The Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mrs Mary Bayliss JP has presented awards to over 30 Thames Valley volunteer staff and cadets at a glittering ceremony held at Edward Brooks Barracks near Abingdon.
The Lord Lieutenant presented commendations from both Commandant Air Cadets and the South West Regional Commandant in addition to Cadet Forces Medals and clasps.
Wing spokesman, Squadron Leader Mark Trevena, said: “All of the receipients tonight are true heroes working quietly and tirelessly, displaying endless commitment and dedication to the Air Training Corps. Indeed, they are an inspiration to us all; not only in Thames Valley Wing, but also for their local work with local Air Cadets and their wider support of the community. We congratulate them on their awards.”
Flight Lieutenant Tom Churnside In addition to supporting the Wallingford Air Cadets, Tom also manages the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for all Air Cadets in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. During his tenure the number of cadets taking part has gone from strength to strength and he has been instrumental in increasing the number of Bronze Awards within the two counties to over 40 Bronze awards in the last year. In addition to his work with the cadets he has also increased awareness of the award amongst volunteers through training days and seminars and visits to local Squadrons whatever the distance.
Flight Sergeant Keith Collier is a key supporter of the Thames Valley Wing Training Development and Support Unit. Keith manages all of the course bookings and correspondence, as well as finding time to instruct on the First Aid, Staff Induction, Cadet, Drill and Leadership Courses. In undertaking these voluntary duties he has become a stalwart of Thames Valley Air Cadets successful and comprehensive weekend training programmes which have benefited thousands of cadets. Squadron Leader Paul Palmer, who leads the Training Team said: ” Flight Sergeant Collier’s boundless enthusiasm and total dedication, is matched only by his consummate professionalism and he has been an inspiration to us all. I congratulate him on his award.”
Flight Lieutenant Gail Andrews was awarded a national commendation and her Cadet Forces Medal for 12 years service. She has lead Reading Squadron for the last decade where she has increased cadet numbers through an improved training programme and offering enhanced weekend activities.
Warrant Officer Scott Anderson has served for the last decade as an adult instructor with reading Air Cadets where in his drill and ceremonial role he is a key member of the Squadron team committed to ensuring high standards. He has also looked after some major Thames Valley parades including a Wing Review at RAF Halton and a highly successful tri-Service Cadet 150 Parade at Windsor Castle in 2010.
CI Mark Gray In addition to being an Instructor with Earley Air Cadets, Civilian Instructor Mark Gray has also been the driving force behind this award winning Thames Valley Air Cadets Website. He has introduced new web tools such as a powerful news Portal to allow cadets and staff to publish news stories and photographs, and local unit information pages embedded within the main website.
Flight Sergeant Russ Sherfield is a key member of Woodley Air Cadets where he has taken on an administrative role, in addition to regularly supporting county wide courses, major events and camps. His organisation, bearing, and maintenance of standards are acknowledged across the Wing.
Sergeant Mike Tucker has a reputation as a mature and enthusiastic Sergeant with Woodley Air Cadets. On the squadron, he has made the clothing stores his own domain and has worked with the new cadets to put into place a process which takes them through their initial training.
Flight Lieutenant Rob Westerberg has been a member of the Tadley Air Cadets staff team since 2009 where he has used his experience to enhance cadet training whilst also being key to the development of some of the newer members of staff. In addition he is also part of a media team serving the needs of the Air Cadet Organisation and making their website – www.aircadets.tv a valuable resource. He has also worked as a reporter on the ground picking up new stories at various cadet events.
Cadet Warrant Officer Mark Beddoes is the most senior cadet at Tadley Air Cadets and has represented the area in Athletics and football, attended numerous camps, completed his Gliding scholarship to solo standard, is an excellent Drill instructor and is well on the way to completing his BTEC in Public Services.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Heather Gibbons who has recently left Tadley Air Cadets is a high achiever who has grasped every opportunity that the Air Cadets can offer. She has attended RAF Summer Camps, Leadership Camps, Wing Adventure Training Expeditions to North Wales and the Lake District, gained her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and is well on the way to Gold, and represented Tadley Air Cadets in all manner of sports and drill competitions. Her time as a cadet was capped this Summer by acting as a national representative on an International Air Cadet Exchange to Hong Kong.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Jacob Harris of Didcot Air Cadets has demonstrated exceptional leadership, presence and maturity for his age and his standards of personal dress and behaviour are outstanding and he is a shinning light to the other cadets. He has taught on the Thames Valley Tactical Leadership Camps, lead his team to victory at a major Regional exercise and attended the Leadership Course on this year’s Pirbright Activities Camp and came out with a distinction as the top cadet. In addition he is also the Didcot Mayor’s Cadet and recently organised a major cadet recruiting drive within his school which culminated in a highly successful open-day on the Squadron.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Alex Goodman of Newbury Air Cadets has regularly represented the Wing at the Inter Services Shooting competition at Bisley, and last year achieved a rare Cadet 100 award presented by Commandant Air Cadets. Following his first Adventure Training Camp at Windermere he was bitten by the climbing bug and has developed the sport in his own time. He has attended the Region Skiing Expedition in Germany and completed his Silver Duke of Edinburgh award. This year selected for the International Air Cadet Exchange and represented the Corps on the visit to the USA. On his Squadron he leads junior cadets through their induction training and assists with the organisation of Adventure Training activities.
