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992 (Malmesbury) Squadron
Royal Air Force Air Cadets

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Posted by Lauren Simms on May 8, 2017 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (1)

By Cdt C. Loft

On 21-23 April 2017, Cdt Christine Loft from 992 (Malmesbury) Squadron ATC attended the RAF 2 Day March held at RAF Cosford, organised by the walking and road marching association (WARMA), along with three teams from Dorset and Wiltshire Wing.

The event is held annually and the participants march 50 miles (80km) across the 2 days. Cadets from Dorset and Wiltshire Wing started training for the event in January 2017, starting at 10 miles (16km) and gradually increasing the distance until being able to march the 25 miles (40km) required. This year around 1,320 military marches and 110 civilians attended the event including entrants from the US Navy SEALs, the Swedish Army Reserves, the Norwegian Army, the Marine Nationale (French Navy), the Danish Home Guard, and the Bundeswehr (German Army).

The teams arrived at RAF Cosford on the Friday evening, excited and nervous for what the next two days would bring.

Day one required the cadets to march 26 miles (42km) in the surrounding Shropshire and Staffordshire countryside. Two out of the three Dorset and Wiltshire teams set off at around 0730 (the third team opted for the 20km (12 mile) march over the two days and would therefore set off much later). The first checkpoint was 10km (6 miles) into the march, but upon arriving, a participant from one of the teams had to drop out due to injuries, and unfortunately this led to one of our teams falling behind. However, we soon managed to overtake other teams and finished strongly at around 1700.

Already exhausted, the cadets were relieved to find that day two was a shorter distance of 24 miles (38km). The teams set off slightly earlier, at around 0710, and started the day off by saluting Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, who came to see off all the teams. As expected, day two was much more demanding than the previous day, and unfortunately there were multiple drop outs from both teams. Due to this, both teams merged into one big Dorset and Wiltshire team. At around 1600, Dorset and Wiltshire Wing marched through the gates of RAF Cosford, completing WARMA's 2 day march.

Upon completion the team had a short rest before collecting their well-earned medals and badges. Those who completed the march are now qualified to attend Nijmegen in July, and are training towards this next big goal.

The experience, though strenuous, was quite enjoyable, allowing cadets to form bonds with people within the Wing, testing their abilities and being able to push themselves. It gives a great sense of satisfaction to know what you are capable of doing, and I would recommend this opportunity to other cadets who are looking to attend this event in future.



Posted by Lauren Simms on May 8, 2017 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

On Monday 3rd April 2017, Cadet Flight Sergeant Lauren Simms gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of the South Cotswolds about the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, and her achievements during her cadet career.

FS Simms, 17, was asked by the Rotary Club to present to them after one of their members, Mr Lloyd, saw an article in the newspaper about her recent presentation of the RAF Charitable Trust Flying Excellence Award in London.

The evening began with a 2-course meal, during which FS Simms was introduced to all members of the club, and was able to find out about their roles in the community. After a few club announcements, she completed a 30 minute speech, summarising the activities of 992 Squadron and the wider Air Cadet community, before sharing some of her own experiences and achievements.

FS Simms particularly enjoyed telling the group about her year as a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, the completion of her Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, her Air Cadet Pilot Scheme Flying Scholarship, and the RAF Charitable Trust award that she has recently been awarded.

FS Simms received very positive feedback from the club members, who found her presentation both engaging and interesting, and wished her all the best for her future career.

‘Many of the club members had a very outdated idea of what the Royal Air Force Air Cadets get up to,’ said FS Simms, ‘it was great to be able to tell the members about all the activities on offer to our cadets, the active role we play in the community, and how we develop our cadets to become both good citizens and young leaders.’

The Rotary Club then kindly donated two prints to the squadron, one showing Horsa Gliders leaving for Operation Market Garden, and the other, a pair of Javelins over Gloucester. After this, the President then awarded the squadron £300 for their efforts at the Horseless Trials, an annual event where our cadets provide car parking support and crowd control.

We hope to organise for Charles Nicholls, the Rotary Club Founder, to come our squadron and give a talk to our cadets. He was a Lancaster Navigator during World War Two, and has many interesting stories to share of his experiences.



Posted by Lauren Simms on May 8, 2017 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

On Friday 17th March 2017, 992 (Malmesbury) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets held their annual Dining-In Night and Presentation Evening at the town hall in Malmesbury, where the squadron celebrates all that has been achieved in the past year.

The evening began with a 3-course meal, throughout which, traditional RAF mess rules were followed – no elbows on the table, fines for any comical mishaps, and of course, not allowing the port decanter to touch the table before everyone’s glass has been filled, ready for the loyal toast!

After the meal had finished, it was then onto speeches and the presentations. This year, the guest of honour was Group Captain Tim Jones, the Station Commander of RAF Brize Norton. He provided an interesting and motivational speech to our cadets about his experiences in the RAF, how the RAF is changing and progressing today, and the value of the Air Cadets as the next generation. The squadron Commander Officer, Flt Lt Alden-Fenn, then gave a speech to cadets and parents, summarising the achievements of the squadron over the past year, and the activities that we have taken part in.

