Latest recruit course

Recruit Course 49 is well underway! There are just two weeks to go before the recruit course closes for this course, so bring your friends or anyone who wants to join to the squadron ASAP!!

The recruit course times are 7.15pm til 9.30pm Wednesday!

Next Recruit Course will be at the end of May 2005

RAF Anniversary Church Service

On Sunday 3rd April 2005, nine cadets led by Plt Off Davies attended a church service at the RAF Church at St. Clement Danes in London. The subject of the service was ‘Celebrating Diversity’ as well as to celebrate the formation of the RAF on the 1st April 1918.

After the service a reception was held in the Royal Courts of Justice. During this the cadets were able to talk to several very senior officers in the RAF and also World War 2 veterans about their experiences.

All in all it was an enjoyable experience for the cadets and one which reminded them of their links to our parent service – the RAF.

More News from Everest

Below is the latest email from ex Cadet Ian rogers on his trip to the Himalayas:

Hi all,

Geetings from Lhasa!

Well, life here at 3,600m/12,000ft was pretty bleak for the first night and day. The big gain in altitude really took it’s toll on me in particular, but today (5th May) I have felt much better. On the whole I seem to have been suffering all round early on – I’ve had a stinking cough and cold and I somehow managed to bruise a couple of my ribs when I slipped and bashed my chest on the armrest to my seat during the flight to Kathmandu! It’s been pretty painful but hopefully I should be ok by the time we reach Base Camp.

Lhasa is very much a city of contrasts – the new of the Chinese and the old of Tibet. To be fair the Chinese have done a good job of developing the city and it’s a very relaxed and pleasant place to be. I think we all expected there to be a much more visible Chinese military presence but the People’s Liberation Army is all but absent and the Police are few and far between. Mind you, that’s not to say they’re not around. The city is ringed with army outposts and there is a barracks across the road from where songs of the Revolution are sung with gusto every morning by the soldiers! The city is now unmistakenly Chinese yet the Tibetan influence is very strong and it still the Tibetan culture that leaves it’s mark indelibly on the mind. The Potala Palace, home to the Dalai Lama through the centuries, is a powerful and magnificent reminder of Tibet’s heritage – it is truly one of the wonders of the world. I think all of our group were affected in some way having been inside the Potala. It is also an incredibly humbling experience to join the hundreds of Tibetan pilgrims on the Barkhor circuit of the Jokhang Temple, the holiest site in Tibet. It is a very intense and emotional place to be.

Kathmandu, on the other hand, was a world away and an entirely different type of culture. However, it was no less humbling! The poverty is almost indescribable, yet everyone seems happy and friendly despite their circumstances. It is a smog-bound, sprawling shambols of a city yet an exciting, intoxiting place to find yourself. It’s a mad mad world and my rickshaw journey through the backstreets of Kathmandu is something I will never forget!

The group is really gelling well – It’s a great mix (there’s 13 of us altogether) and we’re all looking forweard to the next stage of the journey. Tomorrow we head off onto the Tibetan plateau in a convoy of Toyota Lancruiser 4x4s and an 8-hour journey to Shigatse, Tibet’s second city. This is were the going starts to get tough!

The news from Everest is that heavy snow has pretty much left everybody hunkered down at Base Camp. On the southern side a massive avalanche wiped out Camp 1 in the Western Cwm and totally buried about 60 tents! Thankfully there were few climbers about at the time and nobody was killed, although several were injured.

Well, I had better go. I will try and update you as soon as circumstances permit, but communications here on in aren’t the best in the world!!

Take care, hope you’re all well,

Ian

Visit to RAF Lyneham

20 Cadets from the Sqn visited RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, home of the RAF’s Hercules Fleet on Thursday and Friday of the Feb half term.

They visited 30 Sqn and were given a guided tour of the new C130 J model Herc by two pilots, the Tactical Medical Wing and medics, UK Mobile Air Movements Sqn, 47 Sqn Air Dispatch RLC (an Army unit who prepare parachute loads) who showed some spectactular footage of when it all goes wrong! Air Traffic Control, Fire Section and others.

