Monday, 16 April 2018

The Year 2017/2018 So Far

Since September 2017 the Contingent has been very busy in many ways.  The Autumn & Spring terms tend to be the busiest of the three.  There are regular activities, of weekends at Farchynys - Outward Bound, Recruits and "Antarctic Training" and Parade on Remembrance Sunday in Walsall Town Centre.  The RAF Section's AEF in the autumn term was very successful, with all cadets flying on the days selected.  The term saw the handover of AEF organiser from Sqn Ldr Lawrence to Flt Lt Ridler.  Sadly and very unusually, two training weekends at Farchynys had to be cancelled.  Correctly the weather forecast was heeded and the snow, that was forecast, fell.  Had either weekend's party set out, severe problems would have beset the travel plans.  The adverse weather also took its toll on the first two AEFs of the spring term.  The organisation of Annual camps for the RAF Section at Easter and Army in July have continued apace.  This planning had to be done alongside that for the Contingent's Biennial Review (BR) just before the end of the spring term.

The BR was undertaken at Swynnerton Training Area with the reviewing officer, Col.(retd) M Urquhart, who is the current Chief Executive of the Combined Cadet Force Association.  The training day went very well in unusually warm and sunny conditions.  Col.Urquhart's address at the end was very complimentary to the officers, adults and cadets associated with the Contingent.

RAF Camp at Easter this year was at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.  38 cadets and 6 Officers attended.  A very varied programme was undertaken, and included two visits. The first to the RAF Museum at Hendon, the second to the Battle of Britain Bunker at Uxbridge.  On the RAF base a good mixture of instructional and practical visits took place to extend the cadets interests and activities.

The summer term sees an Outward Bound Weekend in May, the re-arranged CCCT Weekend in June, a field day at Nesscliffe ATE and Aldridge Outdoor Activities Centre take place.  The term's activities will end with Annual Army Camp, which this year is at Longmoor ATE.  The Contingent is being visited by a researcher from Northampton University looking into "The Social Impact of the Cadet Forces".

It is the Centenary of the RAF in 2018 and we wait with baited breath to see what celebratory event we may be invited to attend.

Cadets have been successful on courses that they have attended during the year.  Three RAF cadets attended RAF Flying Scholarship training, three army cadets attended a Cadet Leadership Course at Sennybridge and three cadets attended a STEM Course.

The current Cadet Warrant Officer is awaiting an interview for the award of the Sir John Thompson Sword.  The sword is awarded to the best RAF Cadet nationally.  We all wish him success.

The Contingent has recruited four more CFAVs (Cadet Force Adult Volunteers) during the year. Mrs BB Mehta and Mr GK Collins have been recruited to become officers in the Army Section and Mr JE Diskin to the RAF Section. They will be commissioned after successfully passing their Basic Training courses. Mr SR Jephcott has been recruited to be, initially, an SI.  He will attend his Basic Training course very soon.