On Friday 4th May 2018, cadets of 2120 (Witney) Squadron received their annual review under the watchful eye of Air Vice Marshal G M Russell RAF, Director Helicopters at Defence Equipment and Supply.
Parading at the new Joint Cadet Centre, the Cadets and staff provided a formal parade to watching parents and civic dignitaries from across the district, including the District Chairman, Councillor Norman MacRae MBE, the Bishop of Dorchester, the Right Reverend Colin Fletcher OBE and Mr Robert Courts, our local member of Parliament.
Following the parade, the new Joint Cadet Centre which the Squadron has waited for following the closure of its last Headquarters seventeen years ago, was officially opened with a blessing and prayer which led to a ribbon cutting by Cadet Emilia Belardo, assisted by Air Vice Marshal Russell, Bishop Colin and Mr Courts MP.
Speaking at the opening, Air Vice Marshal Russell said:
“I admire each of the Cadets parading here this evening for their hard work, enthusiasm and knowledge. As a former Cadet, I stood where you are now and I enjoyed every moment of my time in the Air Training Corps and encourage you to take every opportunity afforded to you.”
Throughout the night, the Cadets demonstrated the wide range of activities available from aerospace, through STEM to Adventure Training and First Aid. The visiting dignitaries and parents were able to understand the diversity of modern cadet training first hand before a presentation from Cadet Sergeant Josh Sigsworth, who summed up the activities of the previous twelve months.
Before closing remarks from Air Vice Marshal Russell and Squadron Leader Mark Travena from HQ Thames Valley Wing, a bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was presented to Cadet James Gullett, and the specially commissioned ‘May the Fourth’ cake was cut.
Speaking after the event, the Squadron Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Mike Caffrey RAFAC said:
“The Cadets were superb this evening, demonstrating their ability to remain agile and adaptable with very few weeks preparation for this prestigious event. Their contribution and standing in the community was recognised by the attendance of so many parents and local dignitaries from the community and various charities. We are extremely grateful for their continued support.”
Not satisfied with this achievement, the Squadron then went on the same night to travel to Snowdonia for a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition and a fundraising walk in Harwell for the Royal British Legion, such is their dedication.
If you’d like to know more about 2120 Squadron, please contact us to arrange a visit or register for an upcoming intake evening.