Author Archives: Mr Casson-Rennie

A FUTURE LEADER FROM 1220

A 1220 (March) Squadron Air Cadet has successfully completed a week long Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Cadet Flight Sergeant McLean shows off his certificate of completion

Cadet Flight Sergeant Kyle McLean, 17 years old, attended the ILM Level 2 course completing a number of modules, including both practical and theory work. All of the Cadets who took part were allocated a “flight” (team) and had the opportunity to lead and manage several differing tasks, lasting 15 to 45 minutes, as well as a full 24 hours managing the whole flight.

The final physical task of the week saw all of the Cadets involved in an exercise spending two nights outside in the wilds of Lincolnshire. Sleeping under “bashers” and surviving on ration packs. This contributed to the practice for three modules of the workbook, including “Developing yourself as a Team Leader”, “Understanding discipline in the workplace” and “Understanding the organisation and its content”.

Cadet Flight Sergeant McLean spent the subsequent weeks as home study completing the further theory sections of the workbook in order to pass the course successfully.

Cadet Flight Sergeant McLean said “The Course was rigorous and challenging, and it really pushed me beyond the limits I thought I was capable of – but it pushed us to be at our very best in each section, and it was great to lead and be led by others doing the same.”

1220 OFFICIALLY WELCOMES NEW CADETS

1220 (March) Air Cadets welcomed their new Cadets recently in an enrollment ceremony in the Squadron building in Gas road.

Enrollment

The 13 new cadets, all aged between 12 and 13 years old, have joined the Squadron in the last 12 months. Some of the Cadets were the first to join when the joining age for Cadets was reduced from 13 years old to 12 years old.

A number of the cadets who joined in February 2015 have already been involved in activities, not just within 1220 (March) Squadron, but also at Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire wing level.

On the same evening as the Cadets were enrolled RAF Chief Tech Andy Murray joined us for his final time in RAF Uniform. Chief Tech Murray retired from the RAF on the same day, and will continue to support the Squadron as a Civilian Instructor, where his experience of day to day life in the RAF are of great interest to 1220 (March) Air Cadets. Andy said, “I have been in the RAF for 12 years, and believe it is important to share my knowledge with the next generation, who may be interested in a life within the RAF. I am delighted to be able to continue to support the Squadron and of course the Cadets who show great interest in what life was like in the RAF”

Andy is now re-training to become a teacher, as well as supporting the Squadron.

1220 ANNUAL PRESENTATION AND AWARDS EVENING

DSC_6196a (2)1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corp recently held its Annual Review and Presentation of Awards at the Neale-Wade Academy. In the presence Wing Commander Tony Kelly, Officer Commanding Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing, his predecessor Wing Commander Paul Bower OBE and Principal of Neale-Wade Academy Jason Wing. Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Burnham covered the activities and achievements of a Squadron already holding the title of best squadron in the Wing.

1220’s activity list in 2015 was impressive. Six cadets completed their bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, another 5 their silver and 7 achieved the covert gold award. Fifteen cadets completed the Heartstart emergency first aid course with 5 others going on to do the St John Youth First Aid and one to Activity First Aid level.

Cadets grabbed every opportunity to go away on camps with 11 attending UK RAF Stations, 6 the Stanta training area and 4 heading to the warmer climes of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Other cadets headed for the mountains of Llanbedr and Windermere on adventure training camps.

Leadership and knowledge training were well represented. The squadron based training saw 29 cadets passing their classification exams with Flight Sergeant Kyle Maclean (17) reaching the top level of Instructor Cadet. He then went on to pass the prestigious Air cadet Leadership Course at RAFC Cranwell.

March are well known for their sporting prowess and cadets took part in nearly all that were available. Four cadets also represented the Wing at sport and  two of those (Cadets Hana Howsam and Brandon Casson-Rennie) went  on to compete for the Region against the rest of the Country.

Target shooting was as popular as ever with shooting on squadron, at RAF Honington and DISC Chicksands.  16 cadets gained marksman badges through the year including 3 at the top Corps level.

