Recognition for 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron
OC South & East Midlands Wing, Wing Commander Pass visited the 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron on Monday 11th for two reasons.
Firstly, to award FS (RAFAC) Theyers his Cadet Forces Medal for 12 continuous years of uniformed service, which he has spent at 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron and with 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron This is a fantastic sign of recognition for FS Theyers and a great way to thank him for all his hard work and commitment to the organisation!
Secondly, Wing Commander Pass conducted a Cadet Warrant Officer interview. A rank which is the pinnacle of the Air Cadet career, with only 1% of Air Cadets to reaching the rank. A huge congratulations to CWO Matthew Osbiston who passed the interview and was presented with the promotion immediately!
South and East Midlands Wing are the Central and East Regional Rugby 7's Champions.
Sunday 5th November saw the Inter Wing competition held at RAF Wyton, where the Senior Boys team, Captained by FSgt Luke Flynn of 2229 Loughborough Sqn and Managed by ATC FSgt James Marman were unbeaten in their run at the trophy, which has never been won by South and East Midlands Wing before.
Also held on the same day was the Inter Wing Senior Girls Netball Competition, from which the South and East Midlands Team returned with Bronze Medals.
Well Done to everyone involved, another great sporting performance!
An Air Cadet Squadron from the East Midlands has been crowned the best in the Country and has been awarded the Freedom of the District of South Derbyshire and has said farewell to their Squadron Commander after 33 years in Command, all within the space of a week.
The historic week for 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron started with a presentation evening where Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE, Commandant of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) presented the Morris Trophy to the 1211 Squadron, thereby officially recognising them as the best large Squadron in the UK.
The Morris Trophy Presentation
(L-R) Cadet Joshua Roberts, Flight Lieutenant Ruth Morgan, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE, Squadron Leader Alyn Thompson, Cadet Lorena Dawes
The Morris Trophy is awarded annually to the Squadron (with 46 cadets and over) that is judged to be the best in the UK, in delivering the “Cadet Experience”. Competing against 949 other Air Training Corps Squadrons from across the country, the 100 Air Cadet strong Swadlincote Unit soared through local, Regional and National inspection rounds to lift the title.
Air Commodore McCafferty said;
“Winning the Morris Trophy is a big deal and it is privilege to present it to 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron. When I visited you for your inspection, it was evident the breadth of experiences undertaken by the Cadets, the high level of Community involvement and the sense of inclusion and fun in all that you do - you set the bar exceptionally high. 1211 has had a year of incredible achievement and this award is richly deserved”.
1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron – the Best Large Squadron in the UK
Cadets Joshua Roberts and Lorena Dawes received the Morris Trophy on behalf of all of the Cadets, Staff and Support Team volunteers at 1211 Squadron. Cadet Roberts said;
“Being an Air Cadet is brilliant, I’ve learnt so many new skills including leadership and first aid and I’ve had so many awesome experiences including flying and living on a warship. It was an honour to be selected to collect the Trophy from the Commandant”.
In addition to holding the title of Best Large Squadron in the UK and receiving the Morris Trophy, the 1211 Squadron was also awarded a VIP visit to the British Airways flight simulators at London Heathrow Airport, courtesy of The Air League. Cadet Jack Crofts was one of the 10 cadets who took part in the visit and he said;
“Flying circuits in a Boeing 747 was amazing and the simulator graphics, sounds and movements were ++so realistic”.
Flying Officer Matt Leedham, the Squadrons Aviation Officer who accompanied the 10 cadets added;
“We have our own flight simulator that we use to train our cadets in basic flying skills, but to get the chance to fly in these state-of-the-art simulators has been a real privilege. From all at 1211 we would like to thank Andy Perkins from The Air League and all the Staff at British Airways for this unforgettable experience”.
Cadet Jack Crofts fly’s the 747 Simulator
1211 Squadron VIP visit to Heathrow Airport
Having received the highest accolade that any Squadron can be bestowed within the RAFAC, two days later the Squadron was to receive the highest honour that can be bestowed by the South Derbyshire District Council.
At a Civic ceremony held within the Council chamber, 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron was granted “The Freedom of the District of South Derbyshire”. It means the Cadets have freedom of entry into the District on ‘all ceremonial occasions with colours flying and bands playing’.
