Shooting Team on the way to Bisley

The Sqn has had three Teams selected for the annual Inter Service Cadet Rifle Meeting (ISCRM) at Bisley Camp, the home of UK Rifle Shooting in July. There they will compete against the best shots in the Army, Navy and Marine Cadets, as well as teams from the Australian and Canadian Cadet Forces for the coveted Cadet 100 Badge.

We are the only Sqn in the ATC to have 3 teams selected, which is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Team, Coaches and those staff who have manned the Butts!

Now we go foward to do better than last year!

AOC Visits 241 Sqn

On Monday 13 Jun 05 the profesionnal Head of the Air Cadet Organisation (45,000 Cadets and 10,000 staff) Air Commodore Chitty (the Air Officer Commanding) visited 241 Squadron to see what we do.

In spite of it being the middle of the exam period over 110 Cadets were on parade watched by the Sqn Staff. Cdt Sgt James Grant (17) was the ADC (Aide de Camp – the AOC’s guide and assistant) for the evening and showed him around the Sqn where he was shown examples of the activities that the Cadets participate in. The tour had no Adult Staff input as it was run by the Cadets. On the Final Parade the AOC addressed the Sqn and was subject to a question and answer session about various RAF and ATC topics, with a few of the questions from the Cadets almost (but not quite) stumping him!

At the end of the parade Cdt Sgt Matt Gilford was awarded his BTEC in Public Services and Cdt Cpl Mike Cross was promoted to Cdt Sgt. The Wing Commander of London Wing, Silvia Silver made a presentation to the AOC on behalf of the Wing for the help he has given during his tour of command.

33 Cadets Fly at RAF Wyton

On Saturday 11th June, 33 cadets from the Squadron visited RAF Wyton to fly in the Grob Tutor. All 33 cadets received a 30-minute flight during which they took control of the aircraft and experienced aerobatics. Most of the cadets had not flown with the RAF before, Cadet Michael Smith when asked by the CO what he thought of his flight just said “it was wicked Sir, the best thing I have ever done”.

The Tutor is a two seat dual control aircraft and is the same plane that all RAF pilots complete their first 90 hours of flying training.

Flying Success

Four Cadets have been successful in being awarded Flying Scholarship Awards. These will enable the Cadets to learn to fly to solo standard and will if they are successful will result in the award of the coverted Flying Scholarship Wings.

The Cadets are:

Sgt Kris Pisano – Microlight course at RAF Halton
Cpl Natalie Ali – Light Aircraft Course at Dundee
Cpl Andy Webb – Microlight Course at RAF Halton
Cdt Sam O’Brien – Light Aircraft Course at Dundee

The course will be held over the next 6 months, and will bring the number of Cadets on the Sqn with FS to 7, a huge number even for a Sqn our size.

Basic Lakes

35 Cadets from the Sqn attended an Introduction Week to Mountaineering over the half term holiday in the English Lake District. The cadets were introduced to walking in the Mountains and taught how to navigate, assess the weather, basic first aid, radio procedures and conservation issues over the course of the week The weather was excellent for the first few days, but went steadily downhill from Wednesday morning with Thursday being absolutely grim with low cloud, rain and wind, which enabled a test of the skills learnt earlier.

In addition, more Senior Cadets were attending the first Summer Mountain Proficiency Course, designed by Fg Off Nick Harvey to bring them up to a standard where they are ready to attend a Mountain Leader Training Course once they are 18. Cpl Mike Cross passed the course and was awarded his certificate by the Sqn CO, Sqn Ldr Chris Day.

Accommodated in a Bunk House and tents at Glenridding on Ulswater all the Cadets had an excellent time, with the evening entertainment on the Friday night provided by Cpl Tommy Rice with his Peter Kay impression and Cdt Daniel Smiths dancing ability!

News From Everest

Another update from our ex cadet on Everest.

At 0939hrs GMT on 20th May, myself and five other members of the expedition, together with Sangi Sherpa, succesfully reached the North Col of Everest – 7050m/23,000ft!!!!!!

It was an amazing experience to be climbing on the world’s highest mountain and to be alongside climbers heading for the summit! It was also an incredibly tough day with the weather being the worst on the mountain so far this season (typical!) and the decent was somewhat of an epic – but we all made it back ok!

We were joined on the last section by a Chinese climber who seemed as happy to reach the North Col as we were and called over his comrades to assist with the team photos! From what we’ve heard, the Chinese Expedition later went on to put about 20 climbers on the summit and it would be very interesting to know if he was one of them!!

Sadly, we also learned that one of the Seven Summits Team died whilst decending from the summit – his body was found by the Chinese.

Quite a few of the teams have taken advantage of the brief weather window from 20th-23rd May but most of the big teams, such as Jagged Globe, are waiting until the end of May/beginning of June when much calmer weather is expected. A small number of climbers ventured above the North Col early on but got quite a beating – we saw some very sorry looking people indeed!!

We were also priviledged to be able to spend a great deal of time with the Jagged Globe North Ridge summit team – they are a great bunch and some of the things written by the very silly Times journalist, Stephanie Marsh, may well be inaccurate, so do bear that in mind should you happen to read them. I wish them all the very best of luck in their summit quest – but especially Sibusiso Vilane. He is a wonderful man (an African Game Ranger) and is aiming to be the first black person to climb Everest from both the North and South sides. He previously summited Everest in 2003. I have given Sibusiso several Tibetan prayer flags that I bought in Lhasa – should he again be successful, Sibusiso has agreed to do me the most profound honour and place those prayer flags on the summit for all my friends and family. A quite remarkable act of generosity.

Well, I shall sign off for now. I hope you are all well and I look forward to catching up with you all again soon!!!!

L98 Shooting

Cadets attended Henly Park Range in Surrey on Sunday 22 May to fire the L98 5.56mm Rifle. Fortunately the rain kept off and a good day was had, with a tremendous ammount of ammunition fired by the Cadets at various targets and distances, inlcuding falling plate, where armoured plates which fall when hit by a bullet, are fired at.

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