(NOTTINGHAM AIRPORT) SQUADRON ATC
For Excitement and Adventure!
The ATC is for girls and boys, now with a new lower joining age of 12 and over. We meet twice a week (Mon & Thur, 6.45pm) at the airport, Tollerton, Notts. To join, please visit our website www.2425atc.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @2425AirCadets and Facebook facebook.com/atc2425. We look forward to hearing from you.
In late November, our annual camp took place at Gradbach in Staffordshire, once again based in the large farmhouse owned by the Scout Association. We travelled on the Friday evening and on arrival we had tea and then had our camp briefing. Saturday comprised early morning PT, followed by a hearty breakfast. All food during the weekend was prepared by members of our excellent committee. The Cadets finalised their route cards before undertaking a training walk from the farmhouse, over the surrounding hills and back, luckily in fantastic weather. The afternoon comprised a team building exercise, then dinner was followed by ‘skits’ performed by the cadets in the evening. Then it was lights out and bed. Early PT on Sunday once again blew the cobwebs away and the cadets were then taken to an adventure centre where they tried out Archery and rode Segways. After breaking camp mid-afternoon Sunday, we travelled back to Tollerton, very tired but with another exciting Air Cadet adventure to relate to family and friends.
Four More Flyers
While some Cadets were enjoying Gradbach, four Cadets were lucky enough to be selected for flying experience at RAF Cranwell. Flying in the twin seater Grob Tutor aircraft, once airborne and under the supervision of an experienced pilot the Cadets took control of the Grob and demonstrated their piloting skills. As these four had flown previously, they were more than happy when asked if they would like to do aerobatics. Flying is just another of the many exciting activities that our Cadets have the opportunity to enjoy.
2425 Squadron Record Breakers?
On November 20th 2016 the Squadron took part in a Guinness World Record attempt. Although it is pending formal verification we are confident that we will become record breakers! Around 370 people descended on The Shuttleworth Collection Museum at Old Warden to take part in the attempt to beat the record for the number of people making aircraft models in one location at the same time. Previously this was 250 set by James May in one of his TV programmes. Following the carefully scrutinised event our contingent of Cadets and Staff were able to visit the museum itself and see some of the most historic aircraft in the world, many of which are still in flying condition and are shown regularly at the regular airshows held at the museum airfield.
As always our Cadets and Staff had a very busy Remembrance weekend. On the Saturday we helped the Ruddington Branch, Royal British Legion to collect for the Poppy Appeal. On the Sunday our Cadets made us proud by attending two parades in good numbers and looking very smart and well drilled. These were Tollerton and Bunny.
The 2425 Squadron swimming team has won the South and East Midlands Wing inter squadron swimming competition held at Nottingham University, beating 28 other Squadrons from around the Midlands area.
The team has come 2nd two years in a row and was determined to hit the top spot this year. To do this they committed to additional training and practices and several of the more established team members coached the younger ones in their technique. The squadron staff were impressed by the leadership of the NCOs with in the team (this results in a promotion for Sgt Lovell) and overall team work, much of which is a reflection on the cadets training within the Air Cadet Organisation.
The cadets celebrated back at the Squadron HQ with a specially made cake which they shared with the rest of the Squadron (even the Commanding Officer pinched a piece) and the rest of the cadets gave them a standing ovation.
Not resting on their laurels, the Squadron swimming team was back in the pool for a further practice within 2 days of the competition to discuss and practice for next years competition!
75 Year Anniversary Flagship Celebration
This flagship event celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the formation of the Air Training Corps and took place at RAF Cranwell on August 13th. It comprised Parades, Marching and Music by Cadets from all over the UK, including talent from our Squadron. Siblings Cadet Sam Mackay, Flight Sergeant Hannah Mackay, CWO Madeline Mackay played in bands and ensembles while Cadet Corporal Liam Scully took part in the parade. There was a flypast by a Spitfire and Hurricane from the BBMF, a parachute jump by the RAF Falcons and a display by the Red Arrows. The event was attended by thousands of Cadets, parents, guests and dignitaries. Amongst these being the Air Chief Marshal RAF Sir Stephen Hillier, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty (Commandant of the Air Cadets). Carol Vorderman also attended as Honorary Group Captain and Ambassador for the Air Cadets.
Ted Pays a Visit
Ex-2425 Squadron Cadet, Ted Atkins, recently gave an impromptu talk on Skydiving, the latest of his many adventurous activities. Ted is an ex-RAF Engineering Officer and Everest climber who went on to invent the World-renowned Topout Oxygen system for climbers based on flying helmets used by RAF pilots. The mask system has been taken up by Skydivers now so Ted has thrown himself into the sport by throwing himself out of aircraft! In fact Ted’s system was used in the recent world record breaking skydive that involved no parachute and just a net on the ground. Check it out on Youtube.