The Squadron has had a presence within Swadlincote since 1941 and the title of Honorary Freeman is recognition of 76 years of voluntary work done to help future generations to prosper, as well as the tireless work carried out to support the Council, local communities and charities.
Following what can only be described as the two most significant achievements in the Squadron’s 76 year history, the end of the week also saw the end of a significant era. Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Alyn Thompson who has been the Officer Commanding (OC) 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron for the past 33 years, relinquished his Command of the unit, to take on a new Staff post as Sector 2 Commander within South & East Midlands Wing. In his new role, Alyn will oversee the running of 7 Squadrons in Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Alyn Thompson first joined 1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn as an Air Cadet in 1970 and became the squadron’s first ever Cadet Warrant Officer in 1975. Alyn was appointed a commission in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1980 and took command of 1211 back in September 1984, aged 27, becoming the youngest Sqn Commander in the ATC at that time.
Through the Swadlincote Squadron’s 76 year existence it has only had seven commanding officers (COs). Sqn Ldr Thompson has been the longest serving of them all, surpassing Flt Lt C.R. Poynton, who served for 23 years as Sqn Commander from 1947 to 1970. With 33 years in post, Alyn was one of the longest serving Commanding Officers in the history of the Air Training Corps.
At a formal ‘Dining Out’ event held at the Derby Conference Centre, Alyn was joined by friends, colleagues and cadets, past and present to celebrate his time as ‘OC1211’ and to wish him the very best in his new adventure on the Wing Staff team.
A youth organisation named the finest in the country has been granted the Freedom of South Derbyshire.
The 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) received the highest honour the District Council can bestow on Thursday.
It means the cadets have freedom of entry into the District on ‘all ceremonial occasions with colours flying and bands playing’.
The title of Honorary Freeman is recognition of the work done to help future generations to prosper, as well as the tireless work carried out in local communities.
It comes hot on the heels of the squadron, which trains at Eureka Park, winning the coveted Morris Cup and being named the best squadron in the country by the Royal Air Force
Cllr Michael Stanton, Chairman of South Derbyshire District Council, presented a ceremonial scroll to the ATC during an Extraordinary Council meeting.
“The Air Training Corps have given outstanding service to the District of South Derbyshire for more than 76 years.
“They have brought prestige to the area by winning numerous honours, the latest of which being the Morris Cup, a prestigious national award, and by instilling leadership, teamwork and respect in so many young people.
“The squadron has worked closely with the Council and has forged many strong
It provides training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life and develops the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.
As well as the Freedom of South Derbyshire, the squadron was awarded the Council’s first Order of Merit in 2013 for its positive influence across the District.
Flt Lt Ruth Morgan, Squadron Commander, said:
“It is a very proud moment to be granted the freedom of South Derbyshire.
“It is fitting recognition of the work we do in the heart of the local community and developing young people, something we pride ourselves on.
“We will continue to keep supporting Swadlincote and South Derbyshire and fully intend to make the most of the opportunity to parade with colours flying and bands playing.”
On Sunday 29th October 2017, 7 Squadrons from South & East Midlands Wing ‘Sector 2’ held a Training Day in Derby, to share knowledge and skills for the benefit of the Cadets.
115 Air Cadets and Staff from Melton Mowbray (1279), Loughborough (2229), Long Eaton (2195), Ilkeston (348), Swadlincote (1211) and Coalville (1188) travelled to the new 126 (City of Derby) Squadron Headquarters to take part in the Training Day. The Cadets took part in activities including Drill, Radio, Air Recce, Aeromodelling, Leadership, Music and BTEC (in Teamwork and Personal Development). First Aid Training was also provided for Squadron Staff.
Training was delivered by ‘expert’ staff from across the 7 Squadrons, supported by South & East Midlands Wing Staff and Sqn Ldr Steve Mills from Central & East Region HQ and Wing Commander Gil Singleton from HQAC.
The Sector 2 Training Day was also visited by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Mr Tucker, Wing Commander Andy Pass (OC South & East Midlands Wing) and representatives from EMRFCA and RAFA who were all able to witness the ‘Cadets at work’.
Squadron Leader Alyn Thompson, Wing Sector 2 Commander, who masterminded the Training Day, said “It was fantastic bringing 7 very different squadrons together and seeing them work in a none competitive environment. The quality of training delivered has been excellent and the Cadets have all achieved something, whether that is gaining a Blue badge in Leadership, learning how to build an aero-model in 4 hours, or developing Rifle Drill Skills. The Staff team have been brilliant and I would like to thank them all for contributing to the success of the Day”.
