211 (Newbury) Squadron has beaten off stiff competition from the Bicester, Chipping Norton and Bracknell Squadrons to win the Marshall Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most successful squadron in the Thames Valley.
The trophy was awarded by the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Mrs Mary Bayliss JP, to Flying Officer Alex Pye at the annual Thames Valley Wing awards ceremony held at Edwards Brooks Barracks.
This year’s award marks a particular triumph for the squadron, being the 3rd consecutive win for the Squadron. It also follows hot on the heels of the Squadron win at the Thames Valley Wing field day, whereby cadets compete against each other over a weekend at a series of adventure training, field craft, foot drill and other challenges. The competition is based on lots of different criteria, ranging flying through target shooting, and opportunities to do adventure training through to the number of Duke of Edinburgh’s awards the squadron gained.
Flying Officer Alex Pye, Officer Commanding 211 Squadron, was very pleased with the award, saying: “This award does justice to the hard work all the cadets and staff have put in over the past year. We’ve managed to exceed ourselves in terms of the activities we’ve offered to our cadets and that’s down to the commitment and dedication of the staff team”. He continued “Events like walking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in August in 8 days – instead of the 14 it was supposed to take – and raising nearly £2000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund; attending the Inter Service Cadet Rifle Meeting with a team of marksmen competing against all cadets forces and having a cadet come in the top 150 of shooters across all three services; sending a cadet on the international air cadet exchange to the USA and one cadet on the Cadet 150 trip to Lesotho to represent the cadet forces and the United Kingdom providing aid work to the country all show the ambition and success of this squadron.”
Corporal Danny Ockwell, 17, commented “I feel very proud to be a member of the best squadron in the Thames Valley. It’s a real achievement for everybody involved in the squadron – both staff and cadets.”