Staff member Alan ‘Rosie’ Rawsthorne recently attained his Level 1 Coaching qualification and recently took 11 of our Cadets to Keyworth pool to begin their training. The aim is to arrange a Kayaking camp in the near future on canals locally.
One of the most popular events of the year with our Cadets is the 2-day Rempstone Steam and Country Show at Turnpost Farm, Wymeswold. In line with our ethos to help community groups, we manage the car-parking for the show organisers, directing the thousands of cars that flow in each day. This year torrential rain hit the event and day 1 was unfortunately a bit of a washout. Even so, our Cadets braved the weather whilst getting soaked through, parking the trickle of cars on the Saturday. Although it cleared up by Noon the damage had been done and the site was waterlogged, preventing many of the parades and activities that should have taken place in the main arena. Although our Cadets were called upon to fill a gap and provide a display of their team-working skills with a ‘gun-run’.
Day 2 was much better and it soon became obvious that thousands had postponed their visit until the Sunday with a much larger than usual volume of traffic to manage. Added to this some parts of the car park became no-go areas due to the mud. Our volunteer Cadets and Staff coped admirably throughout, remaining cheerful and courteous to members of the public. Despite the pressure on day 2 our Cadets had a great camp and we look forward to helping next year.
Bisley Inter Service Cadet Rifle Meeting
A team of Cadets, led by Staff member Sgt (ATC) Ben Walden, entered the prestigious 4 day Inter-Services Cadet Rifle Meet, taking on other Air Cadets, Sea Cadets and Army Cadets. Each day the cadets were up by 05:30 for breakfast at the neighbouring Army Training Centre Pirbright, then it was straight back to the camp to prep for the day and to the range by 07:45. Spending more than 10 hours on the range, followed by rifle cleaning. The very long days didn’t dampen spirits or dull the concentration, with the shooters recording their highest scores on the final morning’s competition.
Three Airfields Walk
In May, Cadets and staff embarked on a weekend of marching to link a number of the historic sites as part of their Three Airfields Walk. Starting on the Saturday at the former RAF Saltby, a short service was held at the airfield memorial to the British, American and Polish forces who were stationed there and who took part in D-Day and Operation Market Garden. Last post and reveille were played by Sgt H Mackay before Cadets Pike and S Mackay placed remembrance crosses.
The cadets then navigated to the Commonwealth War Graves within Stathern village cemetery. Then onward to the former RAF Langar which was a RAF bomber station, which later in the war became a USAAF station and again taking part in the airlift for Operation Market Garden. The second service of the day occurred here. After an evening meal cadets rotated between first aid training and practicing pitching the new tents.
After a good breakfast on Sunday morning cadets started early to finish at the Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club, in sight of the former RAF Tollerton which is home to 2425 Squadron. This being the location of the final memorial which is intrinsically linked to 2425 Squadron. 75 years ago this year a Wellington bomber from Tollerton crashed short of the runway after clipping a large oak tree. The crash occurred three days after the creation of the Air Training Corps.
More than 20 years ago current staff member Pilot Officer Whitaker was a Cadet Warrant Officer at 2425 Squadron and at that time he researched the crash and organised the creation of the memorial and original service. So in front of parents and a packed clubhouse, Sgt H Mackay played the last post and reveille before FS M Mackay laid a wreath from the Squadron. The ceremony and weekend was rounded off with the award of commemorative medals to all cadets.
2425 Staff Pay Their Respects in Belgium
As a military-style organisation we have a lot of empathy with the armed services and an interest in military history. Recently four staff from 2425 Squadron visited Belgium to plan a potential future visit by the cadets and toured various important war sites and memorials. They are Flt Lt Frost, Pilot Officer McLoughlin, Pilot Officer Whitaker and CI Rawsthorne.
They started in Niewport where the Belgians flooded 22 miles of their own country in WWI to halt enemy progress. This was followed by a visit to the Ijzer Tower memorial to Belgian soldiers. After arriving at their accommodation in Ypres, they attended the famous Menin Gate Last Post memorial, which has been held at 8pm every night since 1928. The following day was another busy one with visits to the ramparts at Ypres, then Essex Farm Cemetery and Hooge Crater museum at the site of a crater caused by intense shelling and a huge mine explosion. Sanctuary Wood museum (Hill 62) and the Saint Julien Memorial were the final destinations of the day.
The final day included visits to Hill 60, which inspired the novel Birdsong, Langermark German Cemetery, notable for its stark grey gravestones and a place where over 44,000 German soldiers are buried. Next was the Tyne Cot British Cemetery containing nearly 35,000 casualties. Then they visited Ploegsteert (known as “Plug Street”) which is the site of the famous temporary truce at Christmas during which opposing soldiers played a Football match. The final two stops were Bedford House Cemetery and the grave of Noel Chavasse, British Army Officer who was the only man to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the First World War.
