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
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!
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.
20 members of the Squadron’s Mountaineering Team have just returned from a weeks winter skills training in Scotland. The team received instruction in snow craft (including use of ice axe and crampons) they learnt about setting up belays in snow and took part in ice climbing at the Ice Factor. During the week they summitted two mountains over 4,000 feet high – both in complete white out conditions.
Following the very successful expedition to Ecuador in 2004, the team are currently training to take part in a major expedition to Bolivia in 2007. This week offered the team a chance to develop the specialist winter skills required for such a trip. In addition to mountaineering, on the rest day the cadets visit Fort George and had a great time on the slides of the Inverness Aqua Dome.
Cadets attended Pirbright Ranges on Thursday 31 March to fire the L98 rifle on a 25m Barrack Range. 1800 rounds where dispatched, and congratulations to Sgt Cheah, Cdt Bhadresha and Cdt McGranaghan for achieving their Corps Marksman Badge, and Cdt Thomas on his Region Marksman.
No so many congratulations to Cpl Pisano who ordered the pizza on our return, as not all of us got three pieces!!!!
On Good Friday Cadets attended 614 VGS at Weathersfield in Essex to carry out glider flying training. All four cadets successfully passed their Gliding Induction Course on the Viking glider during the day. They will now be eligable for a Gliding Scholarship when they are 16.
Cdt Brad Davis
Cdt Ryan O’Grady
Cdt Olivia Cocker
Cdt Kourtney Shaw
In addition Flt Lt Godden also had several flights including a low level pass over the control caravan at 50 feet!
The Squadron deployed to Crowborough Training Camp to carry out field leadership in the Pippingford Park area. In spite of the glorious weather on the Saturday (it should have been raining!), various levels of training and testing were carried out with the cadets putting into practice lessons taught on the Squadron.
Whilst this was happening Sgt Michelle Cheah passed her Basic Coaching Course with 5 Small Arms Training Team and is now qualified to coach cadets whilst they are live firing. She can now progress onto a Range Conducting Officer course.
Cpl James Grant attended a NCO Course run by London Wing at Whipps Cross TA Centre, and came away with a highly placed pass. The course covered leadership, drill & uniform, presentations and the role of the NCO.
In the recent ATC National Exam the Sqn once again scored notable successess.
6 Cadets have passed their Staff Part 2 exam and have been awarded their Yellow Lanyard
11 Cadets Passed Staff Part 1 and are now eligable for a BTEC in Avaition Studies (worth a GCSE)
13 Cadets passed their Senior Exam
23 Cadets passed Leading
23 Cadets passed Navigation and Airmanship in their Leading, and will complete by taking Principles of Flight in May
Full details are in the forum.
CWO Nic Hanson has now been offically promoted to the rank of Adult Sargent and joins the staff team of the Sqn after 7 years as a Cadet. WO Wright already has a few duties lined up for him!
The Squadron held its annual dinner and dance at Chigwell Police Club on Friday 11 March. Organsised by CWO Holly Brogden-Knight, a 140 Staff, Cadets, Ex Cadets, and committee members danced the night away after a first rate meal and some very short speeches!
On the Saturday the Committee held it annual Quiz Night at Trinity School and raised £780 towards the minibus fund.