Tag Archives: Air Training Corps

Berkshire Cadets come together to compete for the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup Part.2

Joint Services_037.jpg

Arborfield ACF Company Sergeant Major Holly Chamberlain took on the role of volunteer casualty as teams taking part in the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup were tested on their first aid skills. Holly has recently completed a Public Services Course at Reading College and is starting training with Thames Valley Police.

Last year Holly was chosen to be one of four Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for 2016.  Cadets support the Lord-Lieutenant for Berkshire in his work during their year of office, accompanying him to royal visits, awards ceremonies, and similar official events. Holly said “Being the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet has been really interesting. I have met the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Edward and have attended a lot of different events.”

07778 334771

Royal Marines Cadet 2 Katie Kremer from Reading, took a ducking while taking part in the water challenge but once back on dry land she helped her team to complete the task in the fastest time of the day.

Joint Services_048.jpg

Royal Marines Cadet Sergeant MC1 Caitlin Lobley started her cadet life as a sea cadet but transferred as she felt the Royal Marines were more “outdoorsy.” A year 11 pupil at Hugh Faringdon School, Southcote, Reading, Caitlin hopes to study medicine and to join the Navy as a medic. Caitlin said “I would recommend cadets as a way of making friend for life and experiencing things a bit different from normal life.”

Joint Services_038.jpg

Cadet Jordan Graham gives the climbing wall the thumbs up. Jordan has been with the Arborfield Detachment for two years. He is following in the footsteps of his brother who is the Regimental Sergeant Major. Jordan’s favourite activity is first aid.

Joint Services_063.jpg

On behalf of the winning team, Army Cadet Sergeant Monja Danischewsky received the Frost Trophy from Wing Commander Chris Fisher. Monja, who is based with the Cippenham Detachment, has been a cadet for five years and hopes to join the Household Cavalry once he has completed his A Levels.

Joint Services_071.jpg

The winners of the Frost Trophy celebrate their success! The team included Berkshire Army Cadets from the Witley, Woodley, Cippenham and Arborfield Detachments.

Joint Services_068.jpg

On behalf of his fellow team members, Ordinary Sea Cadet Peter Talbot accepted the Nowell Cup from Colonel Chris Booth. Peter said “Today has been great fun, although we didn’t know each other at the beginning of the day we have really come together as a team. It is really interesting to meet-up with cadets from the other Services as we all do things differently and can learn from each other.”

Berkshire Cadets come together to compete for the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup

Joint Services_011.jpg

Army Cadet Wiktor Konecki, Cippenham Detachment, has been a cadet for three years and plans to join the Army as a member of the Infantry. Wiktor said “Being a cadet is a great confidence builder and a great way of making  friends. I found out about the ACF by watching videos on YouTube, I decided to give it a go and have enjoyed every minute.”

Joint Services_025.jpg

Sea Cadet William De Guzman hopes that his experiences as a cadet will help him in his ambition to become a Marine. William is based with the Slough Unit and has been a cadet for almost a year.  William said “Being a cadet has given me new experiences and is helping me to prepare for a military career. We have to think outside the box and interact with new people. Annual camp gave us a chance to take part in lots of activities including field craft, camping, and clay pigeon shooting.”

Joint Services_003.jpg

Hayley Milward, Whitley Detachment, joined the ACF at the beginning of 2016 and said “Being a cadet has really helped with my confidence and we get to do lots of different things. I really enjoy sports and have had the chance to take part in regional and national athletics events. I went on annual camp to Thetford and really enjoyed the clay pigeon shooting.”

Joint Services_004.jpg

Reading based Royal Marines Cadet Class 2 Finlay Allen was one of several senior cadets providing support to the teams taking part in the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup. Finlay originally joined the ACF but moved to the Royal Marines because he felt there were more opportunities to experience field craft,  something he really enjoys.

Finlay is currently studying for qualifications in Travel and Tourism, and Resistant Materials. He plans to spend time in the USA working for Camp America and travelling before returning to the UK to train as an officer with the Marines.

