OC’s New Year Message

As is my custom at this time of year I take this opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and look forward to year ahead. 2011 was a typically busy year for the Squadron and one whch was crammed full of activities and opportunities for our cadets. It was our 70th Anniversary Year, celebrated in style in February with a Dinner/Dance at Chigwell Police Club, and during the year Alex Dutch was chosen as the Best Female Cadet in the Air Training Corps, winning the Dacre Broach, the final one of the big three awards in the ATC (Lees Trophy and Dacre Sword being the others) that the Sqn has achieved over the years.

We maintained our presence in London Wing, winning the Innes Sword competition, the Cross Country (for the 18th year), the Aircraft Recognition, and a second in the Banner Drill competition, as well as partcipating in the Lord Mayors Show and the life of the local community with Armed Forces Day and the Remberance weekend. The Sqn mounted an ambitious diving expedtion to the Red Sea, superbly organised by Sgt Daniel Goldman. This was a highlight of the year for those cadets and staff who participated.

Cadets also achieved:

1 Flying Scholarships; Cdt Arron Mondhass

5 Gliding Scholarships : FS Shaw, FS Gachette, Sgt Mandalia, Cpl Benjafield and Cpl Cooney

Over 25 GIC Gliding Courses Over 100 flights in Tutor Aircraft

One Cdt 100 Shooting Award at ISCRM: Sgt Raj (and a Cdt 50 at CISSAM)

Region Trumpet Player: Cdt Robson

Young Life Saver First Aid Awards,  Radio Certificates (Full and Provisional), Gold, Silver and Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards,  BTEC’s in Public Service, BTEC’s in Aviation Studies, and  Region Blues for Rugby and a Corps Blue for Rugby.

Cadet attended: Week Camps at RAF Waddington, Week Adventure Training Camps in the Lake District, Bisley Shooting Camp and several weekend camps at Crowborough.

We also worked with cadets and staff from other Squadrons, including 27F, 1838 and 2324, and the Middelsex Wing Shooting team. Cadets also raised money for charities including the Royal British Legion was also high on our priority list and we raised over £7800 for them.

I have missed much out in the cause of brevity. However it can be seen that this was another busy and successful year. Our aims for this year include defending the Innes Sword, and Cross Country, winning the Drill and the presentation of the Dacre Broach. We will decide where our next overseas expedition will be and we will also be buying a replacement vehicle for the stolen landrover, which will be a considerable fundraising push (A shame to see a piece of Sqn history go!). Finally we have new cadets to bring forward and perhaps the most difficult and ongoing task of all, to maintain our high standards and ethos!

I would like to close by stating the Sqn never stands still and is always looking for the next challenge whilst reinforcing on our successes. I would like to especially thank the Staff for their outstanding hard work and dedication without whom nothing happens! (and their wives and partners, who’s support is vital and much appreciated!). I would also like to thank the cadets for their hard work and enthusiasm, and to the Committee for their hard work in fund raising and providing excellent catering at our events. Happy New Year!