As always, the squadron had plenty to celebrate, and awards for commitment, effort and achievement were given out to our cadets across a range of activities, from adventure training, to sports, and personal development. As well as this, FS Simms was awarded with a promotion, and CWO Jarvis & Mr Williams were awarded squadron plaques as ‘dining-out’ gifts, to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the squadron throughout their time with us.

A special new award was also presented this year. The ‘Hannah Cubin Award for Sporting Achievement’ was presented by Mrs Cubin, in memory of her daughter, who died suddenly at the end of last year. Hannah Cubin was a very active and committed member of our squadron, who put all of her enthusiasm into every activity. She was always willing to rise to any challenge, and consistently motivated other cadets and her peers. Due to her strong involvement in sporting activities both in and out of the Air Cadets, the squadron felt that the awarded dedicated in her memory was very fitting tribute to Hannah.

Overall, the night was a success, and as always, a lovely time for the squadron to reflect on the past year, and prepare to continue its success for the next.



Posted by Lauren Simms on November 3, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (1)

On 1st November 2016, FS Jack McClelland of 992 (Malmesbury) Squadron attended his investiture to become one of Wiltshire’s next Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets for 2016-2017.

Accompanied by his proud parents, FS McClelland was presented his official certificate and badges in front of honourable audience of significant military personnel and cadet force volunteers. A detailed citation outlining all of Jack’s successes to date in his cadet career confirmed the reason he was selected for this special role.

After the ceremony, FS McClelland said, ‘once I’d calmed my nerves, it was a really enjoyable evening!’ He then went on to remark, ‘I’m so proud to be given this opportunity to represent the Air Training Corps, and I cannot wait to wear the uniform to assist the Lord Lieutenant with her duties, and promote the armed forces and its cadet organisations.’


PN 05-16 Young Cadet's Dream Takes Flight With Excellence Award

Posted by Lauren Simms on November 3, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Taken from the RAF Charitable Trust website:

Seventeen-year-old air cadet Lauren Simms was overwhelmed this week after receiving the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Flying Excellence Award.


The award, which represents one of the highest individual honours that can be won by an air cadet, was presented at a ceremony in London by David Linstead, Head of Corporate Business Development (Air) at Lockheed Martin UK.


Air cadets compete nationally for the trophy, which this year was accompanied by a substantial flying bursary generously donated by Lockheed Martin. This bursary will contribute to developing Lauren's piloting skills as she continues her journey towards achieving a private pilot's licence.


Cadet Sergeant Lauren Simms, from 992 (Malmesbury) Sqn, said: "The award came as a complete surprise. I attended the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme at Tayside Aviation earlier this year, but unfortunately didn't quite make solo standard, so I thought I wouldn't be offered any further funding through my cadet career.


"I was delighted when I heard I'd been nominated and then went on to win the award. I am so grateful as this money should ensure that I can reach solo standard and beyond when I return to Tayside Aviation next year."


Lauren, who is studying at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, where she is head girl, plans to join her local university air squadron (UAS) as she continues her studies and pursues a career in aviation.


She continued: "I've attended 992 (Malmesbury) Squadron ATC since October 2012, and for the past year I've been the Lord Lieutenant's Cadet for Wiltshire. I've recently taken more of a mentoring role on the squadron, helping to teach younger cadets the BTEC in Aviation Studies, enabling me to pass on my knowledge and experience of aviation related subjects."


Staff at Tayside Aviation, which delivers cadet flying training, praised Lauren for her great flying ability and approach to flying training, which has set the benchmark for other cadets to follow, as well as her personal and leadership qualities. She was described as an "outstanding cadet with infectious enthusiasm that stood out head and shoulders above others . . . epitomising the very best of the Air Training Corps."


RAFCT director Amanda Butcher added: "Lauren's contribution to the air cadets is exceptional and she truly is a deserving winner of this award. Providing young people with opportunities and invaluable experience within aviation-related fields is a huge part of what we do at the Trust and we hope this award will be a significant boost towards paving the way for Lauren's future in flying."



Posted by Colleen Sheridan on April 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

On the 14th of April 2016, 992 squadron had their Annual Formal Inspection (AFI). This was a fantastic chance for the squadron to show off their high qualitiy of uniform and drill, of which they did very well.

With an attendance of 40 cadets, Sqn Ldr Parker and FS Biggs had quite a job on their hands and even with the plethora of people, it still was a struggle to find any major faults. Despite the current uniform shortages, everyone had done their best to make it presentable, even if it was a couple of sizes too big! Proudly, the cadets displayed their drill and the overwhelming accuracy was a sight for those inspecting. They hope to keep this level of achievement up, with similar responses for any event like this.

