967 Air Cadets

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Jun 30

Commanding Officer’s Annual Report

At the AGM the Commanding Officer of 967 BAE Warton Squadron presented the following report of the previous year.

For the Period April 2011 – June 2012

Dear friends of the 967,

Thank you for taking the time to read this Annual Report which I have prepared based on the activities of the Squadron for the past 12 months or so covering 2011/12.

967 continue to drive forward in terms of the breadth and quality of activities on offer to the young people of the Squadron. Activities and opportunities that are offered to the Cadets continue to be provided on a direct basis as a result of the support and organisation of the Squadron staff. However, opportunities also arise as a result of other units, the Wing and the wider Air Training Corps organising activities. The Cadets are always encouraged to take advantage of whatever is on offer and it is credit to the Cadets of 967 that there are many Cadets that put their name forward for activities. Sadly, not all are selected but many are and they take full advantage of the opportunity.

When looking back at the activity of the Squadron during the last 12 months it always impresses me just how much the Squadron and the wider Corps continues to offer. This is, in no small measure down to the dedication and commitment of the volunteer staff members who continue to give generously of their time. This is despite the ever present pressures of their normal work and home lives and I am, as ever, grateful to them for their time, energy, effort, dedication and commitment. This is true not only of the staff at 967 but many other units around the Wing who also offer up their activities to 967 Cadets.

The Squadron Committee have continued to provide valuable support to the Squadron and myself. They have driven fundraising activities and have also successfully gained match funding again this year for some of the money raised. All this has helped to purchase additional assets to support the varied training programme on offer to our young people. Most noticeably, recent purchases include laptops, tents, leadership equipment, materials to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and branded clothing. On behalf of the staff and Cadets of the Squadron I would like to formally thank the Civilian Committee for their continued and steadfast support of the unit.

It has been clearly evident that this past year has seen even more demands placed on the Civilian Committee and adult volunteers of the Squadron both in their work and private lives. This, coupled with ongoing change within the ATC organisation and the changing landscape of rules and regulations and what activities can be provided, along with how and with what resources, thereby creating an ever increasing workload at the Squadron level is, in my experience, having an impact because capacity is soon eroded by competing demands. It is however credit to all involved at the Squadron, that effort is made to ensure that as many opportunities as possible are being provided and that as a result Cadets are able to learn and develop.

It is apparent from the activity and success of the Cadets that the Squadron has had another great year which has been built upon the strengths I reported on last year. This report will detail some of those activities as well as some of the achievements and highlights of the past year. Hopefully, this will show how the Squadron is growing and ultimately providing enrichment to all who are part of 967 but primarily to our excellent and committed young Cadets.

In terms of Cadet numbers there has been a slight increase taking us to just over 30 and hopefully we can continue increasing this figure during the next year.

During 2011 we saw the loss of East Lancashire Wing from our Region as a result of the ATC reorganisation. Some of the Squadrons in that Wing moved over to our Wing – Cumbria and North Lancashire and this resulted in the renaming of the Wing to Cumbria and Lancashire which also saw Wing Commander Steve Molloy take over the wing. Wg Cdr Molloy conducted the Squadron’s Annual Formal Inspection in February 2012. The AFI is an indicator as to how a unit is performing across many areas including training, health and safety and administration. It is extremely pleasing that on his first visit to the Squadron in this formal capacity the Squadron was awarded 7 out of 7, the highest mark possible. The AFI also included for the first time for 967, targets for the coming year. We are well on with these and hopefully we can continue to build on the successes achieved this last year.

The Annual Dinner and Presentation Evening took place in March 2012 at Ribby Hall, Wrea Green and proved to be an extremely enjoyable event for all who attended. Many of the Cadets were rewarded for their efforts but more importantly it was a fantastic opportunity for the 967 family to come together, socialise and celebrate the successes of the Cadets no matter how great or small.

On the whole I believe the year has been a good one for 967 and this is always pleasing to report. I genuinely believe there is a great array of opportunities on offer to the Cadets, evident by the take up of opportunities throughout the previous year. The Cadets have benefited from the learning and development on offer but importantly have had fun along the way. This would not be possible but for the hard work and dedication of all the Corps supporters and my sincere thanks and appreciation goes to every Cadet and adult who supports 967 Squadron. I hope that I can rely on your continued support and energies in the coming year.

The remainder of this report will cover the following areas:

  • Flying and Gliding
  • Activities
  • The Future
  • Training
  • Sport
  • Community
  • General

FLYING AND GLIDING

Flying. Flying in the Grob Tutor aircraft continues at 10 AEF (Air Experience Flight) based at RAF Woodvale near Southport, providing Air Experience Flying to Cadets, each session lasting around 20 – 30 mins.

