As we approach the Christmas and New Year break I wanted to thank everyone across the Wing for their continued support during what has been yet another busy year for South & East Midlands Wing.
2013 saw us take a lead role for the ATC in the designated National Armed Forces Day lead city - Nottingham, where the 1084 band lead the entire cadet forces contingent through the city whilst the Rifle Drill Display team from 126 performed in front of thousands on the Trent Embankment arena and the local units worked through a long and tiring day to set up, man and strip down our static displays that proved so very popular with the public. Many of those present, like the rest of the Wing then went off to commitments for AFD within their local area.
The Cadets’ year ended just before Christmas with a Christmas Party in our HQ building at Nottingham Airport, Tollerton. Our Cadets then had a well-earned rest over Christmas to recharge their batteries before starting back in early January. At this point, as the New Year gets under way, it seems appropriate to quote an extract from the end-of-year message from the head of the Air Cadet Organisation, Air Commodore Dawn McAfferty, who is the head of the entire organisation and had this to say:
Four of our cadets competed at the Central & East Region swimming competition on Sunday 12th October 2014. The Junior Girls came overall 2nd in their age category & Junior Boys came 3rd in their category. These being made up of our cadets. South & East Midlands Wing came 2nd in the overall competition. A big well done to all. An exciting, emotional and momentous day!
“Having been given the exciting opportunity to do a solo static line parachute jump for my 16th birthday in January, I decided to get the most out of the experience and do a sponsored parachute jump. My aim was to raise £1,000 for the RAF Association and I had three months to achieve it, so I started to collect sponsors immediately. This definitely proved a challenge.
|Photos and Videos of Presentation Evening are now in our Gallery and Youtube Channel (Video may not work on mobile devices due to copyright restrictions). This prestigious event took place last night and was attended by cadets and parents, dignitaries from the ATC and local councils, as well as other organisations connected with the Squadron. Once again our cadets made us proud of their achievements over the past year.|
South and East Midlands Wing ran its popular Wing Radio course at RAFWittering. Story coming soon.
Mr P On His Last Night In Uniform
After over 15years as a Warrant Officer in the Air Cadet Organisation Warrant Officer Larry Parker ('Mr P') has hung up his hat and retired.
During his time serving as Warrant Officer on 2425 Squadron Larry held positions such as squadron training officer and Health and safety officer. He also led teams at the 4 days March at Ijzer in Belgium. Larry had also been instrumental in the community work and events that the Sqn is now involved with, including getting the unit affiliated with local RBL and RAFA branches.
During his time in uniform WO Parker has been awarded the Lord Lieutenants Certificate, Commandants Certificate of Meritorious service as well as his Cadet Forces medal.
On his last night in uniform the cadets put WO Parker through his paces on an initiative exercise and on an informal final parade presented him with a celebratory cake and photo album. Also present was Sqn Ldr Pass, deputy OC South and East Midlands Wing who related his long association with WO Parker to the guests that attended for a surprise send off for WO Parker. This included members of the Keyworth and Plumtree RAFA, WO Parkers first Sqn Commander and over 20 ex cadets from the past 15 years.
WO Parker reported "I am so proud of having been involved in an organisation like this, I see it as a family in the way it supports and develops people." He further advised the current cadets to "take these opportunities that are offered by the ACO because you'll never get them anywhere else and if you do you'll never regret it".
Although Larry is retiring from uniformed service he is going to continue his involvement with the Air Cadet Organisation by joining the Squadrons Civilian Committee, where his association with the ACO started over 15 years ago.
2425 (Nottingham Airport) Squadron help out at the Parkinson's UK : Spooky Sprint 2014 at The National Water Sports Centre, Holme Pierrepont by Flt Sgt Street
People within our local community partook in this fun and 'spooky' fundraising event to raise much needed money for Parkinson's Disease. The squadron were asked to help out on the finish line to hand out medals, goodie bags and much needed water to all participants.
The event started with a 'family fun run' where all the children dressed up in their fancy dress costumes to celebrate Halloween and ran a short distance. They all received their much deserved 'spooky goodie bags' which consisted of sweets & a medal.