Joint Services_005.jpg

Sea Cadet Kelsy Merritt joined the Slough Unit almost a year ago. Kelsy who lives in Langley and attends Churchmead School, Datchet said “Being a Sea Cadet is great fun. There are lots of opportunities to try new things. We regularly go to Datchet Reservoir for boating activities including sailing and rowing.”

Joint Services_017.jpg

Army Cadet Jade Bartlett, from the Aborfield Detachment, was taking part in the Frost Trophy for the second time. Jade, who is starting a Health and Social Course at Basingstoke College, has been a cadet for two years said “Taking part in events like this is great fun. It is great to meet different cadets and to take on the challenges.”

Joint Services_034.jpg

Lance Corporal Kayci Benham and Cadet Andrew Boldoro are not only both members of Witley Detachment, but they are both Year 10 pupils at the local John Madejski Academy. They were teamed up with other Army Cadets as one of the Single Service teams competing for the Frost Trophy, working together on a series of activities including putting their first aid skills to the test.


Air Cadets paddle to success on Exercise Golden Tarn

Written by Alex Pye (211 (Newbury) Squadron 

We can’t lie – the last week has been fantastic! A culmination of 6 months of hard training for the cadets, and 2 years of planning & training for the staff team involved in delivering Exercise Golden Tarn.

In celebration of 75 years of the Air Training Corps, Thames Valley Wing decided to embark on an ambitious overseas adventure training expedition – the first within the Wing for some years – and the very first mounted overseas by canoe. The Exercise, Golden Tarn, saw 6 cadets undertake their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expedition, paddling unsupported over a 100km descent of the Tarn River in the Aveyron region of France. Starting in Montbrun – the highest point to paddle due to the low water levels – the cadets paddled through Grade 1 & 2 rapids, dynamically assessed a Grade 3 rapid (and portaged it), then continued through some amazing scenery, under the magnificent Millau Viaduct to their end point at St Rome Du Tarn.
Preparation for the expedition began 2 years ago with some ideas bounced around in the Mess, from which it grew into a reconnaissance and feasibility expedition in 2015. Here the staff team not only tested the feasibility of a number of venues, they also identified training requirements specific to the environment and built around the needs of the various routes under consideration. Additionally, the staff looked at transport, logistics, accommodation, catering, campsites and everything else which could help or hinder the expedition.
In November 2015 a calling notice was issued to which 14 cadets responded. Eight cadets attended the initial training sessions on a bitterly cold Saturday on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Berkshire. The training escalated over the next 3 months from initial flat water skills through to basic moving water skills. In March the team attended a 5 day paddlesport camp at Halton Training Camp involving their first paddlesport expedition on Coniston Water, followed by 3 days of Moving Water Training at a variety of venues across the Lake District National Park under the expert guidance of Sgt (ATC) Alice Pye and Nick Howard from Epic Outdoors. The cadets went on to complete further training, a practice expedition on the River Severn, further White Water training on the River Wye, a Rescue Skills course as well as an Expedition First Aid course. After one of the slightly more challenging training sessions, one of the team was overheard saying “I’ve got 99 problems – and they’re all canoeing related”.
The cadets from Newbury, Aldermaston, Woodley & Chipping Norton, additionally undertook evening paddlesport courses to help mitigate skills fade and keep everything fresh in their minds. The intensive training regime proved challenging for the cadets in its own right; many of which were studying at Sixth Form & College, as well as keeping their own ATC commitments and personal lives in order!
In mid-July the team departed for France via Newhaven and following a 16 hour minibus journey, finally arrived at their expedition headquarters, a Gite just outside Aguessac near Millau. Following a day’s acclimatisation and skills refresh near Florac, the cadets began their 4 day expedition in sweltering 36 degree temperatures; paddling from Montbrun to La Malene through the heart of the 400m deep Gorge Du Tarn. Initial water levels proved very low in places, requiring lining the boats down some rapids and riffles, but in the main, the paddling was excellent.
Day 2 saw the team, aged 16-17, move on to the Gorge from La Malene to Le Rozier; a stretch which took them through the Pas De Souci, a huge rockfall and boulder field which includes a siphon. The team successfully portaged this area, before paddling on to the canoe shoot at Les Vignes down the River’s 16ft barrage.
The penultimate day of the expedition saw the cadets leave the Gorge proper and start exploring the smaller villages as the meandering River Tarn wound from Le Rozier, through Aguessac to a campsite just outside Millau. The paddling was, again, hot – peaking at 38 degrees – but the River levels were falling. Despite this, the River continued to offer plenty of surprises with sufficient challenge – several lengthily stretches of rapids, several weirs and an epic canoe shoot which got the better of one of the canoes, leaving them high and dry beached on a rock.
The final days paddling saw the group descend from the Millau valley and move into the amazing foothills, capturing the beautiful villages of Peyre, Compregnac & Candas before moving to St Rome Du Tarn itself. On the way the team paddled under the Millau Viaduct – Europe’s tallest bridge – some 270m above the River. The group reflected on this as their favourite day of the expedition – not just because they were on the home straight, but because, despite the lack of high Grade white water, there were still plenty of features and spots along the way to keep the paddling challenging, passing under the magnificent engineering feat of the viaduct and seeing the beautiful village of Peyre built into the cliff – not to mention countless Kingfishers, Herons and many fish along the route.
All cadets using this for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award successfully completed the expedition in accordance with the required conditions – and all had an amazing time in the process – producing some high quality photography and video which will be used to promote Adventurous Training opportunities and the Duke of Edinburgh Award within the Thames Valley Wing and beyond.