Flt Lt Frost said “It is very important that we visit these memorials in peacetime to pay our respects to the heroes and remember the horrors of past wars.”
Funds Raised For RBL Ruddington
Pilot Officer Whitaker and SI Keough have raised more than £200 for the Royal British Legion Ruddington Branch by completing the Paras’ 10 Mile Challenge. Read about it on our website and Facebook soon.
Junior Cadet Camp, Cotgrave
We recently held our Junior Cadet camp at Cotgrave. This camp is designed to enable new entrants to learn some of the basic camp craft and field craft skills. Whilst the Junior Cadets received their instruction the more experienced members of the Squadron undertook a variety of practical field craft exercises under trained instruction, tailored to their experience and skills.
We are lucky to have high quality staff from all walks of life, including active members of the Police and Royal Air Force, who contribute a huge amount to the development of our cadets.
Amongst the other activities undertaken at this camp were Sport, First Aid, Casualty Evacuation, ‘Basha’ building (tarpaulin shelter) and Parachute games, as well as low light navigation and camouflage and concealment. Cadets were also taught how to safely use camping equipment such as stoves and how to be self-sufficient on camp.
Pilot Officer McLoughlin said “The camp worked really well this year, having been tailored primarily towards the younger Junior Cadets but also with the more senior Cadets having their own activities.”
On Sunday 21st February 11 Cadets from 2425 Squadron attended the Wing Cross Country competition. In cold and blustery conditions the Cadets were further challenged by muddy and slippery conditions underfoot. The Squadron didn’t bring home any silverware, but the team showed commitment in the tough conditions, with the girls placing 6th overall.
Sainsburys at Keyworth are doing a fantastic job raising money for our Squadron as their adopted charity this year. Many thanks to manager Graham and Supervisor Donna for all their help. Every penny is appreciated and will go towards equipment and activities for the Cadets.
Sibling Cadets Maddie, Hannah and Sam Mackay recently took part in the Air Cadets National Band Camp, culminating in a concert at Raf Cranwell.
Staff Qualifications Enhance Cadets’ Prospects
Pilot Officer McLoughlin and CI Burton attained their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Leaders status which will greatly enhance our ability to put more Cadets through the scheme. In addition CI Rawsthorne passed an introductory Kayaking qualification with a view to Cadets taking part in this exciting extra activity.
Squadron Sharp Shooters
At the recent 2425 Squadron Presentation Evening 8 Cadets received marksmanship awards after displays of exceptional accuracy at target shooting.
The 8 Cadets sharing 14 certificates. One Squadron Marksman, two Wing Marksman, five Regional Marksman, two Corps Marksman and four certificates for attendance at the Inter Service Cadet Rifle Meeting. With so much skill and focus displayed by the Cadets there will be stiff competition to represent the Squadron this year at ISCRM.
Generous Donation By Councillor Adair
We were very grateful to receive a donation from Rushcliffe Borough Councillor Reg Adair. Such donations are most welcome and greatly appreciated by Cadets, Staff and Committee. We continually fund-raise to sustain the Squadron and this money will go towards equipment for our Cadets, such as tents, camping equipment, etc.
RAF Cosford February Trip
Once again a number of Cadets and Staff visited RAF Cosford and were hosted by the Development Training Flight at the base. Cadets visited the RAF Museum and completed team building activities on a Low Ropes course.
Hard Work Pays Off
Several cadets gave up their free time over a weekend in February to take and pass their Leading Cadet exams, which they had been studying for few months. This is one of the many achievements that cadets aspire to as part of their Air Cadet Syllabus.
Cl Andrew Burton and Pilot Officer Craig McLoughlin RAF VR(t) recently attended a Field Craft Instructor course, meaning the Squadron can run more exciting outdoor Field Craft activities for cadets.
Health and Safety Instruction For Cadets
Flt Lt Frost RAF VR(t) took the older Cadet NCOs through the new cadet entry level award for health and safety, part of the Air Cadet Organisation’s programme of promoting best safety awareness for all Cadets and Staff. Areas studied were risk assessment, hazard awareness, personal and organisational safety.
New Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief Kate Middleton!
The Duchess of Cambridge has become the patron of the RAF Air Cadets – a role she has taken on from the Duke of Edinburgh. During an audience at Buckingham Palace, Philip relinquished his role as Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief, bringing to an end his 63-year association with the Air Training Corps. This is Kate Middleton’s first royal role with an official link to the armed forces.
Brief Look Back at 2015
Let’s take a quick look back at 2015 hoping to inspire you, a relative or friend to join the Air Cadets in 2016. We carry on as normal at our Nottingham Airport (Tollerton) base while the airfield is developed around us. In 2015 our cadets enjoyed many exciting opportunities to take part in sport, adventurous training, flying and simulated flying and D of E. We achieved success in sport with medals and records being broken and we had a great year taking part in target shooting. Our RAF staff connections have facilitated visits to RAF Cosford. C