South West Region

News from South West Air Cadets for 01/30/2015

View the HTML Version   The latest news from Air Cadets in the South West ------------------------------------------------------------[UNIQID] Updates from ** South West Air Cadets ------------------------------------------------------------ Contents: * 2121 Abingdon Squadron Aircraft Recognition Success * Woodley & Earley Air Cadets Reach New Heights * Air Cadets “On Target” for 2020 Vision * Red Arrow Flies in on Awards Ceremony * Stuart Strachan – International Air Cadet Exchange * Romsey Air Cadet proves he is one of the Counties Best * Command Conference * AOCs commendation for two Dorset Wilts Warrant officers * 70 Miles For 70 Years * NACATC Windermere ** 2121 Abingdon Squadron Aircraft Recognition Success ------------------------------------------------------------ By CI Mark Gray on Jan 29, 2015 05:46 pm For the past two years, Abingdon Squadron has been the winner of Aircraft Recognition at both Wing and Regional Activities Days. However, on both occasions, we have not been successful at Corps level. This year preparation to retain our titles began at the start of summer with three new recruits – Cdt Spratt, Cdt Irwin and Cdt Warrick - adding to the current members being myself (Sgt Flavin), Sgt North and Cpl Plows. At all levels of the competition there are two categories: Under 16 and Open. In the Under 16 category, only cadets who are under the age of 16 can take part, however, in the Open category, any cadet of any age can take part. In each category each Squadron sends a team of three whose individual scores are added together. Every team member also competes for an Individual trophy. For the under 16s any aircraft from a list of 120 could be shown, whereas in the Open category, any aircraft from that list as well as 180 others can be shown. As mentioned before, we began preparation at the start of the summer led by Civilian Instructor and airplane enthusiast Mr Tilley. He lead us through various lessons in which we focused on a variety of aircraft groups ranging from relatively easy RAF aircraft to the less known array of Cold War Soviet aircraft. These lessons were ever more frequent in the weeks leading up to WAD and we decided on the two teams that would go forward. This being in the Under 16 category: myself, Cdt Spratt and Cdt Irwin, and in the Open category: myself, Sgt North and Cpl Plows. Unfortunately, Sgt North had to drop out so the Open team ended up being myself, Cpl Plows and Cdt Spratt. In the competition, for the third year running, both of our teams were successful in winning and I was the first Individual in both categories too. A success at WAD meant progressing forward to RAD held at RAF Odiham on the first weekend of October. In this competition we would no longer be competing against the best cadets from different squadrons, but the best cadets from the five other wings in South West Region. Once again, our Open team suffered a last minute drop out from Cpl Plows, making the Open team myself, Sgt North and Cdt Spratt - the Under 16 team the same as at WAD. On that day Cdt Warrick also agreed to give up his day and came as a reserve in case of any more misfortune, even though there was no certainty that he would compete - making his decision even more admirable. To our amazement we repeated the success of WAD with both of our teams coming top, and myself coming first Individual in both categories. As a result of this, all four of us that participated were lucky enough to have our trophies presented by Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, and the Station Commander of RAF Odiham, Group Captain Richard Maddison. Just like WAD, winning meant progressing further, however, this time ‘further’ was Corps. This was to be held one and a half months after RAD at RAF Cosford, where we would compete against the best cadets at aircraft recognition in the whole UK. The teams were exactly the same as RAD and the gap between it and Nationals meant we had time to practise the areas that needed strengthening. The National competition was much like the previous ones, 30 slides and 3 tie breakers. I don’t think I was the only one on the team who thought that there was a big chance of our winning streak coming to an end at Nationals, however, it turned out that our U16 team had come first in the UK, with me coming first Individual and our Open team coming third in the UK. All in all, this year’s Aircraft Recognition competitions were a great success for our Squadron, Wing and Region. Congratulations to our new recruits, Cdts Irwin and Spratt achieving so much in their very first year. Finally, I would like to thank CI Tilley on behalf of all of us for all the tuition he gave us before each competition and also our CO Flt Lt Smith for her support throughout. Sgt Flavin, 2121 (Abingdon) Sqn Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** Woodley & Earley Air Cadets Reach New Heights ------------------------------------------------------------ By CI Mark Gray on Jan 29, 2015 10:17 am Twenty-five Air Cadets scaled new heights last weekend when they took part in their first climbing lessons at Reading Climbing Centre thanks to a Sportivate grant. Sportivate is a Lottery funded London 2012 legacy project that gives young people opportunities to discover new sports and, from the reactions of the cadets from Woodley and Earley, climbing seems to have really taken off! “Our Sportivate grant has given us the opportunity to run sessions for cadets to introduce them to climbing,” says Flight Sergeant