Flt Lt Martin Christlieb RAFVR(T), Officer In Charge of the Expedition said “we’d like to thank our Sponsors and Supporters for their help in making the expedition feasible. Supporters have included Ulysses Trust, RAF Charitable Trust, AWE and Hobkey – all of which have proven invaluable for us.”


The expedition team, Sgt Jemima Croggon (17), Cpl Jake Agar (16), Cdt Rebecca Palmer (16), Cdt Leila Whiteman (17), Cpl Rowan Hayball (17) and Cpl Drew Harding (16) would also like to extend their thanks to their Air Cadet staff for their support, advice and commitment to the expedition and putting their lives on hold to make it happen. They would also like to thank their parents for their early morning drops offs, late evening picks ups, ferrying them the occasional things we’d forgotten and their overwhelming patience when we come back from a weekend away cold, wet & smelling of river!

You can view further information about the expedition including our expedition video here: http://www.facebook.com/GoldenTarn2016.

Find out more about what the Air Cadets can offer you here: www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets or contact Newbury Squadron directly on 211@aircadets.org or Aldermaston Squadron on 2403@aircadets.org.


Additional quotes from participants:

  • I’ve got 99 problems – and they’re all canoeing related – Cdt Rebecca Palmer
  • A fantastic and unique opportunity – definitely the best thing I’ve done in cadets – Cdt Leila Whiteman
  • There are pros and cons to every situation even pinning a boat – Cpl Jake Agar
  • I loved the feeling of independence we were given – trusted to make our own decisions, find our own way, cut our own path and make the expedition what we wanted – Sgt Jemima Croggon
  • I expected to spend more time swimming the rapids than paddling them – I was surprised at how far our training had pushed us – and how prepared we were. The heat did make the swim feel quite inviting though! – Cpl Rowan Hayball
  • The expedition made all the training worth it – Cdt Drew Harding
  • We could’ve done this in Wales or Scotland or the Lake District – but doing it somewhere different set it apart and made some amazing memories – Sgt Jemima Croggon

ATC Windsor 75th Anniversary Parade

07778 334771

Flight Lieutenant Jane Wicks is a mum, grandmother and works full time “but I still find time to enjoy my time with the Air Training Corps”

Flight Lieutenant Jane Wicks, from Didcot, is an Volunteer Adult Cadet Instructor. Jane joined when her son became a Cadet.  Now 14 years later Jane is now a Grandmother with two grandchildren.  She works for in the printing industry and works for a Company called Digipress in Didcot. “I am proud to be part of the Air Training Corps., and I view it as a real pleasure to be involved.”


