Cadets, uniformed staff and civilian instructors from the 5 Ayrshire Air Training Corps (ATC) Squadr [ ... ]
On Sunday 12th May 2013 at The Cameron Barracks, Inverness, Highland Wing of the Air Training Corps [ ... ]
The RAF Association have an annual award for Air Cadets, where the RAF Association organise and spon [ ... ]
A full-size replica Spitfire has been erected as a memorial to 71 pilots killed during training in t [ ... ]
Last night the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund hosted a special charity event in the Great Hall of E [ ... ]
The Royal Air Force Air Cadets are delighted to announce that six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ch [ ... ]
4 students attended the latest Media Communications Course at RAF Leuchars on 13/14 April.
During the [ ... ]
No stranger to weekends away and on various ranges in all weathers, Commanding Off [ ... ]
This weekend, South East Scotland Wing (SEScot) Air Training Corps is preparing to host their annual [ ... ]
A full-size replica Spitfire has been erected as a memorial to 71 pilots killed during training in the Second World War.
Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1 was unveiled by 100-year-old former aircraft mechanic John "Dinger" Bell in a public garden in Grangemouth, close to the site of a former RAF airfield.
Young pilots from around the world were based in Grangemouth during the war and 71 of them died just during training flights at the base.
The idea for the memorial came from cadets in the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron Air Training Corps. It cost £100,000 which was raised through campaigns led by the Grangemouth Spitfire Memorial Trust (GSMT).
Chairman Iain Mitchell said: "The young men who trained at Grangemouth were among the bravest the world has ever seen, and it is a huge honour for us to be in a position to commemorate their sacrifice with this stunning memorial. It's the first of its kind in Scotland and we can't wait to share it with everyone.”
Story and Photograph Courtesy of Dundee Courier
Last night the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund hosted a special charity event in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The last surviving holder of a Royal Air Force Victoria Cross and Battle of the Atlantic pilot, John Cruickshank, from Aberdeen, was the guest of honour.
Scotland played a significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic with aircraft operating from no fewer than 27 bases around the coast. 260 Sunderland aircraft were built on the Clyde and control of the battle was managed from an underground Headquarters at Pitreavie Castle in Fife. During the four year campaign almost 11,000 airmen perished and for many there were no known graves.
Group Captain Bob Kemp, Director of the Benevolent Fund in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England said: “I am delighted that so many of our supporters were able to join us this evening to remember the brave efforts of those involved in the Battle of the Atlantic and to have a Victoria Cross recipient present was a most unique and humbling experience.”
“In 2012 the RAF Benevolent Fund spent over £1.3 million supporting the RAF family in Scotland, a level of welfare provision which we simply could not maintain without our magnificent Scottish support. As a charity with no government income we rely on donations, without which we simply could not provide the level of support we do.”
John Cruickshank won the highest award ‘for valour’ after engaging a German submarine from his Catalina flying boat over the Atlantic whilst operating from Sullom Voe in the Shetlands Islands. During the prolonged attack, John sustained no less than 72 individual wounds and despite suffering from two serious penetrating chest wounds and his navigator being killed during the attack, he succeeded in destroying the submarine.
John, almost 93 years of age said: “It’s been a super evening and I was honoured to have been asked. The RAF Benevolent Fund is a fantastic organisation, right at the heart of the RAF family, always there supporting those in need”.
Alastair Morrison, Managing Director of Selex ES, the Edinburgh based avionics firm who sponsored the event said: “We are delighted to support the work of the RAF Benevolent Fund here in Scotland. We will never forget those who fought so bravely in such difficult conditions all those years ago and we remember those who are engaged in conflict today”.
The reception finished with a ‘Beat Retreat’ in Crown Square by the RAF Leuchars Pipe Band under the direction of Pipe Major Ian Hughes. Air Officer Scotland, Air Commodore Gerry Mayhew and the Lord Provost took the salute during a fitting sunset ceremony.
