2009 is now nearly over, and at the start of the year we wondered how we could top 2008 after the Lees Trophy result. This was therefore a year where we would have to deal with anticlimax issues! However, I am please to report that the Sqn didn’t pause and kept up our heavy workload of events and activities over the year, ensuring the cadets and staff were looking forward and striving to meet the next challenge.
A few for the highlights of the year where: Cadets from the Sqn represented the Wing at the Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance and at the Lord Mayors Show, with Cpl Graham carrying the Wing Banner live on BBC TV. CWO Sandhu and Sgt Alex Dutch meet the Prince of Wales at the launch of Project YOU in London. 7 cadets and the OC spent 10 days in the Falkland Islands, the most distant camp possible!
Lt Danny Davies, an ex cadet and officer returned from a tour of Afghanistan having served with the Royal Artillery, as did ex cadet Gunner Tommy Rice, having served with the RAF Regiment. Holly Brogden-Knight was promoted to Flying Officer and Sgt Dan Goldman passed out from his NCO Course and passed his Drill Instructor Course, Kristina Pisano left the Sqn after 9 years and we wish her well in the future. We were joined by Sgt Yvonne Faulkner and new Civilian Instructors Mike Purkhardt, Paula McCann, Amir Hafeez and Andy Hooper. We won the Wing Drill Competition for the fourth running, the Banner Drill Competition, and the Cross Country for the 17th year running! Cdt Manning-Coe represented the Region at the national aircraft recognition championships. FS Reeves-Roberts and Sgt Dutch and McCormack where selected to for Course 11 of the challenging Junior Leaders Course.
Cadets also achieved:
2 Flying Scholarships; CWO Ajvir Sandhu and Sgt Alex Dutch
1 Gliding Scholarship; Cpl Thompson
Over 30 GIC Gliding Courses Over 180 flights in Tutor Aircraft Flights in Dominies, Hercules and S-61s
3 Cadet 100 Award: Sgts Ischt, Dutch and Reeves-Roberts
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, 2 Cadet Leadership Courses with a Merit for Cpl Babla, and Region Blues for Rugby and Netball
Cadet attended: Week Camps in St Mawgen, 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 6F, 12F, 27F, 1838 and 2324. We also found time for charity and the community. We continued our work for Haven House Children’s Hospice, and raised £1000 for them over the year by various means, and Cadets also assisted at the Charity’s Summer Ball. Cadets also raised money for charities including the Royal British Legion was also high on our priority list and we raised over £7000 for them. We have also started working with the local Royal Air Force Association.
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 next year include regaining the Innes Sword, and defending the Drill and Cross Country Competitions and planning for the Expedition to Oman. We also have new cadets to bring forward and perhaps the most difficult 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, as well as some of the more interesting issues we have dealt with, and to the Committee for their hard work in fund raising and providing excellent catering at our events. I hope you all look forward to next year, and we will work together to make the Squadron even better. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!