Blog

Our Recruits Enrol

Tonight we enrolled our September intake of recruits to officially become cadets of our squadron. The enrolment marks the formal beginnings of these young people’s time within the RAF Air Cadets; which has so far seen them learning about the origins and history of both the Royal Air Force and the Air Training Corps, the historical development of aeroplanes, and life saving emergency first aid.

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The cadets will now start the next phase of their first class training; covering the subjects like airmanship and expedition training, they will develop the core understanding required to undertake activities like air experience flights and adventure training camps.

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We were also very please to promote two of our cadets to the rank of corporal. They have both come a long way since they joined the squadron just over 12 months ago.


 

Corporal Heffernan and Corporal Johnson have both shown themselves to uphold the highest levels of personnel discipline and uphold the values we expect of all cadets. I look forward to working with them!

Flight Sergeant Slade

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We would also like to congratulate our Squadron Cadet IC, Flight Sergeant Slade, who was tonight presented with his Jack Petchey Award as nominated by the cadets themselves.

Winners of this award are those who the young people have recognised as someone who has gone above and beyond to achieve! Well Done!

Nijmegen Taster Weekend

Written by Cdt Heffernan

The Nijmegen Marches, also known as the Four Days Marches (Vierdaagse), is the largest road marching event in the world.

Every year cadets from Kent Wing successfully completed the 160km route after months of training and preparation and will have walked over 400km (260 miles) during the training.

It all starts with the Taster weekend . . .

 

 

 

I started off the weekend not knowing what to expect; all I knew was that it would be physically and mentally demanding.

On the Friday evening we had our inspections to make sure all our kit was up to standard for the next day and we were briefed on what to expect over the weekend.

 

The Saturday morning was an early start (6am) and we set off; learning road marching drills as we went so we could prepare for the next day which was to be a 13-mile march. After we had spent the morning learning our drills, we had additional lessons on foot care and how to prevent blisters to help us stay strong whilst marching. Although this seems like a really odd topic for discussion it was actually really important and came to be of good use for me the following day when after 6 miles I recognised that I was developing a ‘hotspot’ which if I hadn’t dealt with would have resulted in a blister. After we had completed all of this we had another kit inspection making sure we were all ready for the march.

 

The weekend wasn’t just all about road marching and on the Saturday evening we had free time to socialise in the NAFFI. This provides a great opportunity to meet up with cadets from all over the wing.

 

 

The Sunday was another early start but the kind NCOs gave us a small lie in (20 minutes!), and once we had had breakfast we ran through a quick recap of the drills and then we set off on our march. We learnt many different road marching songs and made strong bonds with each other within such a small amount of time. This was our first experience of proper road marching teaching us what a typical training weekend would be like and I wish I could’ve stayed and done it for another day.

Awards all round

Over the past couple months our cadets have taken part in a huge array of different activities! On Tuesday 25th June, the success of these past months was recognised.

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Gaining their Youth First Aid award was Cdt McSweeney and Cdt Obetzanova.

Our cadets joined other’s from around Kent Wing to learn a multitude of essential first aid skills such as CPR, dealing with a choking casualty, broken bones and asthma attacks. The award is a St John Ambulance nationally recognised qualification.

At the Drill & Ceremonial Camp earlier this year two of our most senior NCO’s, FS Slade and Sgt Hanchett achieved their Bronze Cyber award. As part of the award they learned about hacking, cyber security and staying safe online.

FS Slade has also been working hard recently to complete his Master Air Cadet classification, this means he has completed the core Air Cadets training syllabus and will now start using his skills and knowledge to train & mentor junior cadets.

Rewarding achievements

Over the past few months, our Civilian Committee have worked towards being recognised by the Jack Petchey Foundation and tonight, Thursday 13th June, we awarded our first two awards to Eric Pak and Corporal Ablett.

Along side the awards, Mr Pak and Corporal Ablett both choose how the squadron will spend the award grants of £250 which accompany the awards.

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Mr Pak was recognised for his efforts to help other cadets develop their skills and become better leaders. He is always willing to help and is always approachable.

 

Corporal Ablett has only been a corporal for a short while but has been very supportive to fellow cadets and always tries to ensure everyone enjoys their time at the squadron.

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Tonight we also saw the promotion of Corporal Hanchett to Sergeant, and Sergeant Slade to Flight Sergeant.

Both have been extremely dedicated cadets on the squadron and throughout the wing, taking leading roles within the final parade at Kent Wing’s first ever Drill & Ceremonial Camp.

Our more junior cadets are always progressing as well. Tonight Cadet Sunico passed his drill assessment and was awarded his First Class cadet classification.