Flight Lieutenant Chris Tocher is a sector Commander and is responsible for 7 Squadrons of Cadets within the Thames Valley area

Flight Lieutenant Chris Tocher lives in Newbury and works in the Telecoms Industry.
Chris an ex Air Cadet joined as an Adult Instructor 13 ago. He said “Being an Adult Instructor with the Cadets has really helped with my career, it helped to get me into Uni and get me my job.”


Pilot Officer Luke Baker who lives in Earley in Reading. “As an Ex Cadet myself I always try to encourage the older cadets to become an adult instructor when they reach 20, which is what I did and I find it really rewarding.”

Pilot Officer Luke Baker, works at Granbury College pupil referral unit working with children who are excluded from school and main stream education.

Luke was a cadet in Bracknell and now as an Adult Instructor parades at 153 Slough Squadron.  He said, “I would recommend anyone to come along to see us and find out more about being an Adult Instructor.”

For more information please go to http://www.aircadets.tv/


Thames Valley Wing Air Training Corps Celebrate 75th Anniversary

07778 334771

Over 400 hundred Air Cadets from Thames Valley Wing Air Training Corps celebrated 75 years of the formation of the Corps by parading through the Town of Windsor on Sunday 22 May.

Joined by their adult volunteer instructors the Cadets, marched with military precision through the streets of Windsor where a church service was held at Windsor Parish Church.

07778 334771

In the presence of the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire Mr James Puxley, Mayors and Councillors from across Berkshire and

Commandant Air Cadets, Dawn McCafferty, the parade then formed up to conclude their celebrations with a march past Windsor Guildhall, where the salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant and Commandant Air Cadets.

For more information please go to http://www.aircadets.tv/ 

Kent Air Cadets Mark 75th Anniversary of Air Training Corps


More than 500 RAF Air Cadets from across Kent marched through Canterbury High Street on Saturday, 21 May, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the youth organisation.

A total of 561 cadets and 48 adult volunteers marched from St Peters Lane to Canterbury Cathedral, with the Wing Band leading the Parade, where they joined a further 150 cadets and invited guests for a service to celebrate the landmark anniversary.

The Air Training Corps was formed on 5 February 1941 by a Royal Warrant Issued by King George VI and currently consists of over 42,000 cadets across the United Kingdom. In Kent, there are 1,206 cadets who attend meetings twice a week at one of the county’s 34 squadrons, assisted by 302 adult volunteers.


The event in Canterbury is one of many taking place across the country throughout 2016, and is the first time that a county-wide parade has been organised for 35 years. The cadets marched past Air Vice Marshal Malcolm Brecht, CBE MA FRAeS RAF who is Chief of Staff for Capability at HQ Air Command and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant Air Cadets.  The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, High Sheriff of Kent and Lord and Lady Mayoress of Canterbury also attended the event along with representatives from the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, RAF Benevolent Fund, Greater London RFCA, South East RFCA, KCC and Kent emergency services.

Wing Commander Russell Goodayle, Kent Wing’s Officer Commanding, said, “It is a great honour lead such a dedicated group of people on parade today.  It has been a fantastic day.  I am extremely proud of my cadets and staff and the work they do”.

For more information on the Air Training Corps in Kent or if you are interested in joining such a great organisation, visit www.kentaircadets.org.

413 Squadron ATC are looking for new recruits

With support from SERFCA, 413 Squadron received new banners on Monday evening. They are currently looking for new recruits and further information can be found here http://rafcadets.co.uk/

DSCN0791 (2).JPG

All, including the staff, cadets and committee, were impressed by the new banners and are looking forward to putting them up to publicise the squadron.

They hope that the banners will help to make them more visible and will help the recruiting effort.