Author Archives: SGT Kightly RAFAC

March Cadets complete Silver Expedition

Recently seven cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Cadets completed the expedition section of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Their three-day expedition began near Castleton in the North York Moors, and took them through Westerdale and Farndale Moors.

Cadet Chris Howsam (15), said “The expedition was really worthwhile and I am pleased to have completed the expedition section.”

After camping in the valley, their second day took them past the disused mines in the area. They then took a route along the top of the moor where they camped in Rosedale.

The final day of their expedition took them across Wheeldale moor and finished in Goathland, the village where the ITV television series Heartbeat is set.

 

Pictured is the team at the end of the expedition. From left: Cadet Rebecca Stimson, Cadet Corporal Sophie Reeve, Cadet Corporal Liam Hill, Cadet Jason Sharman, Cadet Chris Howsam, Cadet Corporal Lauren Lynch-Cotter, Cadet Corporal Lauren Thompson

MARCH AIR CADETS COMPLETE EXPEDITION IN WOBURN

Seven air cadets from 1220 (March) Squadron recently took part in expedition in Bedfordshire. For three of the cadets who took part, this counts towards the expedition section of their award; the other four took this opportunity to improve their skills in preparation for their assessed expedition next year.

1220 cadets at the end of their expedition

1220 cadets at the end of their expedition

The route started at Great Brickhill in Bedfordshire and took them towards Woburn. They walked through the Woburn Abbey deer park and camped at Milton Bryan. On the second day they walked along part of the Greensand Ridge walk to finish near Flitwick.

The cadets found the Milton Bryan campsite particularly interesting because a building on the site was used as a radio station, which was used to broadcast false information and misleading propaganda into Nazi Germany during World War Two.

All seven cadets carried everything they would need for the two days, including their tents, cookers, food and spare clothes. They cooked and ate their own food, which consisted of breakfast, and a sausage, pasta and sauce concoction for evening meal.

Cadet Ross Tunley said “I thoroughly enjoyed my expedition and have achieved something I didn’t think I’d be able to do. Even though it was hard at times I found that the effort paid off at the end.”

MARCH AIR CADET PUTS BEST FOOT FORWARD

Alfie Jaggard (16), an air cadet from 1220 (March) Squadron, has recently returned triumphant after completed the gruelling 100 mile Nijmegen road march in Holland.

Alfie Jaggard with his Nijmegan badge

Alfie Jaggard with his Nijmegan badge

The “Vierdaagse” (Dutch for “four-day event”) is an annual walk that has taken place since 1909, and has been based at Nijmegen since 1916. There are different routes to take part in, with Alfie and his team completing 100 miles over four days. Numbers have risen in recent years, with over 40,000 taking part; it is now the world’s largest walking event. Many participants take part every year, including several that have taken part in 50, and even 60 different annual marches.

Each day of the marches is named after the biggest town it goes through. Tuesday is the day of Elst, Wednesday the day of Wijchen, Thursday the day of Groesbeek and Friday the day of Cuijk. On the Friday, as participants near the finish, spectators award the walkers with gladioli, a symbol of force and victory since Roman times.

Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing takes part in the marches every year and 2014 proved to be yet another successful year, with everyone completing the route and earning the coveted “Vieradaagse Kruis” medal. During their time in Holland, the team was able to pay its respect to those that lost their lives in Operation Market Garden, laying a wreath at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery.

The success was the culmination of eight months of intense training including completion of the Waendel Walk, which takes place in the area around Wellingborough covering over 52 miles.

Team leader Flight Sergeant (ATC) Alan Starling, who completed the marches for a fifth time, said “The team has found the training programme challenging, everyone has put a huge amount of effort into their own performances and supporting others in the team. As a result everyone completed the route and can wear their Nijmegen Medal with great pride.”

Alfie said, “I’m so proud to have completed the walk and look forward to next year. I would highly recommend it.”

MARCH CADET ATTENDS LEADERSHIP COURSE

Recently, Cadet Sergeant Chanel Ogden (17) from 1220 (March) Squadron Air Training Corps attended the Cadet Leadership Course at Frimley Park Cadet Training Centre. Chanel was one of only three cadets from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing to complete the course this year.

Chanel's course photo. Chanel is first from the right at the front.

Chanel’s course photo. Chanel is first from the right at the front.

Throughout the week, Chanel was assessed on various aspects of leadership including physical robustness, confidence and teamwork. These aspects were assessed in activities undertaken throughout the week, such as two log runs followed by an obstacle course, command tasks, orienteering and a two-night fieldcraft based exercise.  All these activities made the week physically and mentally demanding for all cadets on the course.

On the second day of the course, Chanel was appointed the role of Platoon Sergeant. Chanel was required lead other cadets undertaking platoon attacks, an aspect of fieldcraft Chanel had never undertaken before. However, she was commended on her efforts.

Chanel thrilled to find out she passed the course with the overall grade ‘average’ and achieved ‘above average’ in three of the seven assessed aspects.

Chanel said “I was so worried I wouldn’t be physically fit enough to cope with the demands of the course, but I was so happy to find out I was marked ‘above average’ in my physical robustness. The course was so worthwhile, I would love to do it again myself and I would recommend it to any cadet. I now plan to pass on the leadership qualities I learnt at Frimley Park Training Centre to other cadets in my local area.”

1220 is recruiting. For further details on joining as a cadet or an adult volunteer, please visit our website at 1220atc.org.uk

MARCH AIR CADETS HONOUR THE FALLEN

Last Monday, eleven cadets and two members of staff from 1220 (March) Squadron took part in television coverage by ITV Anglia commemorating the centenary of the start of World War One.

Cadet Corporal Joe Goodman playing the Last Post for the film crew.

Cadet Corporal Joe Goodman playing the Last Post for the film crew.

At the event, Cadet Corporal Joe Goodman (16) played the Last Post which was later shown on the ITV coverage of the event. Joe had been awarded Best Solo Bugler at the recent Wing Music Competition and responded to the event coordinator’s search for a bugler. Other cadets were also keen to take part and formed the background for the telecast.

The programme was a mix of pre-recorded and live parts interspersed with other elements from around the broadcast area. The programmed ended with Cpl Goodman playing the Last Post. After performing, he said “I was really nervous about playing on TV, but excited at the same time.”

Cadets and staff from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing with ITV Anglia presenter Jonathan Wills

Cadets and staff from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing with ITV Anglia presenter Jonathan Wills

The cadets were immensely proud to represent today’s youth in remembrance of the sacrifices made 100 years ago by service personnel around the world.