There was then a 5km & 10km run for the adults. The atmosphere was fantastic, everyone cheering and laughing. Music playing in the background "from Thriller to Flash Gordon". An amazing and exciting event for all the family. This really helped motivate the runners as by this timer it was all getting dark!
All runners were issued a Spooky Sprint t-shirt and head torch, which everyone had to wear.. The sound of the air horn went and all runners disappeared into the darkness. In no time at all the runners came running around the lake, all that could be seen was a sea of lights, a truly magical view.
By another blink of an eye, people were finishing the run. The crowd was in awe and clapping all the participants as they completed this truly amazing well organised event.
Corporal Madeleine Mackay, an Air Cadet from 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Squadron Air Training Corps, has had the RAF experience of a lifetime.
She was selected to go on the rafa YOUTH Cyprus Award trip to RAF Akrotiri.
rafa YOUTH is the RAF Association’s exciting online youth membership scheme for young flying enthusiasts. Membership is open to those aged 13 to 17 who are Air Cadets, Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets, Air Scouts, Air Explorer Scouts or RAF Combined Cadet Force members.
The week-long expedition to Cyprus included a variety of activities such as visiting the dog section, going to local attractions and spending the afternoon watching the RAF Aerobatic Team the Red Arrows and meeting the team’s engineers.
Speaking before her trip, Madeleine said: “When I found out that I had been given a place to go to Cyprus I was overjoyed. I never expected to receive this, it was fantastic surprise. I am very excited about the trip and all the different things I will be able to do there. I’m really looking forward to the good weather, but I also hope to make new friends, and make the most of this wonderful opportunity.”
Cadets nominated for the award will have shown outstanding commitment and effort to aspire to the aims of rafa YOUTH, often overcoming difficult or challenging circumstances.
Madeleine was put forward for the Cadet Award by her squadron because of her fundraising efforts, having completed a sponsored parachute jump earlier this year.
Thank you to Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue for taking the time to visit us tonight. The team comprise volunteers from all walks of life who give up their spare time to help the Police carry out lowland searches. Find out more at their website by clicking the image above. See photos from the event here.
Cadets and staff from 2425 (Nottingham Airport) and 1936 (Newton) Squadrons attended the Keyworth WW1 centenary event and rededication of the parish memorial gates.
Also in attendance were Sqn Ldr Pass, Deputy Wing Commander South and East Midlands Wing, members of the local Royal Air Force Association, Royal British Legion, members of the retired Gurkha’s Association, Army Cadet Force, Parish and Borough Councillors. VIPs in attendance included Jean Jarosz the current Mayor of the French town, which Keyworth is twinned with, Feignies and The Venerable Air Vice Marshal Robin Turner Deputy Lord Lieutenant and Sir John Peace Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.
After the rededication of the memorial gates the parade performed a march past and salute to the Lord Lieutenant Sir John Peace who then inspected the various contingents of the parade. Many of the dignitaries present thanked the cadets in person for their participation in the event as did members of the local community.
Cadet Cpl Harby, banner barer for 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Sqn said “it was an honour to parade in front of some many officials and to be joined by so many veterans from the Royal British Legion and Gurkha’s”.
The parade finished with a generous helping of sandwiches and tea supplied by the parish council which the cadets did their best to consume.
On Wednesday 18 June 14, two sisters from 2425 Sqn, Cdt Cpl Madeleine Mackay and Cdt Hannah Mackay were among some 40 other cadets from around the UK that were selected from the Royal Air Force Aircadets National Marching Band attended a performance at 10 Downing Street.
Hannah and Madeleine reported that;
"We travelled to Wellington Barracks where we had a practice session and followed by lunch, once we got to 10 Downing street we went through to the gardens where we did the performance. We were allowed to use the official number 10 toilets but only after they had been checked by the security service personnel. The Prime Minister took time to speak to us all after the performance which made the experience feel really special"
The musical performance was brilliant, the cadets were smart and professional throughout and the whole day exceeded all expectations.
Principle Director of Music, Wing Commander Gill Singleton RAFVR(T): "This has got to be one of the best jobs that the band has done, to play in the gardens of No 10. The immense amount of good it has done the organisation is immeasurable, as always the cadets performed at the top of their game".