Flying slots filled – 18 (May & Aug 11, Mar & Jun 12)

Gliding. Cadets attend either Gliding Introductory Courses (GIC) at levels 1, 2 and 3 and if selected can attend a gliding scholarship up to solo level. The Cadets fly the Vigilant powered glider.

Gliding slots filled – 3 (July 11) All three were GIC Level 1.

TRAINING

Wing Training Day. This event took place on Sunday May 2012 and rounded off a significant amount of work undertaken by the Cadets and staff. The unit finished 14th on the day which is an improvement from last year and with more units taking part. Competitions on the day included a Drill Team, First Aid Team, Shooting Team, Aircraft Knowledge Team, Aircraft Modelling and a Photographic Competition and balsa model flying.

J/SNCO Training. During the report year 6 Cadets have attend the Wing Junior NCO Course (Sept 11) and 5 have attended the Wing Senior NCO course. It is worth noting the Cadets from 967 had extremely good results on the SNCO course with primarily Distinction and Merits.

Academic Training. Training in the official ATC academic syllabus continues with Cadets working at all levels. The component parts are;

The 1st Class training runs throughout the year and the majority of Cadets pass this in under 6 months. The Cadets have been successful in achieving each of the other levels of the classification system as follows Leading x 2, Senior x 1, Master x 3.

As a result of various elements of training combined, 7 Cadets have received their Air Cadet CV this year. This results in a personalised CV detailing the various training and activities completed over a period of time.

Vocational Qualifications. Cadets of the appropriate age are continuing to work toward:

BTEC in Aviation Studies. BTEC in Public Service (Equiv to 4 GCSE’s) 7 Awards submitted during the year.

Although all of these are currently under review Nationally in relation to the GCSE equivalent.

Senior Cadets and staff also have the opportunity to work toward NVQ accreditation in relation to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

First Aid Training. Many of the Squadron staff maintain their First Aid Qualifications and the Squadron currently offer basic First Aid to the Cadets in the form of the British Heart Foundation HeartStart Award.

Heart Start Awards gained – 8

Projects. Projects are ongoing on the Squadron. Current endeavours include:

  • Balsa aero-modelling
  • Plastic modelling
  • Car maintenance

CI Richard Humble leads on projects and the Cadets on the unit are taking advantage of the project programme on offer.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Squadron continues to operate the DofE Award. Cadets are actively working at all three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold), engaging in the 4 key sections of Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and Expeditions and also the Residential at Gold level. Bronze level entry is free of charge to all Cadets wishing to participate in the DofE. The Squadron has now transitioned from physical record books to an online management of the system that Cadets and staff can access called eDofE.

During the period of the report the Squadron gained 1 Gold and 7 Bronze Awards.

Radio / Communications. Radio and Comms work continues on the Squadron which is delivered primarily by CI Ken Ozwell and some of the Senior Cadets. The Cadets are working towards attaining various awards including the Air Cadet Communicators Badge and the Amateur Radio Foundation License.

Training in the portable hand held radios held by the unit has developed greatly over the year. The Squadron has both portable and fixed radio equipment that serves us well.

1st Class Cadet Training / Development Weekend. The Squadron continues to promote and help staff the Wing course to new Cadets and although places can be limited we have been successful in gaining places. This course is run over a weekend at Halton Training Camp near Lancaster and is a practical introduction to the Corps and its activities.

Courses were run in Oct 11 and Mar 12 with a total of 11 Cadets from 967 attending.

ACTIVITIES

Adventure Training. The Squadron Cadets have attended many week long and weekend activity camps. Activities include climbing, walking, caving, mountain biking, confidence / obstacle courses, kayaking and the like. The following is a small selection.

May 2011 saw another of 967’s own Adventure Training Weekends the ‘Warton Wanderer’ at Halton Training Camp near Lancaster. Many of the Squadron staff and Cadets attended along with a few Cadets from other units. The weekend consisted of multiple activities including shooting, walking, kayaking, obstacle course, camp-craft, orienteering and leadership training.

The ACO has two National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centres, one in Windermere and one in Llanbedr. 3 of our Cadets attended a week long camp at the Llanbedr centre in Wales in March 2012 where they took part in multiple adventurous activities with the option of obtaining BCU Kayak Awards and National Navigation Awards.

The Squadron Cadets have also been invited to and attended AT camps run by other units such as 455 (Morecambe and Heysham) and 2376 (Bamber Bridge) Sqns and we are grateful to them for offering our Cadets the opportunities that they have both taken and relished.