Flight Sergeant Matt Jefferiss In addition to his service as the Training Officer with Wantage Air Cadets, Flight Sergeant Matt Jefferies has risen to prominence over the last 2 years as the Radio Communications Officer for cadets across Oxfordshire and Berkshire and is the driving force behind the areas highly successful Radio Communications training and support. In the last year he has helped cadets achieve 30 Cadet Communicator badges, trained 20 Staff to Basic Communicator level and issued 24 Squadrons with standardised and fully operational radio equipment.
Cadet Sergeant Chris Matthews of Wantage Air Cadets went solo on his gliding scholarship course going on to achieve a rare advanced gliding certificate before going on to be awarded his full graded pilot wings. Chris has also completed an Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Training Scheme with the Royal Air Force flying from the home of the Harrier – RAF Wittering. In addition to his aviation skills he was also a key member of the Wantage Air Cadets organising and delivering cadet training on weekend activities as well as parade nights, and instructed cadets in aviation subjects for their leading and senior classification exams with considerable success.
Mrs Sheila Denton of Abingdon Air Cadets has served as a Civilian Instructor for over a decade and is a qualified instructor in Heartstart First Aid training. She has taken on responsibility for new Cadet Training and manages the Abingdon Air Cadets office.
Reverend John Cooper has served the Air Cadets for two decades. In addition, to his pastoral duties which included hosting many Church parades for ATC Sunday, Battle of Britain and Remembrance Sundays, he has also filled the role of instructor, teaching all manner of aircraft related subjects and running courses on presentation skills and public speaking. This work was in addition his full time role with St Mary Magdelene Church in Shippon. He retired earlier this year and moved to Swanage, and will be much missed by Abingdon Squadron.
Mr Alan Ashford-Smith has been a key supporter of Oxfordshire Air Cadets for 4 decades. He initially acted as treasurer for the Air Cadet unit in nearby Lechlade until 1996 when it combined with the Brize Norton unit where he has continued his excellent commitment in supporting the cadets and committee, ensuring the accounts are audited on time and that the Squadron gets the benefit of the Gift Aid Scheme.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Vicki Allam joined the Thame Air Cadets relatively late at the age of 15, she has completed 3 RAF Camps, gained her marksmanship badge at shooting and has completed the intermediate radio course. In the air she has completed a gliding scholarship and has taken every available opportunity to fly in RAF aircraft, including air experience flying in the Tutor, the Merlin helicopter, a VC-10 tanker refuelling the Typhoon, and the Dominie training aircraft. Reaching her 20th birthday this summer, she has moved across into adult service and her ambition is to become a Flight Operations Assistant in the Royal Air Force.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Lee Newby of Thame Air Cadets is a highly motivated and successful cadet who is a marksman at shooting, holds the Young Lifesavers Plus First Aid Award and attended the intermediate radio course. He has attended 4 RAF Camps and 3 overseas camps in Germany and Cyprus. He achieved a Merit on the Advanced Leadership Course at the Browndown Activities Camp last year and more impressively was awarded a Distinction on the Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell this year. He is also a Staff Cadet with 612 Volunteer Gliding School and gained his Advanced Gliding Gold Wings and completed a Flying Scholarship at Tayside Aviation, this summer. His impressive list of achievements coupled with his natural presence and bearing led to his selection as the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Oxfordshire, this year.
Flying Officer Carole Quilter manages the Wokingham Air Cadets Squadron office, embracing new ways of working whilst managing to maintain focus on the cadets themselves, arranging camp places, adventure training activities and keeping all the associated electronic paperwork moving – not an easy task with 40 cadets. During the last year, she has personally arranged additional visits to RAF Odiham, Aborfield Garrison, and the Major Generals Review.
Civilian Instructor Kath Lambert of Wokingham Air Cadets is a dedicated and enthusiastic Instructor has taken the lead within her Unit to ensure the positive delivery of a wide range of training. She has attended additional courses and fostered interest amongst and delivered outstanding training to the cadets, including the Heartstart programme to younger cadets.<
Cadet Sergeant Alipio Reis of Bracknell Air Cadets has attended 4 RAF Camps and 3 Wing Activities Camps, has been overseas on the Rheindahlen Germany Camp and the Region Ski Expedition to Southern Germany. He has also gained a rare distinction on the Air Cadet Advanced Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell. In the air he has flown solo on his gliding scholarship and is currently working towards his Private Pilots Licence. This year he was selected for the International Air Cadet Exchange and represented Air Cadets organisation in the United States and most recently was selected as the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Berkshire.
Cadet Forces Medals (12 years service):-
- Flight Lieutenant Richard Andrews – Reading
- Flight Lieutenant Fiona Yates – Brize Norton
- Flight Lieutenant Gail Andrews – Reading
- Flying Officer Jonathan Byford – Kidlington
- Warrant Officer Steve Pye – Newbury
Cadet Forces Medal Clasps
- Squadron Leader Chris Johnson – Wing Staff – 18 Years
- Flight Lieutenant Julie Alexander – Earley – 18 Years
- Flight Lieutenant Martin Lines – 18 Years
- Flight Lieutenant John Endean – 24 Years