The Nottingham High School played host to Nottingham’s third Inter Cadet Service Competition on Saturday 16th September.
Nottingham units of the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force, Royal Air Force Air Cadets and members of the High School’s Combined Cadet Force competed to become Nottingham’s best Cadet Service in the Cadet 17 Competition.
The cadets, aged 15 to 18 years of age, completed in eight activities, Air Rifle Target Shooting, A “Gun Run”, a First Aid exercise, Foot Drill,a vehicle pull, climbing wall, and “Battle PT”.
All activities involve teamwork, leadership, physical ability and discipline. All these elements were assessed and marked to find which of Nottingham’s Cadet Forces are this year’s Champions.
The competition was fierce and the inter Corps rivalry was evident as the cadets battled hard in all the elements of the competition.
“This was a brilliant competition, my favourites bits were the Battle PT and the Gun Run but I enjoyed the whole experience” said Cadet Sergeant Madison Marinez from D Squadron, Army Cadet Force. Madison has been in the ACF for three years and “loves it”.
The competition was the brainchild of Warrant Officer Danny Haywood of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and his drive and enthusiasm has ensured the event has continued into it’s third year. Backed by a team of appropriately qualified adult volunteers from all the involved organisations, the safety of the competing cadets was assured.
During the afternoon, the cadets were visited by senior representatives of the various cadet forces including the head of the RAF Air cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE. The Nottingham High school and the Reserve Forces and Cadets association were also represented.
Cadet Sergeant Kiernen Walker, of the RAF Air Cadets declared the event; “Very good, I thought the First Aid Exercise was fantastic and made even better by being professionally judged by a highly qualified ambulance technician” Kiernen, at the age of 18 years, was one of the older competitors and has been a cadet at West Bridgeford fo the last 4 years.
From the Sea Cadet Corps Team, sixteen year old Oliver Westcott- Walker thought the Competition “Eventful and very good” and from the Naval Section of the High School’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF), Will Hustwayte (16); “It was great working with other cadets, in the CCF we don’t have much opportunity to interact with other cadet units. The Climbing Wall was my favourite but the whole day has been really good”.
Air Commodore McCafferty was on hand to award the trophy for the best of Nottingham’s Cadet Forces. The Air Commodore expressed her delight at seeing all the cadets taking part and informed them that this was the first such event the she had witnessed, she was greatly impressed.
For the third year running, the Air Cadets took the overall trophy and were crowned best cadets in Nottingham.
Warrant Officer Danny Haywood thanked all who took part, all the staff that helped, the Nottingham High School for the use of the excellent facilities, the East Midlands Ambulance Service for the use of the specialist vehicle and to Mark Bushell for judging the First Aid Competition and to RAF Wittering for providing a Physical Training Instructor to provide the expertise for the “Battle PT”.
Sponsorship for the event was provided by Green Frog Promotion to whom the cadets are most grateful. LPM Prestige Sales generously loaned the Landrover for the Landrover Pull.
It was a busy weekend for cadets from 1359 (Beeston) Squadron Air Training Corps as they carried out public duties and participated in joint exercises on 16th and 17th September at locations across the City of Nottingham.
Saturday saw cadets proudly participating in the Royal Air Force Association Wings Appeal by helping to raising money in Beeston Town Centre. The appeal is a centre piece of the Battle of Britain commemorations and helps those former service personnel from recent service and decades past and their families with welfare needs and support should it be required. The appeal is always an important part of the Beeston cadets work and is always well supported.
At the same time Cdt Sergeant Kezzia Cannon represented the squadron at Nottingham High School in the Nottinghamshire Cadet 17 competition, which sees cadets from all three military cadet forces compete in various disciplines against one another. The Air Training Corps won the competition against competitors from the Army Cadet Force, Combined Cadet Force, Sea Cadet Corps and Marine Cadets.
To complete the busy round up of duties the squadron also provided a large contingent of cadets to the Nottingham Battle of Britain Parade held in central Nottingham on Sunday. This important parade, remembering the struggle for aerial supremacy above the skies over Southern England in 1940 saw 120 cadets hi-light the light blue foot print of the Royal Air Force and RAFAC to a large crowd and loud applause. 1359 Sqn also provided the largest staff contingent for the parade, seeing Officer Commanding, Flt Lt Phil Bannister as Number 1 Flight Commander, Fg Off Gareth Fowler as Number 4 Flight Commander, WO Rob Phillips as Parade Warrant Officer and Flight Sergeant Kyle Crawford as drill instructor NCO IC Number 4 Flight.
