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

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!

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

A Succesful Weekend

The Sqn attended the annual London Wing Athletics Competition at Mile End Stadium on Sunday 08 May. The Sqn team did well with the 3 male teams comming second in their age groups, and the 2 female teams comming first in their age groups. The Sqn won the overall Male and Female Trophies and the Overall Winners, and excellent result. Winners of Individual Competitions will go onto represent the Wing at the Regional Athletics in June.

Medal Winners were:
A Boys
1500m Lawrence

B Youths
1500m Rice

C Juniors
200m Guilford

Discus Preston

D Girls
800m Khambati

1500m Henry R
Relay Price, Henry, Kays, Nicklen

E Senior Girls
400m Mardon

800m Foley
1500m Watts

Relay Pisano, Watts, Foley, Dent

On Saturday members of 3 and 4 Flights visited Alton Towers and inspite of the huge queues a good time was had by all.

On Sunday 4 Cadets also attended 614 Volunteer Gliding School at Weathersfield to complelte their Gliding Induction Course. However the fates interviened, in the form of a broken winch and not all of the cadets were able to complete the course. They will be reattending in the next few months to complete.

Shooting Team win the LMRA Competition

On Sunday 01 May the Sqn shooting Team participated in the annual Cadet Unit shoot at Bisley, organised by the London and Middlesex Rifle Association. Fired at distances of 300 and 500 yards the Sqn entered 4 Teams.

For the first time ever the Sqn won the overall Trophy for the winning team, the Best Shot, and came 3rd in the Individual Competition.

The Team was:
Sgt Pisano
Cpl Zealander
Cdt Bustamante
Cdt Filer

Coach CI Grant

Cdt Ben Filer also was the Best Shot, and FS Charles Barnes came 3rd in the individual competition.

This is an excellent result, having knocked the team from Glouscester Army Cadets from their 4 year run of winning the trophy.

Good scores were also recorded by members of the three other Teams, with Cadet Sezer scoring 60.2 out of 70 on only his third shoot with the L81.

Next stop Bisley in July for the International Cadet Rifle Competitions!

Exam Success

Corporal Andy Webb and Cadet Richard Hall have passed their Staff 2 Exam under the beady eye of Sqn Ldr Hale from London Wing HQ, and are now fully fledged Staff Cadets. They able to instruct and train other cadets on a wide variety of topics and to assist the staff in the running of the unit.

The Sqn gains an Air Rifle Range

The Squadron now has a fully operational Air Rifle Range in the main hall. The 4 Lane range and firing plinths were built by staff and cadets, and has now been approved by Headquarters Air Cadets. Training for the Cadets to operate Air Rifles will commence shortly, and this will undoubtedly become an asset for Shooting on the Sqn.

Shooting Sucesses

The Sqn Shooting Team takes part in a number of competitions each year organised by the Council for Cadet Rifel Shooting (CCRS)on both small bore and full bore rifles. These competitions are shot between Cadet units of all 3 services in the UK and the Comonwealth.

The results are now in:

Fennell A (Target .22) – 6th

Fennell B (Service .22) – 5th

C (7.62mm Target Rifle) – 6th,20th and 24th

D (L98 5.56mm) – 1st, 2nd and 5th

Gold Medals to Charles Barnes , Tom Burgess and Alex Hanson (and a medal in the post to James Lopez Wickers!) and Silver Medals to Rudi Bustamantee, Yusif Lallo, Hardeep Marwah and Kyle O’Donovan.

E (Earl Roberts) – 2nd and 5th. Bronze Medals for Kris Pisano, David Zealander, Rudi Bustamante and Jay Bhadresha. (I dont know why these are not Silver Medals but there you go!)

This is the first time we have ever won a CCRS Competition, and opens our 2005 Season on a high note.

The Pat Butler Memorial Award

FS Daniel Goldman, his parents and the CO attended the presentation of the Pat Butler Award by the Spitfire Society on Saturday. The award is made by the Society to the two cadet selected by the Officers Commanding London & South Eastern Region and Central and East Region Air Cadets. This year FS Goldman was from our Squadron was selected to receive the award.

The ceremony took place at Old Warden Airfield, on arrival FS Goldman was met by the Chairman of the Society, Dennis, who very proudly pointed out the Squadron badge he was wearing on his blazer. By a remarkable coincidence Dennis was a member for 241 Squadron flying Spitfires in Italy and he lives just 20 miles from the Squadron. The CO has invited Dennis to visit the Squadron and meet the cadets and Dennis agreed to bring down several items of Squadron memorabilia.

FS Goldman received a cheque from the Society to help him in his aviation career he also received membership of the Society a great honour indeed. On behalf of the RAF and the Corps, Group Captain Ford, the Regional Commandant for Central East, thanked the Society for the generous awards

Following the presentation Peter Cunningham gave a very interesting talk on his flying career which commenced with him flying Spitfires in North Africa. The day concluded with lunch and allowed time to meet and talk to other members of the Society.

This was an exceptional day on all respects and one that FS Goldman, his family and the CO will never forget. The Squadron looks forward to the evening when it can welcome and host a wartime member of our parent Squadron of whom we have great pride in being associated with.

Squadron Restructure

Due to some very senior cadets moving to adult staff the Squadron underwent a restructure following the McGrath Trophy. To be an NCO on the Squadron is a very responsible job and to achieve NCO status cadets must have proved themselves to be of the highest calibre. To achieve the rank of Corporal a cadet must first achieve leading cadet status, they must then complete an application form, pass a written promotion exam and then go through a structured interview by the CO and the Senior Cadet NCO on the Squadron. Only then can they be considered by the Flight Commanders to be promoted into their flights.

The following promotions took place on the presentation parade of the McGrath Trophy on Sunday, in front of over 120 cadets and staff.

HQ Flight

Transferred to Headquarters Flight to take command and become the Senior Cadet NCO on the Squadron CWO Jason Reuben
Promoted to Flight Sergeant Head of Admin FS Michelle Cheah
Promoted to Corporal – Cpl Patrick McGranaghan

One Flight
Promoted to Flight Sergeant as Flight Commander FS Anthony Makins
Promoted to Sergeant as 2 IC Sgt Tom Burgess
Promoted to Corporal as a Section Commander Cpl Caroline Dent

Two Flight
Unchanged

Three Flight
Promoted to Flight Sergeant as Flight Commander FS Laura Molen
Promoted to Sergeant as 2 IC Sgt James Grant
Promoted to Corporal as a section commander Cpl Kirsty Troy

Four Flight
Appointed Year One Head of Training & Development FS Paul Fothergill
Promoted to Flight Sergeant as Flight Commander Tom Henry
Promoted to Sergeant as 2 IC Sgt Kristina Pisano
Promoted to Corporal as Section Commander Cpl Carl Gheho
Appointed acting Section commander Cdt Daniel Smith

Congratulations to all those cadets who have been promoted they are all dedicated cadets who have worked hard for the benefit of Squadron and justly deserve their promotions.