Cadets also gained work experience in the Engineering Section, Armoury, and with the Aircrew. Some cadets were also able to ‘fly’ on simulator missions.

In the evening the cadets went bowling and to Laser Quest, where we were joined by some Scouts who where younger and much better at getting ‘kills’!

Latest Flying

32 Cadets attended Air Experience Flying at RAF Benson on Wednesday 13 April. In spite of a rain soaked journey around the M25 in rush hour, the weather smiled on us and the rain lifted early on allowing all cadets to experience taking control of a fully aerobatic aircraft during their flights.

Cadets also visted 33 Sqn (Puma helicopters) and 28 Sqn (Merlin helicopters) during their time on the base. Flt Lt Godden also managed to come away from the clothing stores with a bag full of surplus kit for the Sqn!

L81 Shooting

The Squadron Shooting Team attended Stoney Castle Ranges on Sunday 15 May to fire the last element of the Pre Bisley Competition. In glourious weather the cadets used the L81 rifle at distances up to 500 yards. The Highest scores were:

Bustamante – 64.2/70
West 60.3/70
Davies B 54.2 70

We now await the allocation of Teams in the ATC for Bisley in July!

L98 Shooting at Pirbright

Cadets attended a shooting practise at Pirbight Ranges on 20 Feb 05. After a bad start as the range had been doubled booked we were able to get two ranges up and running including a Falling Plate practise.

In spite of the biting wind it didnt snow and a number of Cadets achieved the following Marksman:

Corps:
FS Barnes
FS Goldman
Cpl Burgess

Region:
Sgt Cheah
Bhadresha
Rainbow
Cravitiz
Schutlz

Wing:
Taylor

Sqn:
Bustamantee

Armed Forces Memorial Appeal Launch

On Wednesday 6th April 2005, the Armed Forces Memorial Appeal was launched at a ceremony held in the cinema of the Imperial War Museum, London. The Appeal is to raise money (four million pounds to be exact) to build an Armed Forces Memorial at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire.

The memorial is to commemorate all the members of Armed Forces who have died whilst in service since the end of the Second World War in 1945. It will be unique in that it will include service personnel who have died during exercises or accidents as well as those who have lost their lives on operations.

There were many high profile guests at the launch including Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, CinC Strike Command; General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff and a high ranking Naval Officer as well as BBC news reporter John Simpson and Falklands veteran Simon Weston.

Also invited to attend was Plt Off Daniel Davies, Cdt FS Daniel Goldman and Cdt Sgt Michelle Cheah all of 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron. Two Army Cadets and two Sea Cadets as well as their members of staff joined us. The cadet’s job was to meet guests at the entrance to the museum and escort them to the cinema where the appeal was being launched. The staff were tasked with escorting their respective Service VIP and showing them to their seats.

Once we had completed our task we were free to enjoy the complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits and listen to the appeal launch. Once the launch was over, a reception was held during which the many reporters present took pictures of the models of the memorial and the VIPs. Myself and Cdt FS Goldman tried to strategically place ourselves in the frame but we were politely requested to move!

Overall, it was a very prestigious event and one which I am extremely proud to have been a part of, albeit a small one.

Plt Off D. Davies

More BTEC Success

As part of the Sqns continuing efforts to gain the Cadets outside recognition for their many achievements five cadets and one ex Cadet have been awarded a 1st Diploma in Public Services BTEC, which is the equivalent of 4 GCSE at A*-C grades. We now have a total of eight cadets who have this prestidgious and valuable award. The certificates were awarded by Sqn Ldr Julian Loxton, London Wing Training Officer.

Congratulations to:

CWO Holly Brogden Knight – Distinction
FS Michelle Cheah – Merit
FS Charles Barnes – Merit
Sgt Matt Guilford – Merit
Cdt Sam O’Brien – Distinction

and

Ex Sgt Katy Kennedy – Merit

CWO Hanson Success

CWO Nic Hanson has just passed a Wing Board for promotion to Adult Sergeant. This means he will some be joining the Adult Staff of the Sqn and will become offically responsible for training the Cadets on the Sqn. Well done!