Baker 295 Squadron Essex Wing

Cadets presented Certificates at Canterbury Cathedral Education charity CVQO celebrated the achievements of 91 Kent cadets, as they were presented with their CVQO-led BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Teamwork, Personal Skills and Citizenship at Canterbury Cathedral on Monday 17 June. The group are the largest single cohort ever to have been presented with CVQO certificates. The cadets, aged between 13 and 15, represented all three military services as well as St John Ambulance and came from units across Kent including the Medway towns, Maidstone, Ashford, Swale and Thanet. For many of the cadets, the qualification was the first they had received, building their confidence in education from an early age. The certificates were presented by Viscount De L'Isle, Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, in front of parents, adult volunteers who work with the cadets and a select host of VIPs including those who funded the qualification. A marimba ensemble from the Combined Cadet Force at Gad's Hill School, Kent, played as guests arrived and took their seats. Their performance was being assessed for their CVQO-led BTEC Level 2 in Music, which fittingly demonstrated the continuity of education that can be achieved with CVQO.

Photo: CVQO

328 Surrey’s AT Champs

328 Kingston Upon Thames Squadron was top of the tree at Surrey Wing’s Bray Trophy Competition. 328 beat 261 Guildford Squadron into second place, with 18F Wimbledon Squadron finishing third in the adventure training competition held over a weekend at Longmoor Camp. 31

Adventure Training

Kensington’s Highland Fling During August cadets aged from 14 to 17 years and 3 adult volunteer staff from 46F (Kensington) Air Training Corps traveled to the Highlands of Scotland for a week of multi activity adventure training. As part of the fund raising efforts the cadets packed bags at the checkouts at the Cromwell Road Sainsburys store. They were also assisted by a generous grant form the Ulysses Trust and a Squadron reunion dinner.

For most this was their first time to Scotland. Based in Norwegian Lodge high up on the Cairngorms mountain range cadets ventured out daily to take part in various challenging outdoor activities such as gorge walking, mountain walking overnighting in a bothy, rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering, mountain biking and swimming to name but a few. The programme provided a varied and challenging week, with each day quite different from any other. The exciting and wide-ranging week provided a unique chance to experience wild country and take part in a wide range of challenging and adventurous activities.

The aim of the exercise was to encourage and promote personal qualities such as character, leadership and initiative. This was summarised each day by everyone discussing the highlights, the lessons learnt and what they all took from the experience going into the next day. Evenings were spent preparing for the next day, either plotting routes or preparing and packing equipment. The lack of mobile connectivity resulted in everyone rediscovering the pleasures of board games and cards but more importantly engaging with your team both whilst at work but out of hours too. A team of local Ex-RAF Mountain Instructors who have all, wisely, remained in Scotland after retiring from the Service to be near the mountains and lochs that provide such a wealth of adventure training opportunities aided the Squadron with expert guidance and leadership. There were many highlights to the week. Cadets took part in many activities that were new to them; they learnt many skills and overcame physical and personal challenges. Not least amongst these was the very cold mountain water gushing down during the gorge walk and the high jump into a rock pool at the end, along with the early morning mountain runs every day. Making camp in a remote bothy, after a long day of hiking, cooking an evening meal and settling down for a night in the mountains was an enjoyable and lasting memory. The rock climbing, on the Moray Firth coastline, provided a glance of seals and

dolphins out in the bay, just as long you weren’t perched on the rock face on a rope at the time! The lessons weren’t limited to the outdoors. By spending a week together, within the lodge, the team of cadets and staff were engaged in daily ‘community living’ tasks. These tasks included such things as organising a menu, cooking, cleaning and generally managing the lodge and our equipment. This enabled everyone to not only live together harmoniously but also function as an effective team. The team met deadlines, maintained standards and equipment and more importantly helped and looked out for each other. By the end of the exercise cadets had developed their skills to meet physical, managerial, technical and organisational challenges. It proved to be an exciting and challenging activity that enhanced their self-sufficiency and effectiveness, both as individuals but also as a team. This will serve them well during their time with the Air Cadets and in the longer term in the work place. Highland Fling enabled a group of cadets from London to experience the wilds of Scotland. The journey itself opened their outlook (for some it was the first time they had seen mountains) on their country and the possibilities of adventure within our own shores. The entire team of cadets and staff from 46F (Kensington) Squadron, Air training Corps would like to thank our supporters for our memories Exercise Highland Fling 2013. ■

32 The Laser October 2013

Coming up... In our next issue, read about Commandant Air Cadets’ visit to the Region Field Day. Including full results of the competitions.

Look out for the Special British Military Tournament Edition in December 2013. Available from Can’t wait for more news? Keep up to date with all the news from London and South East Region by following us on Facebook


Charity Concert in aid of The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

Flight in words & music

at The Royal Air Force Church Saint Clement Danes, Strand, London

1st November 2013, 7:30pm with The National Air Training Corps Concert Band Wing Commander G. Singleton Principle Director of Music ACO

A minimum donations of ÂŁ10 is suggested and will be collected by Stewards on the day

MOD Crown Copyright

Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF), registered charity in England and Wales (1081009) and in Scotland (SC038109)

Profile for London & SE Region Air Cadets

The LaSER October 2013  

The Laser is the journal of the air cadets in London and the South East of England

The LaSER October 2013  

The Laser is the journal of the air cadets in London and the South East of England