The event, which was attended by almost 200 guests, was held by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
During the course of the evening John Cruikshank took time out to speak to some cadets from 1333 (Grangemouth) Squadron.
The Royal Air Force Air Cadets are delighted to announce that six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy has accepted an invitation to become an Ambassador for the Organisation.
Sir Chris has close family ties to the RAF, has flown in a Typhoon aircraft at RAF Leuchars, and has already demonstrated a very keen interest in the Air Cadet Organisation – a modern, dynamic, air-minded youth organisation which offers fun and challenging opportunities.
With an excellent reputation as a hardworking, high achieving sportsman and an outstanding team player, Sir Chris is seen as an ideal Ambassador for the Corps, complementing the cadets’ core values of teamwork and excellence. His pedigree as one of the most successful, iconic British Olympians makes him the ideal role model for young people and the adult volunteers who support them.
In accepting this prestigious appointment, Sir Chris will assume the Ambassador rank of Honorary Group Captain, and having recently announced his retirement from professional cycling, he will hopefully find time to spend with cadets and volunteers at major events and competitions.
Speaking about the appointment, Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, said:
“We are thrilled that Sir Chris has accepted our invitation to join the Corps as an Honorary Group Captain and we can’t wait to see him in uniform and supporting some of the many exciting cadet activities on offer. We know that cadets and volunteers alike will welcome this appointment as something truly special for the Corps and we look forward to working with Sir Chris over the coming years to promote the cadet experience.
Sir Chris responded by saying:
“I am thrilled to be invited to be an Ambassador for the Air Cadet Organisation. I am really impressed by the wide range of activities on offer to the cadets and by the commitment of the adult volunteers who support these young people in achieving their potential and becoming good citizens. I particularly like the emphasis on sport and competition across the Corps and I look forward to attending events as and when my schedule permits. If I can’t be there in person, I will be there in spirit and I send my very best wishes to everyone in the Corps.”
“Sir Chris Hoy in action” - Photograph by Getty Images Sport.
“Sir Chris during a visit to RAF Leuchars in
No stranger to weekends away and on various ranges in all weathers, Commanding Officer of the Scottish Small Arms Training Team (ScotSATT), Squadron Leader Paul Mathieson shares his passion of his dream job for one of the corps activities often overlooked and understated by the general public.
Sqn Ldr Mathieson has been involved with ScotSATT for the past 18 years and on completing of his first course in 1997 he knew that being Commanding Officer was his ambition. This came to fruition in 2011 when he was appointed.
Selection of his instructors are based on observations during practical exercises. Students that shine and stand out under assessment and pressure will be invited back as a probationer for 3 weekends to do various tasks. On the last weekend they will be assessed on instruction and if potential is evident, they will be invited to join the team.
The courses that are offered by the ScotSATT team are primarily to provide training to adult staff members to cascade down to cadets. Initially an elementary coaching course shows the fundamentals of the No 8 weapon, there is also the L98 course. Both these courses are organised by the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO), all other courses thereafter come under the auspices of the Army. These include short range, range conducting officer course, which cover barrack and indoor ranges and these may vary from 15 to 25 metres. Long range, range conducting officer courses are for training in gallery and electric targets. Skill at arms instructors course are also on offer.
It could be said that there is much mixed feelings amongst the general public about shooting being a favourite corps activity for cadets, however with the strict discipline that is given from the ScotSATT team there is no room for error.
Sqn Ldr Mathieson said “shooting is the most popular activity, as important as flying and gliding and is readily available”.
By having such a specialised group of instructors such as the ScotSATT team they help to promote, encourage, provide training and foster the spirit of adventure in-line with aims of the corps.
This standard of behaviour has no place in the Air Cadet Organization and any member of staff, or any cadet, who uses the internet or any other medium in an inappropriate or unacceptable manner, will face dismissal from the Corps.
Further, they may leave themselves open, under civil law, for libel, which can carry very heavy financial penalties.