A busy day with our Squadron involved in both Tollerton and Bunny Remembrance Sunday Services. Click the image to view the photos.
Congratulations to Flt Sgt Woodier and James 'Hoppo' Hopson on the birth of Joshua James. As you can see Joshua already has the beret and 'greens'. The T-shirt was presented by OC Flt Lt Frost and is emblazened with the words "Very Junior Cadet". His name is already down to become a Junior Cadet with 2425 Squadron ... only 12 years to wait! See more photographs of this visit and presentation of gifts at our Flickr photo site.
We have had a very busy time recently supporting both the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) collecting in West Bridgford and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal collecting in Ruddington.
We also led the Remembrance Sunday parade in the morning at Tollerton, the village where we are based. Then in the evening we attended a second service at Bunny church. This is all part of the Air Cadets’ commitment to community service. Cadet McKay played the Last Post which added an air of poignancy to each service.
We were asked to help the organisers at the Spooky Sprint that took place in the dark, over Halloween at the Water Sports Centre Holme Pierrepont. It was in aid of a very worthwhile cause, the Parkinsons UK charity. Cadets and staff helped at the start and finish line handing out goodie bags.
Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue
We had an exciting visit from members and search dogs from the Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue organisation. They are highly skilled and dedicated volunteers working alongside the Nottinghamshire Police to search for, locate and rescue missing and vulnerable people in the community. Their work is described as carrying out lowland searches as opposed to hill and mountain rescue. Their volunteers come from all walks of life, including teachers, fire service personnel, ex-military, etc. Anyone can join them so if you are looking to volunteer for something worthwhile please contact them via their website http://www.nottinghamshire-sar.org.uk/. Full training is provided.
Cadet Corporal Thomas Leatherland of 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Sqn Royal Air Force Air Cadets recently represented England in the poomsae section of the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships in Edinburgh, where he succeeded in winning 2 silver and 1 gold medal. Thomas, a 4th Dan black belt has been training for 10 years at his local Taekwondo club in Nottingham and selection for the GB squad has led him to compete internationally in Finland, Austria and Germany. In 2013 he was selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Spain.
Membership of the Air Cadets has helped Thomas in numerous ways. The regular sports and outdoor activities within the training programme have helped Thomas continue to develop a high level of fitness which is vital to maintain the ability to compete at this high level. The general focus on self-reliance and self-discipline is something that has helped develop Thomas' mental strength to focus on his training and maintaining his performance levels.
Thomas reported that 'It feels great to achieve these medals and I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent England. I feel being in the Air Cadets has helped me develop the self-discipline and focus I needed personally to achieve this. All my mates on the Squadron have helped me too by encouraging me when the going got tough in the competitions.'
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Exped
The D of E team completed their expedition recently at Charnwood Forest. The route they planned took two days around Bradgate Park, including Beacon Hill, Swiftland Woods and Woodhouse Eaves. They stayed at the Scout camp The Oaks in Charnwood. They subsequently gave an excellent presentation and question and answer session to staff and cadets at our Squadron HQ.
Swimmers Second in The Wing
The South and East Midlands Wing is a grouping of 29 Air Cadet Squadrons that are based all over the East Midlands area and slightly beyond. From time to time Wing competitions are held involving all of these Squadrons. Amongst the many activities we do is Swimming. We are proud that our Squadron came 2nd out of the 29 Squadrons in the recent competition, including 8 first places and a second place in the finals. Well done to all that took part.
Plumtree Battle of Britain Parade
As in previous years we were pleased to be invited to the annual Battle of Britain memorial service in Plumtree. We paraded from the Griffin car park up the hill to St Mary The Virgin church and received an ovation from the congregation. See photos and videos linked from our website www.2425atc.org.uk.
Our most popular camp of the year is taking place in November at Gradbach in Staffordshire. We have exclusive use of the large farmhouse at the Scout Camp and the busy weekend includes hill walking, navigation exercises, fun activities and this year we have added archery to the list.
Despite driving wind, snow and temperatures of -20 degrees Cadet Harris reached the summit of Kilimanjaro with his father. See original story here http://www.2425atc.org.uk/cadets-blog/164-cadet-to-climb-kilimanjaro