Sunday 17 September 2017 saw 120 cadets from the Nottingham Squadrons of the Air Training Corps attend St Mary’s Church on High Pavement Nottingham as they have annually over the past 77 years in order to pay respect to those airmen of the RAF who fought in the 1940 Battle of Britain.
The ancient church has seen many military acts of remembrance over the centuries and as the generation of 1940 approach their twilight this act of commemoration and remembrance for the famous Few of RAF Fighter Command becomes even more essential in the nations memory.
Along with cadets from other squadrons, 14 cadets from 1359 (Beeston) Sqn were formed into 4 flights and braced themselves for the commands which were to begin their proud march through the City. In the spirit which Winston Churchill fostered in his 1940 speech in which he said “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty”, the parade proceeded towards the Old Market Square led by the drums of the Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force and the massed banners of the Air Training Corps and RAF Association.
Sir John Peace, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the County of Nottinghamshire took the salute and shortly after along with the Sheriff and Lord Mayor of Nottingham carried out an inspection.
Parade Warrant Officer WO (ATC) Rob Phillips said, “Our cadets carried out an important act of remembrance today, not only for the pilots of RAF Fighter Command, but also their equally important colleagues in RAF Bomber Command who together held off the real spectre of German invasion in 1940. The ATC followed in the finest traditions of the parent service and truly represented the memory of RAF personnel who were stationed in the many RAF airfields surrounding Nottingham. I am very proud of their hard work and commitment.”
WO (ATC) Rob Phillips
1359 (BEESTON) Sqn ATC
I’m delighted to announce that under the construct of the RAF Air Cadets Development Trust, South & East Midlands Wing have been selected to pilot a new and exciting initiative in signposting Air Cadets to possible apprenticeship opportunities within our local area and across a wide range of industries.
The Trust’s principal objective is to support Air Cadets (and young CFAVs) into employment, or vocational or academic tertiary-level training, including Apprenticeships. In partnership with the University of Northampton, we have been asked to bring together the human capital we have in our young people with local sources of employment and employment training, for which many of these employers are looking for the qualities & attributes that our Cadets develop during their time within the RAFAC. If successful, then its hoped that the model can be rolled out UK-wide in due course, however we go first!
Within SEMW, we have over 600 Cadets (c.40% of the Wing) that are aged 15yrs or over and I’m sure many would consider the apprenticeship route if suitable local opportunities were accessible. This pilot is all about signposting the Cadets to the first steps in finding those opportunities under the umbrella of their membership within the RAFAC.
It is up to each individual (eligible) Cadet to register their interest although Sqn’s are encouraged to permit the use of Sqn IT & time for interested Cadets to complete the next step.
Eligible Cadets (those in Y10 upwards) who wish to register an interest are requested to complete the following online survey by Mon 2 Oct 2017;
The data collated from the questionnaire will be collected by the Trust and shared with the University of Northampton who will then work with the Cadets, the Employer Engagement people, and employers themselves to match Cadets with potential sources of Apprenticeship training. Once a level of interest is confirmed, a briefing opportunity involving Cadets and potential employers will be facilitated. The idea is to create a virtuous circle which brings Cadets, employers and training-providers together in real time, cementing an employment relationship through individual Apprenticeship arrangements.
Please be reminded, this is a pilot scheme and therefore the process is somewhat subject to development and enhancement over time.
The below document (initial draft version) offers additional supporting information that will hopefully answer any initial questions Cadets &/or Parents may ask. The survey is also in draft version and therefore please excuse any obvious errors.
This pilot has been endorsed by Comdt AC and therefore I ask you seek to give this initiative maximum support.
Recently, cadets from 2418 (Sherwood) Squadron offered their service, to the Wigman Road Army Reserve Centre for their annual sports presentation dinner. The cadets through the evening waited on the guests, serving the 3 courses they were having that evening.
The cadets enjoyed helping out and were more than happy to be there for such an occasion. CPL Stocks commented “It was a lovely evening and we were all happy to help. We could see the appreciation from the guests and this meant a lot. It was a great evening helping out”.