As ever 1220 continue to support our town and local area with attendance at all the major events and well as helping in the background such as bag packs and wrapping presents for Santa’s grotto at the Christmas lights switch on.

 

 

Highlight of the evening was the announcement of the awards. These were presented by Wing Commander Kelly and Jason Wing.

Bower Challenge Trophy for best cadet Sergeant Katie Mowatt
Best junior cadet Cadet Stacey Stimson
Caldwell Lodge trophy for the most improved cadet Corporal Ewan MacRae
Best new recruit Cadet Lauren Thompson
C&G Coaches award for contribution to the Corps resulting in a personal achievement. Corporal Josef Pankhurst
Mayors Diamond Jubilee trophy for adventure training Corporal Frasier Casson-Rennie
George Cross Memorial trophy for community work Sergeant Katie Mowatt
Readshaw Cup for sport Cadet Hana Howsam
David Turner Memorial trophy for contribution to the band Corporal Josef Pankhurst
Best shot from the inter-flight competition Flight Sergeant Kyle McLean
Best overall shot from all competitions and shoots Flight Sergeant Kyle McLean
Most improved shot Cadet Tony Pepper
Jason Wing Shield for best exam results Corporal Ewan MacRae
Squadron Commander’s attendance cup Sergeant Katie Mowatt
Table tennis competition winner Corporal Frasier Casson-Rennie
Darts competition winner Corporal Frasier Casson-Rennie

 

1220 are now recruiting. If you are aged between 13 and 16 why not come and join the best.

There will be an open evening on Wednesday 10th February at 7:30pm. This will be at the Squadron building on Gas Road, March. All prospective cadets and their parent are welcome to attend. Intake night will be Tuesday 16th February at 7pm.

CADETS RECOGNISED BY LORD LIEUTENANT OF CAMBRIDGESHIRE

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Cpl Casson-Rennie, Sgt Mowatt, Sir Hugh Durbery, Cpl Willox & Flt Sgt Mclean

Cadets from 1220 (March) Air Cadet were recognised in a ceremony by the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. The Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Sir Hugh Duberly KCVO CBE presented certificates of commendation at the ceremony, which was held at Hinchingbrooke School’s Performing Arts Centre in Huntingdon.

Cadet Flight Sergeant Kyle McLean (17), Cadet Sergeant Katie Mowatt (18), Cadet Corporal Frasier Casson-Rennie (17) & Cadet Corporal Callum Willox (17) were invited to the ceremony after successfully completing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards in 2015. In total 7 Cadets completed their Gold awards, with three turning 18 years of age since completion, and subsequently “ageing out” of the Air Cadet Organisation.

To achieve their Gold award each cadet had to take part in a physical activity (Physical section), pursue a personal interest (Skill section), spend a minimum of 12 months volunteering (Volunteering section), complete a 4-day expedition (Expedition section) and join a 5 day residential experience (Residential section).

The recognition ceremony held on Saturday, 9th January, precedes the Cadets invitation to be awarded officially their award at St James’s Palace later this year. Other Gold award achievers from all over Cambridgeshire were present at the ceremony.

A  keynote speech was given by Miss Judy Scotney from Peterborough. Judy was the first girl in Peterborough to achieve her Gold Award in 1964, having already worked through her Bronze and Silver Awards. Her achievements were documented in a Pathe news item at the time entitled “Woman does man’s work”.

The Duke of Edinburgh award is available to all air cadets at the 1220 (March) Squadron. Please visit our website: www.1220atc.org.uk to find out more about becoming an Air Cadet, and for details of our upcoming open evening.

MARCH AIR CADETS WORKING HARD THROUGH THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Cadets - L-R Cpl Willox and Cadets Casson-Rennie (F), Brownlie and MaCrae

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Cadets – L-R Cpl Willox and Cadets Casson-Rennie (F), Brownlie and MaCrae

After months of preparation three groups of 1220 (March) Air Cadets have completed Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions this summer. Planning started in January when the teams met at the Squadron Headquarters in Gas Road, March to decide where they wanted to go and which routes they wanted to take.  The Silver team chose to go to the Yorkshire Dales and the Gold teams opted for the Lake District.