Chris Harding of 1116 (Woodley) Squadron who has organised the training. “Even in the first session, the cadets were climbing the huge walls at Reading Climbing Centre and by the end of the project, they’ll have achieved climbing competency that will mean we can look at climbing outside next year as well.” Adventure training and outdoor pursuits feature highly in the Air Cadet roster of activities and many of the staff are qualified instructors. However, being able to get so many of the local cadets trained and accredited means that they’ll be able to take part in more of the camps and courses that Air Cadets offer in the New Year. “It was my first time climbing and Reading Climbing Centre is great,” says Cadet Lewis Bowers, 13. “Our instructors were really helpful and they encouraged you to try things you thought you might not be able to do because they know what you’re capable of. I did climb an overhang that was really difficult! I’m really looking forward to the next sessions already.” And they’re not just learning about climbing as some of the older cadets are using this project to develop their sports coaching and mountain leader skills. “I’ve been a keen climber since 2005,” says Chris Harding. “I’m delighted that this funding allows us to introduce so many new young people to a sport I love. The climbing facility at Reading is superb and it was clear that the cadets loved every minute.” The cadets have more sessions before Christmas and another group will also start their instruction in the New Year. Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** Air Cadets “On Target” for 2020 Vision ------------------------------------------------------------ By Sqn Ldr Thompson on Jan 26, 2015 05:10 pm Bristol and Gloucestershire Wing’s Squadron Commanders are on target to deliver the Air Cadet Organisation’s 2020 Strategy following an intensive residential weekend at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham. This included an afternoon with the Mobile Team Challenge learning how to successfully implement change through a variety of practical exercises. During the weekend everyone was kept on the move through a series of workshops aimed at improving the Wing’s delivery of “the Cadet Experience”. Deputy OC Wing, Squadron Leader David Morgan said “Everyone went away eager and inspired to implement their own Squadron and Sector plans to deliver the ACO’s 2020 … Continue Reading → ( Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** Red Arrow Flies in on Awards Ceremony ------------------------------------------------------------ By RAF Air Cadets News on Jan 26, 2015 12:01 pm 104 (City of Cambridge) reflect on their achievements of 2014 with some very special guests. Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** Stuart Strachan – International Air Cadet Exchange ------------------------------------------------------------ By Wing Webmaster on Jan 21, 2015 09:41 am Last summer, I was fortunate enough to be one of the 2 cadets from Dorset & Wilts wing chosen to take part in the International Air Cadet Exchange – where I represented the Air Training Corps in the exchange to Canada. The two and a half week adventure saw me fly in Canadian military aircraft, […] Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** Romsey Air Cadet proves he is one of the Counties Best ------------------------------------------------------------ By Chris Wood on Jan 14, 2015 07:31 am Senior Romsey Air Cadet, Flight Sergeant Alex Prinsep has recently been informed that he has successfully reached the top forty candidates for a prestigious national cadet force contest... Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** Command Conference ------------------------------------------------------------ By Sqn Ldr Thompson on Jan 13, 2015 03:56 pm Air Cadets Aim for 2020 Vision This weekend over 40 adult staff will be meeting to determine the ‘way forward’ for Bristol and Gloucestershire Wing to increase participation and engagement in the organisation. The event, organised to up-skill command staff, will be to look at how to extend the exciting opportunities offered to air cadets and how to adapt for the 21st Century as we are looking to further expand our large local network of cadets and adult staff. Staff will receive updates in their training on the Air Cadet 2020 Strategy, Safeguarding, Total Safety and social media as well … Continue Reading → ( Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** AOCs commendation for two Dorset Wilts Warrant officers ------------------------------------------------------------ By Wing Webmaster on Jan 09, 2015 11:56 am Two Warrant Officers serving in Dorset Wilts Wing have been awarded a commendation from the AOC 22 Group in the New Year’s Honours list. Tony Packard is currently serving as the Squadron Warrant Officer at 1010 (City of Salisbury) Squadron, with prime responsibility for drill and discipline, in addition to his other duties as shooting […] Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** 70 Miles For 70 Years ------------------------------------------------------------ By Wing Webmaster on Jan 06, 2015 11:29 am This year marks the 70th anniversary of 622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron and to commemorate this, the squadron has embarked on numerous events and activities around the country. To mark the end of this special year 622 VGS over the Christmas period swapped the cockpit for the saddle and undertook a freezing 70 mile bike ride […] Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** NACATC