Cadet Sunico now moves on to his Leading Cadet training.

173 Joins EasyFundraising

Our Civilian Committee have been doing a great job over the past few months with new initiatives to raise funds for the squadron.

 

 

Today we are please to announce that we’ve teamed up with EasyFundraising to give the squadron access to access to an unlimited source of funding:

raise funds simply by shopping online.

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Easyfundraising is the UK’s biggest retail fundraising platform connecting over 1 million supporters with 100,000 good causes, including over 14,000 sports causes who have raised over £2.4m between them.

A donation is collected every time people connected with the squadron shop online, for everything from fashion and groceries to hotels and insurance.

This is a completely free and highly effective way for a squadron to raise money which they can invest in equipment, training, trips, etc.

It’s really simple to get started. All you have to do is:

  1. Visit the Orpington Air Cadets Page
  2. Sign up for free
  3. Get shopping – your donations will be collected by easyfundraising and automatically sent to us.

It couldn’t be easier!

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Enrolled into the Squadron

This evening, 2 recruits who recently started their Cadet Basic Training, have been enrolled into the squadron and have a lot to look forward to this year in the ATC.

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The enrollment marks the formal beginnings of these young people’s time within the RAF Air Cadets; which has so far seen them learning about the origins and history of both the Royal Air Force and the Air Training Corps, the historical development of aeroplanes, and life saving emergency first aid.

The cadets will now start the next phase of their first class training; covering the subjects like airmanship and expedition training, they will develop the core understanding required to undertake activities like air experience flights and adventure training camps.

Success at Decathlon

The West Kent Decathlon takes place every year, with cadets from across West Sector compete in a variety of different events.

 

This year our cadets had the chance to compete in; Target shooting, Obstacle Course, First Aid, Leadership, Drill, Archery, Bleep Test, Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting , Kayaking and a Navigational Exercise.

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In a first for the Decathlon, our cadets competed at Laser Clay-Pigeon shooting! much like the target shooting that our cadets are used to, laser clay pigeon required patience, control and a strong but relaxed position.

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A standard for the Decathlon, the Obstacle course tests the cadets teamwork, stamina and determination. As a team, the cadets have to tackle a variety of obstacles including an A-frame with cargo nets, tunnels and up to 8 foot high brick walls.

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Welcome to our Recruits

This evening, 4 recruits who started their Cadet Basic Training in February, have been enrolled into the squadron and have a lot to look forward to this year in the ATC.

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The enrollment marks the formal beginnings of these young people’s time within the RAF Air Cadets; which has so far seen them learning about the origins and history of both the Royal Air Force and the Air Training Corps, the historical development of aeroplanes, and life saving emergency first aid.

The cadets will now start the next phase of their first class training; covering the subjects like airmanship and expedition training, they will develop the core understanding required to undertake activities like air experience flights and adventure training camps.

Supporting our Cadets

If you’re interested in joining the Air Training Corps as a member of adult staff there are various opportunities available for suitable individuals.

These include:

  • Civilian Committee member
  • Civilian Instructor
  • Uniformed Adult Non-Commissioned Officer
  • Uniformed Commissioned Officer

 

We often have vacancies here at Orpington Squadron and, if we don’t, we may be able to refer you to another local squadron where your services would be in demand.
For further information about opportunities for adults, click here. Or, for an informal chat with one of our staff about how you may be able to get involved email 173@aircadets.org

 

Developing Skills at the SNCO Course

As part of their training, every cadet NCO is encouraged to attend a training courses to develop their drill, dress & discipline and leadership & communication skills.

The NCO development courses are structured to deliver part of the Air Cadets Progressive Training Sylabus where cadets are eligible for the Bronze Leadership award upon passing the Junior NCO course, and the Silver Leadership award upon passing the Senior NCO course.

The course really challenged me but was also a lot of fun. I now feel more confident to lead my cadets to do new activities and events in the future.

Sgt Tickner

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Silver Leadership Award

This training aims to introduce a higher level of theory and practical ability during leadership exercises.

The Silver award encourages cadets to think about the methodologies of briefing, planning and leading a team, as well as the finer intricacies of the needs of the task, team and individuals.

The award also looks at different cultures, roles and personalities within a team and how they can be best utilised.

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More Cadets gain First Class

Again we are very proud to have awarded 3 more cadets with their First Class Classification!
They have put in lots of hard work and eagerly completed all their Cadet Basic Training.

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They will now go on to learn about Navigation on Land using a map and compass, Principles of Flight and Airmanship Knowledge as part of their Leading Cadet Classification Training.

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