In their teams they planned their three day (for Silver) or four day (for Gold) routes and made decisions about what sites of interest they would like to visit while completing their journey. Training for the Gold teams was conducted in the Brecon Beacons at Easter.  They had mixed weather which involved walking in hill fog on Waun Fach, battling the wind on Sugar Loaf, and glorious sunshine on Pen Y Fan.

The Silver team went to Edale in the Peak District for their training on the first May bank holiday weekend.  They climbed Win and Lose hills on the first day, took a rainy walk near the Derwent Reservoir – where the Dambusters trained – and finished with a brighter walk from Edale to Castleton.

At the beginning of the Summer Holidays both teams had a final Expedition practise closer to home.  They walked from Whittlesey to March and made use of the Scout Campsite in Gaul Road.  During this weekend they were able to make final decisions about who was going to carry which bits of group equipment and what food they would want to cook and eat.

The Silver team consisted of Cadets Will Snow, Macauley Milnes, Brandon Casson-Rennie, Hope Bissett and Stacey Stimson.  The five headed north in July to complete their journey.  They started near Settle – famous for the Railway line – and finished in Kettlewell – famous for being the home of the WI Calendar Girls.  On route they visited Malham, and camped at the bottom of Gordale Scar which had an impressive waterfall.

Silver Duke of Edinbiurgh team - L-R - Cadets Casson-Rennie (B) Snow, Stimson, Hope and Milnes

Silver Duke of Edinbiurgh team – L-R – Cadets Casson-Rennie (B) Snow, Stimson, Hope and Milnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gold teams’ expeditions took place over the August Bank holiday.  The Lake District provided beautiful views and in the main the weather was kind – not too hot and not too wet.

Sergeants Kyle McLean and Aleks Deaves joined Corporals Joe Goodman and Katie Mowatt to make one team.  They started from Windermere Youth hostel and finished at the Patterdale Hotel climbing High Street and visiting Aira Force waterfall on the way.

The second team was made up of Corporal Callum Willox and Cadets Calum Brownlie-Wood, Frasier Casson-Rennie and Ewan MacRae.  They started in the village of Kentmere and finished at Aira Force waterfall.  On the way they also climbed High Street and they spent a day walking the Helvelyn range from Dollywagon Pike to Whiteside.

Gold Due of Edinburgh Cadets - Sergeants Deaves, McLean and Cpls Goodman and Mowatt

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Cadets – Sergeants Deaves, McLean and Cpls Goodman and Mowatt

Both teams spent one of their evenings camping wild, high in the mountains.  They were rewarded with fabulous views when they woke in the morning and also the knowledge that the day would be a downhill one!

Flt Lt Kirsty Burnham, Commanding Officer at 1220 (March) Squadron, said “The expeditions that these Cadets took part in are a huge part of their Duke of Edinburgh awards. We try to do at least one expedition for each Duke of Edinburgh stage at least once a year at a reduced cost to any Cadets who take part. To have 8 of our Cadets take part in their Gold award is quite a record.”

Sergeant Aleks Deaves said “The 4 day expedition was hard work, especially as we live in the Fens where there are no hills or mountains. I did enjoy most of the 4 days, but I was also pleased when we arrived back at the Youth Hostel for our last evening in the Lakes to a hot shower and a cooked meal. The drive back to the Squadron in March made me realise just how flat the fens really are, compared to places like the Lakes. I would encourage anyone who is a Cadet to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh awards”

1220 (March) Squadron is holding an open evening on 9th September from 6:30pm. This is an opportunity for potential Cadets and their Parents to come along and find out more about RAF Air Cadets. Anyone from Year 9 is welcome to come along and speak to the Staff and other Cadets, to find out what RAF Air Cadets is all about. To find out more please visit: www.1220atc.org.uk