CI J Foster
2418 Media Team
17th and 18th June saw 1359 (Beeston) Squadron Air Training Corps host a Youth First Aid course in conjunction with 209 (west Bridgford) Squadron. Cadets spent 2 days including a 3-part assessment, to learn a multitude of essential first aid skills such as CPR, dealing with a choking casualty, broken bones and asthma attacks. 10 cadets from 1359 Sqn attended and completed the course successfully which now qualifies them as a first aider for 3 years. The award is a St John Ambulance nationally recognised qualification. It also entitles them to compete in our annual competition against other squadrons within the South and East Midlands Wing later this year.
Cadet Sergeant Kezia Cannon, who took the role of assessor on the course, stated that “there was a strong calibre of cadets on this course and I was pleased to see so many cadets engaging with the training and sharing my enthusiasm for an activity I love”.
Corporal Asha Harrison said that he was surprised how much he had already learned and now feels confident that he could help out in the community should the need now arise.
Sergeant (ATC) Jessie Clark
The sweltering weekend of the 17th and 18th June saw 1359(Beeston) Squadron’s Cadet Warrant Officer Jade Cox on duty at Caunton Manor in Nottinghamshire in her role as the Lord Lieutenants Cadet.
CWO Cox was appointed to the prestigious position of Lord Lieutenants Cadet in September 2016 and is charged with representing the Royal Air Force Cadets in the County of Nottinghamshire as the Lord Lieutenants personal cadet. This involves accompanying the Lord Lieutenant, Sir John Peace at events he attends on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.
With a history that can be traced back to the 1500s, the Lord Lieutenant is the personal representative of Her Majesty in each county of the United Kingdom. Responsible for maintaining the link between people and Monarch, other responsibilities placed upon the Lord Lieutenant include managing arrangements for royal visits and presenting medals and awards on behalf of The Queen.
Saturday was a celebration and thanks for those from the voluntary sector and everything they do in their spare time for others. Accompanying CWO Cox was OC 1359, Flight Lieutenant Phil Bannister RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) who spends much time travelling between the UK and Germany in his civilian occupation on top of his voluntary role with the Cadet Forces. The following day continued with a Garden Party for the birthday of Her Majesty, with many members of the public invited to Sir John’s residence to join the celebration.
Flight Lieutenant Bannister said “It was a lovely day with perfect weather for the occasion! 1359 would like to pass on their thanks to voluntary sector workers, and everything they do!”
WO (ATC) Rob Phillips
MCO 1359 Sqn
Staff from throughout the South and East Midlands Wing have attended the Prospective Uniform Course which was held at RAF Wittering over the weekend 10 – 11 June as part of their ongoing career development.
22 Civilian Instructors took part in the Staff Development Team course which serves as an introduction to the ATC or to assist in the decision making process for candidates who are at the point of choosing a career as a Commissioned Officer or Senior Non Commissioned Officer within the Cadet Forces.
The weekend consists of an introduction into the expectations of uniform Service and Air Training Corps staff policies and roles. An essential in depth aspect of training relates to Health and Safety and the management of cadet welfare with in depth group debate forming an important aspect of the course, especially in relation to social media and scenarios that staff are likely to encounter during their service.
Instruction is also received in the structure of both the Air Training Corps and the Royal Air Force with current RAF and NATO operational commitments along with current events discussed at length.
Running alongside the PU Course, other Civilian Instructors from throughout the South and East Midlands who have recently joined the ATC took part in their initial 2 day staff training as part of the Civilian Instructors Induction Course which is a compulsory requirement for all new staff.
WO Phillips is a long serving member of the Staff Development Team and delivered part of the weekend training. He said “The Prospective Uniform Course is a comprehensive two day course that is aimed at developing our volunteer staff and providing them with the knowledge and confidence to progress into a uniformed role within the organisation”.
The course is staffed by the SDT and covers a wide reaching training portfolio designed to provide guidance to Wing staff. The June PU CI Course is the inaugural course run by the new LDC senior officer, Squadron Leader Lynda Waplington – Richards who has recently taken over command from Sqn Ldr Mark Richards who has stood down from the post after a successful 2 years in command.
Sqn Ldr Waplington – Richards said “It is exciting times ahead for the courses as I intend to revamp and shape the content for increased staff development making them more streamlined and diverse and fit for purpose.”
WO R PHILLIPS
Staff Development Team
Media and Communications Officer