Flight Lieutenant Ed Smith RAFAC
Ed is the Officer Commanding 967 (BAE Warton) Squadron and as such is responsible for all the activities that staff and Cadets take part in.
He used to work for the MOD as an Assistant Air Traffic Controller at RAF Spadeadam and RNAS Yeovilton before joining BAE Systems at Warton as an Air Traffic Operations Officer. Ed has been involved with the Air Cadets for a long time now as he first started off as a Cadet before becoming an adult staff member.
Ed is also a qualified Range Conducting Officer and helps to run the range when the Squadron goes shooting.
Flight Lieutenant Steve Faulkner RAFAC
Steve is currently acting as the deputy Squadron Commander so he looks after things when the boss isn’t available!
Steve joined the Air Cadets at 15 years of age and progressed to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer, achieving the Gold DofE award as well as many positive experiences along the way. Although Steve has served as an Adult Warrant Officer and Junior Officer on other Squadrons he has been at Warton since 2004.
Steve is employed by Blackpool Council within the Civil Contingencies Team and when not working or spending time with his family loves to organise as well as take part in Squadron activities.
Flying Officer Phil Hingley RAFAC
Phil joined the Squadron in January 2016 transferring with his work from Devon & Somerset Wing.
Phil’s day job is as a First Officer flying Airbus A320 aircraft for a well known UK airline and he uses his expertise in aviation to good effect training the Cadets on the Squadron.
Phil has taken on the role of Sqn Training Officer and collates the monthly training programme which is used to define the activities that Cadets complete on a night by night basis during the month.
Flt Sgt Kirsty McCann RAFAC
FS McCann looks after training and DofE at 967 Squadron, as well as her role as Cumbria & Lancashire Wing Music Officer.
FS McCann joined 341 City of Preston Sqn as a Cadet, progressing through the ranks to Cadet Warrant Officer. Whilst there, she achieved her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award and performed at Disneyland Paris with the RAFAC National Marching Band, as well as having many other amazing experiences.
Upon “ageing out”, she became a uniformed member of staff and transferred to 2486 Lytham St Anne’s Squadron, where she remained until the closure and merger with 967 BAe Warton in late 2019. FS McCann enjoys organising Cadet activities, and in particular, doing Adventure Training with the Cadets.
Sgt Bobby Atherton RAFAC
Sergeant Atherton is the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer at 967 Squadron, which means he oversees drill, dress, discipline, and morale at the Squadron. Sgt Atherton joined the Air Cadets back in 2012. Starting out at 2486 Lytham St Annes Squadron, he progressed to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer, gaining lots of experience in many activities including First Aid, Flying, and Flight Simulation, amongst many others.
When he reached the maximum Cadet age, he decided he would like to continue to help the Cadets as a member of staff, transferring to uniformed staff service. He joined 967 Squadron in late 2019 with the closure and merger of 2486 Squadron. Outside of Cadets, Sgt Atherton works for the North West Ambulance Service and, when not working, he likes to help run and organise activities for the Cadets!
Civilian Instructor Mike Lineham
Mike is the Sqn Adjutant who is responsible for the administration of … TBD …
Civilian Instructor Ken Ozwell
Ken joined the Sqn back in 2002 so is the longest lasting member of the Sqn so far. Ken first joined as an RAF Service Instructor during his secondment to BAE Systems as a founding member of the RAF Typhoon National Support Centre. After leaving the Royal Air Force in 2006, Ken remained with the Sqn as a Civilian Instructor until July 2021 when he transfered to 195 (Grimsby) Sqn in the Trent Wing. However, he has remained attached to 967 Sqn as a Supernumerary member of staff.
Ken originally looked after the Sqn Radios and IT for the Cadets which gave them the opportunity to use VHF mobile radios and the HF base radio. He taught the Junior Cadets Basic Radio and the senior Cadets Advanced Radio & Radar techniques and Satellite Communications. Ken also helps out by administering the Sqn website.
The most recent addition for the Sqn is the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community which Ken tutors the Cadets through. It is a mix of theory and practical elements with an emphasis towards teamwork, communication and employment skills including career planning and personal development. Adventurous activities are also included along with volunteering within the Community.
Civilian Instructor Rich Humble
Richard joined the Squadron in 2007 after a tour in the Royal Air Force as an engineering officer. Richard is currently employed with BAE Systems on the fault investigation section supporting the Tornado aircraft. On the Squadron Richard is responsible for the Cadet projects. this covers areas such as aero modelling and car maintenance. Richard is also a keen motor-sport enthusiast and spends his weekends dismantling and rebuilding his collection of classic cars. Away from the Squadron Richard keeps bees and produces excellent local honey!
Civilian Instructor Andrew Critchley
Civilian Instructor Jonathon Francis
Civilian Instructor Leon Holden
Sqn Ldr Drew Steel MBE RAF(Ret’d) – Squadron Honorary President
Drew is the Squadron’s Honourary President, a role that is aimed primarily at supporting both the staff and Civilian Committee, and promoting both the Squadron and the Corps to those who are not (yet) part of it. Drew also participates in Cadet training by presenting the RAF History elements of First Class Cadet training. Having served in the RAF as an Air Electronics Officer and Weapons System Officer for almost 30 years, he has flown on Nimrod MR2 and MRA4, Canberra, Hunter, Puma, Lynx, Sea King and Chinook (as well as a TF-51 Mustang!)
Now working in a Military Liaison role at BAE Warton, Drew spends a considerable part of his time travelling around many of the RAF Stations in the UK, and hosting visits to BAE Warton by personnel from those stations. Therefore he is well placed to help the Squadron keep abreast of current trends and changes both within the aviation industry and within the RAF.
Although age is now getting the better of him, Drew still occasionally plays drums in a local band, and enjoys recovering from such exertions by reading, pottering about in his garage, and doing what his wife tells him!
As well as the volunteer members of staff, the Squadron is also supported by a dedicated civilian committe.
Under the constitution of the Air Training Corps, each Squadron must be overseen by a Civilian Management Committee of no fewer than five persons.
The 967 committee meets approximately once every two months for a couple of hours one evening, usually at the Cadet Centre in Warton. Discussion and subsequent actions are primarily focussed around Cadet recruitment and fund-raising for the Squadron. There is no operational role in the Squadron which is commanded and administered by the Commanding Officer.
The main purpose of the committee is to ensure local independent non-RAF control of the Air Training Corps (ATC) Squadron. Much time is devoted to fund-raising for the Squadron which as a part of the Air Training Corps (ATC), itself part of the Air Cadet Organisation, is a registered charity.
The committee gets involved in a range of activities to assist in fund raising and Cadet recruitment. Some examples of this have been assistance with match funding through thier normal employed jobs from which the Squadron gains charitable donations – Squadron funds are a constant issue!
Further general information about the role of the Air Training Corps (ATC) Civilian Committees can be found on the Air Cadets web site