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2020 – South & East Midlands Wing

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2020

  • Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) Sam Page, 19, has recently received the accolade of being awarded his Gold Glider Wings, the first set to be issued to any cadet at 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron. Sam has previously seen a wealth of aviation success from being awarded a Flying Scholarship through the Royal Air Forces Association and then completing a Silver Wings Gliding Scholarship over the past few years. On completion of his Silver Wings training, the CWO was invited to remain with the team at 644 Volunteer Gliding School (VGS) as a Flight Staff Cadet (FSC) and to begin his Gold Wings Glider Training. The Gold Wings syllabus continues the ground school that the CWO learnt during his Silver Wings Training, a written exam and gliding sorties under instruction. The intense course culminates in five assessed solo sorties. Undertaking his training for almost a year, due to training being on hold… Read More »

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  • South & East Midlands Wing adult volunteer, Squadron Leader Alyn Thompson RAFAC, has received an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Squadron Leader Thompson commissioned into the RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) Branch 40 years ag o, four years later becoming the 7th Officer Commanding of 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron. Following Squadron Leader Thompson having been at the helm for 35 years, Swadlincote is a jewel amongst the Corps’ 950 units, having attracted multiple awards for excellence. Swadlincote won the Morris Trophy for best large unit in the Corps in 2009 and then replicated this feat in 2017, an unprecedented achievement. During his time in charge of 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron he has been heavily involved in supporting a variety of local, national and international projects. This notably includes setting up a partnership with an African orphanage in Burundi and supporting Aqua Boxes, water purification systems for Third World Countries. As part… Read More »

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  • After 16 years, Flight Lieutenant Jackie Lawrence RAFAC has handed over command of Rutland Air Cadet Squadron to Warrant Officer Ian Coates, the newly appointed Commanding Officer. In April this year, Jackie was promoted to Sector Commander 3 of the South & East Midlands Wing and has since been managing the two roles, she said ‘It has been a rewarding, but challenging time as I have taken on wider responsibility at a time when Covid-19 has had a significant operational impact. I feel confident that Rutland Sqn is in good hands and look forward to working closely with WO Coates, who was previously a staff member on the Sqn.’ Ian Coates said ‘Flt Lt Lawrence has done a remarkable job at Rutland Sqn and I have learned a lot from her. I am excited to take on my new role and further contribute to the success of the squadron.’ Jackie… Read More »

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  • In a year where we have faced unprecedented challenges it gives us great joy to share the tremendous success of Flt Lt Jade Brock RAFAC. Last month it was announced that she had been shortlisted for a Women in Defence Award in the Outstanding Contribution category. Jade is one of nine to be shortlisted in this category for women across the whole defence industry who have exceeded the expectations of their role, with Jade being the only women shortlisted from the cadet forces. Jade has been nominated and recently shortlisted for this award for her work as Officer Commanding of 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron. In 2016, Jade took over the unit after the Squadron was consistently towards the bottom of the Wing’s rankings, with cadets an d staff disinterested. Since then she has driven the unit forward with her energy, enthusiasm and tireless work, transforming the squadron into a class-leading… Read More »

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  • Whilst Cadets were enjoying a Virtual Parade Night of RAF related quiz questions Flt Lt Craig Mills RAFAC was notably absent as he was putting his first aid skills to the test after witnessing and being the first on scene to a serious motorbike accident. The biker lost control on a sharp bend and collided with the steel guard rail.  He used the first aid skills that he had learnt to go to the aid of the injured biker. Keeping a cool head, he applied his first aid knowledge and stayed with the casualty keeping him talking until paramedics arrived around 45 minutes later. Flt Lt Mills explained everything he had done to the paramedics and was able to pass on the casualty’s details. “It was quite surreal, but I was just glad that the training I have done kicked in and that I was able to help him,” said… Read More »

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  • This year Warrant Officer (WO) Michelle Coles celebrates 30 years in Royal Air Force Air Cadets and has been awarded a Certificate of Meritorious Service for her dedication over these many years. WO Coles joined 378 (Mannock) Squadron as a cadet on the 17 July 1990. Over the following five years she worked hard as a cadet eventually becoming a Cadet Warrant Officer in February 1995 and leaving cadets when she turned 20 in 1997. She quickly re-joined as a Civilian Instructor at the squadron, helping to deliver the first-class cadet training to new cadets. In 2004 she successfully passed her board to become appointed as a uniformed adult Sergeant. During her time as uniformed staff she worked hard both at the squadron where she administered the squadron stores and at wing level where she provided support to South & East Midlands Wing radio courses. As a qualified Netball umpire,… Read More »