992 squadron is proud of the effort everyone put in tonight. Many thanks to Sqn ldr Parker and FS Biggs, for inspecting; the staff and NCOs for their help prepping the squadron and most importantly, every single cadet that spent that extra time working hard prepping for the AFI.


Posted by Colleen Sheridan on March 26, 2016 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

On the 19th to the 20th of March two cadets from 992 had an intensive two-day aviation course. This consisted of learning vital skills such as teamwork, leadership and how to do a successful presentation as well as just a purely knowledge oriented course

The two days consisted of a couple lectures, a go on a flight simulator, and interesting team building skills. The first day, in their randomly assigned flights; they had to make a contraption to allow an egg to fall 30ft without it breaking – only using basic 'everyday' materials. Everyday materials being: paper, card, tape etc. Unfortunately, (and somewhat unsurprisingly) none of the eggs survived!

Throughout the weekend the cadets were broken off into groups and allowed to use the very well valued flight simulator, visit the on-base museum and have free time.

After a few more lectures they also did a blindfolded exercise. To test the knowledge they had learnt, and to push the limits of teamwork. After these 2 days, the cadets presented their new-found-knowledge on a certain subject. For example on group had to speak for 5 minutes about meteorology. At the end of the weekend, cdts Sutton and Sheridan went home with a shiny certificate, and experience on a rare gliding simulator. Gleaming with aspiration and hope that others can go on a similar weekend also.



Posted by Lauren Simms on March 19, 2016 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

On Saturday 19th March 2016, cadets from 992 (Malmesbury) Squadron attended the Youth Fair in Malmesbury to promote and encourage young people in the area to join the ACO.

Whilst at the fair, cadets spoke to visitors about the opportunities available for young people in the ACO – from flying and shooting to public speaking and sports. With an array of photos from events the squadron has attended, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme pamphlets, flying scholarship badges and first aid manuals, the cadets were able to demonstrate to visitors how easy it was to take part in a range of new activities and experiences, to achieve so many qualifications, and make lifelong friends.

However, the cadets were not only focussing their recruitment to young people. The squadron is always looking for adult volunteers to assists with the day-to-day running of the squadron, from teaching lessons in field craft and navigation, to taking parades at wing events, or helping the diorama team build models for Wing Activity Day. The advantages for adult volunteers are always increasing, and it is now possible for a volunteer to step into a wide variety of roles, and achieve many transferrable qualifications to be used outside of the ACO.

The next recruit course being run at the squadron will commence in September. Please have a look through our website, and contact us if you are interested in joining as a cadet.

If you are thinking of joining as an adult volunteer, we would really like to talk to you about options with varying levels of commitment. Please get in contact with us, or come down the squadron on a parade night to find out more.



Posted by Lauren Simms on March 19, 2016 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

On Thursday 3rd March 2016, 992 (Malmesbury) Squadron welcomed its largest ever recruit course of 24 new cadets into the squadron community at their enrolment evening, following the completion of a 10-week recruitment course.


During their training, the 24 recruits followed a thorough training syllabus, in order to complete their 1st Class Cadet classification. This is the standard required to attend most activities in the ACO, including flying, adventure training, shooting, and camps. Most of the training in this syllabus is theory and practical activities relating to ATC and RAF history, rank structures, airmanship knowledge, basic navigation and expedition skills.


During this period, the recruits will have also developed a wide variety of personal skills through practical activities. To list just a few examples: determination and pride developed through the maintenance of their new uniforms; confidence and leadership increased by group activities; and discipline learnt from squad drill.


The enrolment evening was strongly attended by cadets, staff and parents alike, who all shared the occasion to welcome new faces into the squadron community. We hope that the newly enrolled cadets take all of the opportunities available on offer to them, and ‘Venture, Adventure!’



Posted by Lauren Simms on March 19, 2016 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

In February 2016, the annual Wing Cross Country event took place at the Tidworth Oval in which every squadron in South West Region put forward their best cross country runners to compete against the others for the trophy and a space at regional level.

There were a variety of events available on the day, and your competing category depended on your age. For both males and female, under 16s could run 3500m or 5000m across different terrain types – this could range from slippery grass to hard tarmac, so you had to be careful where you ran!

Before each race, a warm up took place, and everyone in each wing was encouraged to get involved. In my race, there were 22 runners of different abilities and height – so some were naturally more destined for a single digit placement than others. At the end of the race, your position was recorded and the placements went towards the scorings for the winning wing. No matter where you came, you were guaranteed a ‘well done!’ when you finished, which kept spirits up even though the weather wasn’t the best!

At the end of the day, there was a trophy ceremony in which the fastest individuals in each race collected their trophies. Those who placed highly in their wing were put forward for the next level up later in the year. Unfortunately no one from Dorset & Wilts Wing was selected to compete at regional level – but this isn’t an issue as we can try again next year!

Overall, this was a very enjoyable day even though most cadets ended up sore for the next few days, I would definitely recommend this activity to all cadets when it comes around next year!

By Cadet Strangward-Pryce