Over the summer many squadrons take the opportunity to provide expeditions to support their cadets through the ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’ expedition section. Whether this is at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, by foot, canoe or bikes cadets work hard to prepare their route cards, kit and meal plans to ensure a successful expedition.
On Saturday, 3rd August 7 cadets headed off to the Chiltern Hills, Oxfordshire to take part in a practice expedition. Fg Off Jane Wicks from 2410 (Didcot) Squadron organised the weekend to enable cadets from the central sector of Thames Valley Wing to put their expedition training into practice under remote supervision of staff from within the sector. Continue reading
Chocks away as Air Expereice Flights (AEF) resume at 6 AEF based at RAF Benson following a period of inactivity for the Grob Tutor fleet from October 2013. Squadrons from next week will start to see allocations re-appear on notice boards to offer cadets the chance to complete their Air Experience Flights with 6 AEF, further supporting cadet’s studies into aviation.
Air Experience flying is a big part of the cadet experience and alongside gliding is a key element that makes the Air Training Corps stand out from the rest. By been able to offer again cadets the chance for their sortie in the Grob Tutor cadets will be able to add another tick against their ‘Are You On Target’ achievements. Continue reading
On Sunday 25 August seventeen cadets and four members of staff from 966 (Wallingford) Squadron ATC attended the North Moreton Air Pageant organised by Peter and Polly Vacher at Melhuish Farm.
This year, courtesy of 28 (AC) Squadron, RAF Benson, the cadets and staff were transported from Benson in the Merlin helicopter which was scheduled to be part of the event. The short flight which started out on a grey and drizzly day was the first time many of the cadets had flown in a Merlin. Continue reading
Navigation skills and outdoor expedition training features throughout a cadets time in the ‘Air Training Crops’ starting from their First Class initial Expedition training through to been able to achieve their ‘Basic Expedition Leader Award’ once they reach 18 years old.
211 (Newbury) squadron took some of their cadets to the Brecon Beacons to apply their navigation skills in a practical environment in preparation for their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. CI Josh Spence, a civilian instructor at the squadron and also a ‘Mountain Leader’ provides an overview of what the cadets got up to:
“Rain; the sight which greeted us early on Saturday morning when arriving at the unit to go off to South Wales for a day of navigation skills and hillwalking practice. The two hour bus journey was however rewarded with clearing skies from the moment we set foot on the hills, the cloud eventually lifted and the stunning scenery was revealed for all to see. Of course, this was not just a jaunt in the countryside however! The cadets who attended spent the day practicing their navigation skills with the instructor merely playing a supervisory role.
All in all then, a strong days training to which we at 211 (Newbury) ATC would recommend all cadets try their hands at as it offers safe and enjoyable learning in the most picturesque parts of the UK.”
A number of different topics were covered on the day ranging from map reading, compass bearings through to team work and the importance of been able to know where you are when out walking.
Interested in the outdoor environment? Ask your squadron staff for more information on the adventure training opportunities available such as the ‘National Navigation Award Scheme’ (NNAS), ‘National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme’ (NICAS) and other exciting adventure training opportunities. Are you on target for adventure training within the ATC? Why not take a look and see.
Annual summer camps provide cadets with a great opportunity to experience life on an RAF station and the chance to take part in activities otherwise not available to them at squadron or wing levels. A number of cadets this year for summer camp within Thames Valley wing headed to RAF Shawbury across 2 weeks in August to see what happens at the base
RAF Shawbury provides for the RAF the Defence Helicopter Flying School, training aircrew for all three military services, and the Central Flying School (Helicopter), delivering the next generation of helicopter instructors. The Central Air Traffic Control School, more quietly but with equal energy, deliver the next generation of controllers, prepare those already for operations and train selected individuals as instructors. Continue reading
Sgt Lily Chubb from 211 (Newbury) Squadron recently attended Air Cadet Leadership Course No 101 at Royal Air Force College Cranwell where her flight were awarded the award of Top Flight. Here is her report of the week.
Arriving at RAFC Cranwell on the 27th July, it was clear that the standards for the Air Cadet Leadership Course 101 were going to be high. We were sent into a room that contained vital information for the rest of the week and every cadet was to record this data. The test had only begun, as our next task was to stand in front of a SNCO and recall the information quickly and accurately with a common theme occurring that a great attention to detail was needed to pass out of the room successfully. Continue reading
At each squadron within Thames Valley are a group of volunteers who support the squadron staff and cadets to support the smooth running and welfare of the cadets attending. The civilian committees aim to support their individual squadron by:
- Giving direct help and advice to formations in performance of their tasks;
- Providing a means of ensuring that squadrons’ views are properly represented at Air Cadet Council, Regional and Wing levels;
- Fostering association between ATC formations and their associated communities;
- Raising, controlling and accounting for non-public funds in support of squadron training programmes and approved activities.
The summer is typically a busy time for Air Cadet Squadrons with many different activities, camps and events happening across the months. 155 (Maidenhead) Squadron have provided an insight into the 1st half of their summer and the things the cadets have been involved with so far with plenty more still on the horizon yet!
The 13th July saw 4 cadets take to the air for the first time in a vigilant glider at RAF Benson’s 612 Venture Gliding School. Each cadet got 2 opportunities to fly and clocked up nearly three hours of flying time between them. Cadet Alice Armstrong said that it had been one an absolutely amazing experience, flying over the Oxfordshire Countryside on a lovely summer’s day and taking control of the glider. Continue reading
Started back in January 2013 with an induction into road marching at Edward Brooks Barracks, staff from Thames Valley wing trained enough cadets to take two Wing teams to DCAE Cosford to the RAF WARMA (Walking and road marching Association) event in April. This event is a 50 mile march for cadets and also a qualifier for those cadets old enough to go to Holland to take part in the famous Nijmegen March.
Fg Off Wicks lead one team and Flt Lt Kisley the other, and the teams did extremely well leaving RAFWARMA with their heads held high as one team finished in 3rd place and the 2nd team winning best ATC team 2013. A hard selection then took place to decide the 11 cadets from the two teams who would represent the Wing at Nijmegen, for the 100 mile 4 day march in July. Continue reading
RAF Brize Norton, one of the biggest stations in the RAF family, hosted the eagerly anticipated launch day the RAF Association’s all-new initiative for youngsters – rafa YOUTH. A vibrant membership scheme designed to show young flyers the RAF up close to which Cadet Guillaume Flavin from 2121 (Abingdon) Squadron got to be a part of as one of the 6 lucky winners.
In his own words Cdt Falvin explains what happened on the day and how he got involved with rafa Youth. You can see more photos of the day here or on the rafa Youth Site. Continue reading