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  • Top announcement for two of our cadets, Corporal Evie Griffen from 2071 (Stamford) Squadron and Corporal Jessica Brown from 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron, who have recently been appointed as the new Station Commander’s Cadet and new A4 Force Elements Commander’s Cadet, respectively, at RAF Wittering. The role will involve accompanying Group Captain Lincoln, RAF Wittering’s Station Commander and Commander of A$ Force Elements. This will give Evie and Jess a unique insight into life within the Royal Air Force. The two cadets found out about the role from their Commanding Officers and had to complete a formal application process involving the submission of a personal statement and CV, with Evie opting to submit a hand written personal statement which helped make her standout as a candidate. The top cadets were then invited to interview, using virtual methods, with Group Captain Lincoln before being selected as the next Station Commander’s Cadets.… Read More »

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  • Around 200 cadets and staff joined MS Teams for a virtual evening with Squadron Leader (Retired) Mike Ling MBE, former Red Arrows pilot and current pilot for The Blades. This was an incredibly engaging and interesting talk, allowing cadets and staff to gain an insight into the exciting and daring lives of fast jet pilots, and particularly the levels of skill and dedication required in becoming part of the world-renowned Red Arrows. Squadron Leader (Retired) Ling started out in the Air Cadets progressing all the way to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer before joining the Royal Air Force at 19 years old to train to be a pilot. He was streamed into fast jet training and that’s where his path towards the Red Arrows began. He first was involved in training new pilots on the Tucano’s, before completing his fast jet training to fly operationally in the Tornado F3.… Read More »

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  • The Central & East Region’s search for talent has got under way with four talented cadets from South and East Midlands Wing putting themselves in the spotlight. The Region’s Warrant Office, Warrant Officer Mike Webb, gave birth to the idea and turned it into an event that will run for the next six Sundays, a different wing each week and the Grand Final. The whole show was hosted by Mr Webb courtesy of the excellent resource of Microsoft Teams. A panel of judges was formed from Regional staff with the addition of special Guest, Wing Commander David Miller, Officer Commanding Norfolk and Suffolk Wing and selected staff and cadets from the participating wing. Overcoming teething problems, the show got under way and four contestants gave it their best to the rather large, although unseen, audience. Two singers, a drummer and a card trick that was performed with panache. At the… Read More »

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  • Two Glenfield Air Cadets appeared on Forces Television News being interviewed about their volunteering roles at a Leicester Community Hub. The two cadets, Cadet Sergeant Sam Mason and Cadet Neave Williamson are helping with the making up and distribution of food and medicines to those within the Groby and Ratby area who cannot get around during this difficult time. Both cadets are from 2070 (Glenfield) Squadron, part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, and volunteered to give their time. Although their work is not a Squadron activity, the squadron takes great pride in the service they are providing within the community. Forces Television, part of the British Forces Broadcasting Service, picked up on the story after it featured on various Air Cadet media platforms. A film crew from Forces TV filmed the pair in action and interviewed the two cadets. Sam said of the experience; “For myself it felt… Read More »

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  • This month Cadet Warrant Officer Samuel Page, 19, and Flight Sergeant Olivia Brown, 18, from 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron, Cadet Warrant Officer James May from 5F (Northampton) Squadron, Flight Sergeant Foster, from 126 (City of Derby) Squadron, Sergeant Joe Lathan, 18, from 1F (City of Leicester) Squadron and Sergeant Joe Wilson, 17, from 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron all completed the Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course. This is one of the top courses on offer in the RAF Air Cadets and is ran over a number of weekends from September through to April. The course itself involved learning about seven different subjects that they developed their knowledge on each month, the subjects included: air power, aerodynamics, air traffic control (including simulation), basic flight training, aviation studies, aerospace activity planning, instructional technique and presentation skills. At the end of every weekend the students would write a reflective log about the weekend and would be… Read More »

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  • “This is one of the most amazing opportunities I have done in my Air Cadet career” Last weekend Sergeant Harry Vardy, from 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron, was the first cadet this year at 644 volunteer gliding school to successfully land his first solo circuit in the vigilant aircraft gain his Silver Gliding Wings. The journey started just 8 weeks prior to his first solo flight and not only involved practical gliding lessons but also involved a large amount of theory learning in a classroom environment. Every Saturday at the Gliding School, Sergeant Vardy would complete between 4 and 8 launches, weather depending. During these launches he learnt basic controls of the aircraft, how to use thermals to maintain altitude and most importantly and most challengingly to him how to successfully launch and land the aircraft. As Sergeant Vardy became more competent in controlling the aircraft, he began practicing his gliding circuits… Read More »

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