Shooting

The primary shooting occurring at Squadron level is still .22 shooting, which we try to programme once a month. However many problems have affected shooting this year including the withdrawal of ammunition for a period and also an inability to use a local range. However, marksmanship and weapon handling tests are regularly conducted on the Squadron to help ensure training is up to date and the Cadets are safe using the weapons.

Training and live firing is available on the Cadet General Purpose weapon the L98-A2. This is usually organised by the Wing Shooting Officer Sqn Ldr Irving and Cadets have the opportunity to attend these events.

UK and Overseas Camps

Unfortunately the Squadron did not attend a Camp at an RAF station in the UK during the past year but is due to go to RAF Marham this year. However, Cadets have gone to Cyprus (Flt Sgt Perry) and also Rheindahlan in Germany (Sgt Lucy Bailey).

Five of the Squadron Cadets attended the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in July 11 organised by 2376 (Bamber Bridge) Squadron.

Expeditions. The Squadron continues to work with other units and also on its own to provide the Cadets with opportunities for hill-walking and for the Expedition section of the DofE. Expeditions have included Bronze level (2 days, 1 night), and also plenty of day walking opportunities with the aim of improving map reading and navigation skills. Walks and expeditions have taken place throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.

SPORT

Athletics. The Inter Wing Athletics in May 2011 saw Cadets Samantha Heap and Katy Lenney represent the Wing as a result of being selected for the Wing Team from the Inter Squadron competition held earlier in the month.

The Inter Squadron Athletics held in May 2012 saw a good showing from 967. There are 3 male age groups and 2 female age groups and places in the groupings ranged from 2nd to 18th and overall across all age groups the Squadron came 5th. This is an excellent performance considering over 30 Squadrons took part. The Cadets achieved 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 5 Bronze Medals – let’s hope the British Olympic Team at least match that this year! As a result of the Inter Squadron event, Cadet Corporals Lenney and Heap and Cadet Fisher represented the Wing at the Inter Wing Championships held at Shildon Stadium, Co Durham in June 12.

Kayaking. Kayaking is still popular on the unit although this now tends to take place more at weekend residentials organised either by the unit or Wing. The last year has seen 4 One Star British Canoe Union Kayak Awards achieved.

X-Country. A number of the Squadron Cadets attended the Inter Squadron X-Country which took place in Feb 12. The best performance was from the Junior Boys who finished 2nd overall.

Swimming. So far this year the Squadron has attained 17 Basic Swimming Proficiency Awards.

COMMUNITY

Parades

Remembrance Sunday. The Squadron took part in two parades for Remembrance Sunday in November 2011, a morning parade in Warton followed by one in the afternoon in Kirkham. It was pleasing to note that the majority of Squadron Cadets attended these parades and ensures the RAF family presence in the area.

ATC Sunday. ATC Sunday Parade to celebrate the formation of the Corps took place in Lancaster with a parade through the Town Centre. This year was a significant parade as it was the first under the new Wing Banner for Cumbria and Lancashire. All of the Squadron uniformed staff attended along with 14 Cadets.

Armed Forces Week. Five of the Squadron’s Cadets attended the Armed Forces Week Parade in Blackpool in June 2011.

Links with External Organisations

Royal Air Force Association (RAFA). The Squadron continues to keep links with the RAFA (South Fylde Branch) primarily through Tony Barrett who tries to attend committee meetings whenever he can.

Royal British Legion. The unit continues to work with the local RBL Warton and Clayton Green Branches and we continue to be heavily involved in raising funds for the Poppy appeal. Cadets were also present to assist with the Poppy Appeal Launch evening in October 11.

Poppy Appeal / Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire’s Poppy Appeal Awards

Once again the unit took part in the poppy appeal raising funds for the Royal British Legion. The Cadets from 967 help raise £4,279.51 in 2011 a truly remarkable effort. The largest single effort by Cadet Stephen Carr raised an amazing £631.01 – well done Stephen.

The Squadron has taken part in the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire’s Poppy Appeal Awards for over 10 years now and has in total raised nearly £30,000 for the Royal British Legion.

Freckleton Half Marathon. As in previous years Cadets have helped to run a water station for the Freckleton Half Marathon on behalf of the Freckleton Club Day Committee. These took place in June 11 and June 12.

Fundraising. The unit has been successful in gaining matched funding for some of the fundraising events from Santander UK. Civilian Committee members, staff and Cadets attended a Squadron Bag – Pack in December 11 to help raise funds for the Squadron.

The Squadron has also received various donations throughout the year.

Other community Involvement. The Squadron Cadets have continued to provide assistance to the Lytham Sea Cadets and have assisted ‘waiting on’ during two of their formal dining evenings for the Trafalgar and Falklands Dinners.