Windermere ------------------------------------------------------------ By CI Mark Gray on Jan 04, 2015 08:21 pm October half term week saw 18 Cadets and 9 Staff travel from all over Thames Valley Wing (TVW) to the National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centre (NACATC), Windermere for a week of Adventure Training in the spectacular landscape of the Lake District. The primary aim of the Centre is to provide facilities for cadets to participate in adventure training in terrain more demanding than that normally found in their local area. Taking full advantage of the facilities and equipment available from the centre, the TVW cadets were able to have a go at mountain walking, wild camping, canoeing, indoor wall climbing and outdoor rock climbing, orienteering, geocaching and mountain biking The week began with a shakedown walk through Kentmere Valley to the reservoir testing map reading and navigation. A wealth of qualified staff made it possible to split the cadets into three teams allowing for a better training opportunity. Fears, tears and cheers on Monday as the cadets experienced a nerve testing day of outdoor climbing at Hutton Roof Crags with enough qualified and experienced staff to run a selection of character building climbs and a challenging abseil. Nelson Mandela once said ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it’ For those cadets who found themselves miles outside their comfort zone, Monday turned out to be a very triumphant day. Tuesday morning training was centre based with a rotation of practical lessons on tents, routes and cooking on trangias. Straight after lunch, expedition ruck sacks were loaded and on the wettest day of the week, the mini buses set off for the foot of Blencathra. After half an hour waiting in the car park for torrential rain to ease, the vehicles were abandoned and everyone set off up the sodden mountain path to Scales Tarn where the tents were erected. The cadets were then able to put their trangia training in to practice and everyone enjoyed a starlit evening meal. As the temperature dropped in a blanket of darkness, it was probably the first time since nursery school that the cadets were willingly in bed before seven. Very early on Wednesday morning the group re-emerged to a glorious pink sunrise and set about producing their breakfast as warm sunshine gradually spread itself over the hillside. Kit was packed and everyone set off for the peak where the obligatory group photo was taken before heading back down to the buses. Homemade soup and hot showers back at the centre were followed by a quick trip to Ambleside for a browse in the outdoor shops. After dinner, everyone retired to the communal area to watch an awe-inspiring film about a climbing expedition in The Arctic. Thursday’s weather forecast offered the best chance of a paddle so the group was split in half and kitted out with buoyancy aids and wet suits. The first team made their way to Waterhead and paired up in open boat canoes for a trip down the River Rothay and some white water excitement. The second group spent the morning at Kendal Climbing Centre improving their monkey skills in the dry. Some carefully planned logistics allowed a half time swap so everyone was able to enjoy both activities. Two of the afternoon group enjoyed the white water so much they decided to go for a swim in it! The final day of activities was a three way split in Grizedale Forest comprising Geocaching, Orienteering and Mountain Biking. Three teams rotated around each activity and picked up the only injury of the week on the very last session when one of the mountain bikers took flight over his handle bars. Thankfully the helmet and goggles did their job and he just ended up with some grazing to his cheek and a bruised shoulder. Once he’d been checked over and declared ok, in true adventurous spirit, he was straight back on his bike and completed the activity. Back at the centre the last night activities included paper plate awards and a Halloween themed cake decorating contest. Whilst the primary focus of the week was AT, the camp also provided other experiences for the cadets. During the evenings they helped in the kitchen preparing for dinner, cleaning up afterwards and preparing lunches for the next day. WO Debbie Lowe even provided some additional training in the kitchen and under her expert guidance the cadets were able to assist with cooking the meals and baking cakes for the packed lunches. In addition, two cadets completed the residential section of their Gold DofE Award during the week by assisting key staff with essential duties. Camp Commandant, FO Jane Wicks said “the staff team have worked really hard to plan and deliver a jam packed programme offering a varied range of activities. The cadets took full advantage of every opportunity, which I know for some will be life changing. My personal thanks and admiration to Flt Lt Martin Christleib, FO Alex Pye, WO Ian Lowe, WO Debbie Lowe, Sgt Rik Walsh, CI Mark Beasley, CI Carl Sprake and my tent buddy CI Teresa Archer.” Read in browser » ([UNIQID]& ** More to read: ------------------------------------------------------------ ============================================================ Copyright © 2015 Air Cadets, All rights reserved. Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp ** follow on Twitter ( ** friend on Facebook (#) ** forward to a friend ([UNIQID]) ** unsubscribe from this list ([UNIQID]&c=96ed08d5e4) ** update subscription preferences ([UNIQID])
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