Eight 967 Cadets took part in an It’s a Knockout type competition with other Cadets units in Blackpool during the June 11 Armed Forces Week.

The Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal has been awarded to four members of the Squadron uniform staff (Flt Lt S Faulkner, Fg Off E Smith, Fg Off A Faulkner and Flt Sgt J Wright).

GENERAL

Inspections. The Squadron had its Annual Formal Inspection by the new Wing Commander of Cumbria and Lancashire Wing (Wg Cdr Steve Molloy) in February 2012 and scored 7/7. This is an excellent result for the Squadron especially as we have only just missed out on top marks for the last couple of years. The Squadron received very favourable feedback from the inspecting officers and validates much of the training and opportunities on offer at the Squadron. Key activities were measured in terms of numbers achieved with targets set for 2012 which align with Air Cadet Organisation Management Plan. During the inspection various strengths and opportunities for improvement were highlighted which I aim to address this year.

Health & Safety. The Squadron staff and I continue to put the health, safety and welfare of the Cadets first and this is reflected in the training, planning and preparation for activities as we look to continually develop a safety culture.

Staff and Cadets continue to develop their first aid and health and safety skills and risk assessments are continually updated and developed for activities.

Squadron Accommodation. The Squadron accommodation is an excellent asset and fit for purpose and is maintained by RFCA (Reserve Forces & Cadets Association). Exterior grounds maintenance is carried out by the goodwill of the staff with financial support from the Squadron Committee. Some minor building maintenance is required which is being address through Wing HQ and RFCA. It is hoped that a recent bid for laptop workstations will be successful.

Electronic Ways of Working

BADER: The Squadron has responded well to the Corps wide introduction of BADER – a collection of software intended to help the organisational as a whole. This includes a formal email system, Cadet and staff information database and also a share point site. The latter has enabled much of the Corps paperwork to now be posted and accessed online in a secure environment. The system enables us to submit various applications online which includes Participation in Public Events and Adventure Training Applications.

EDofE: This system is now live on the Squadron and helps us manage the DofE awards and the system also contains online mapping to assist expeditions.

Utilearn: This is an online learning and assessment environment for Cadets and staff which we are starting to use more and more. The Cadets are due to take all exams through Utilearn from this year onwards.

Staffing. The unit has a strong staff team at present with a variety of skills and experience levels. The current strength includes 3 Officers, 2 Staff Senior NCOs, 3 Civilian Instructors and one RAF Service Instructor.

THE FUTURE

The Squadron has a bright future and with the commitment of the Civilian Committee, Staff and Cadets I hope we can develop the Squadron even further this coming year and look forward to the challenges ahead.

The table below shows how the Squadron stood in February 2012 against the key measures of the ACO and identifies the targets for 2012.

Actual 2011 Target 2012
 Number of Staff  8 7
 Sqn Strength including Junior Cadets  32 36
 Cadets with 18 months or more as a Cadet 14
 Number of Cadets enrolled in D of E Award 12 20
 First Aid Training
 How many Cadets have completed the HeartStart course 0 32
 How many Cadets have competed the Youth First Aid Course 0 24
 How many adults hold a First Aid qualification  6 6
 Number of Cadets that have attended a RAC  9 12
Use of Bader as a % 90 100
How many Cadets have gained a basic Cadet CV 8 14
How many Cadets have attended a residential activity of 2 or more days (not counting D of E) within last 12 months 17 20
How many eligible Cadets have obtained a Bronze D of E award 7 15
BTEC
How many Cadets are enrolled in the BTEC Public services 8 4
How many Cadets have completed the BTEC in Public Services 0 8
How many Cadets are enrolled in the BTEC in Music 0 0
How many Cadets have completed the BTEC in Music 0 0
Shooting
How many Cadets have taken part in a shooting practice in the last year 27 30
Gliding
How many Cadets have flown in a glider in the last 12 months 3 6
Flying
How many Cadets have flown in the last 12 months (including AEF and summer camps) 14 18
Staffing
How many staff have completed the Protecting Information Training package in last 12 months 5 6
How many staff and Cadets have competed the BASIC 11 11

The targets for 2012 will provide the key focus for the Squadron this year whilst maintaining, if not increasing the existing areas of activity based in this report.

Most of all though, I hope that the coming year will be positive, rewarding and fun for the Cadets, staff and committee. May I also take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support of 967!

S C Faulkner
Flt Lt Steve Faulkner DMS RAFVR (T)
OC 967 (BAe Warton) Squadron, Air Training Corps

 

Download this report as a Word Document: AGM Report 11-12 V1.3