Air Training Corps

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Air Training Corps
The Air Training Corps Ensign
Air Training Corps Ensign
Active 5 February 1941–Present
Country United Kingdom
Type Volunteer Youth Organisation
Size 900+ Sqns & 93 Detached Flights (41,000[1] Cadets)
Part of Air Cadet Organisation
Headquarters RAFC Cranwell
Nickname Air Cadets
Motto Venture Adventure
Commanders
Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Commandant Air Cadets Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty
Aircraft flown
Trainer Grob Tutor, Grob Viking TX.1, Grob Vigilant T1

The Air Training Corps (ATC) is a British cadet organisation; a voluntary youth group which is part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (official known as the Air Cadet Organisation or ACO) and is sponsored by the Royal Air Force (RAF). It is supported by the Ministry of Defence; a regular RAF officer served as Commandant Air Cadets at the rank of Air Commodore until 2012, when the post was changed (as part of the ongoing defence cuts) to a Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) position, also at Air Commodore rank.[2] The cadets and the majority of staff are civilians.[3] Although a number of ATC cadets go on to join the RAF or other services every year, the ATC is no longer set up as a recruiting organisation.

Activities include sport, hill walking, parade drill, rock climbing, rifle shooting, fieldcraft and other outdoor activities, as well as the study of subjects related to aviation, leading to a national vocational diploma (BTEC). Week-long trips to RAF stations, or camps offering adventure training or music, allow the opportunity for cadets to gain a taste of military life and often to gain some flying experience in RAF gliders.

A teenager can join at the age of 13 as a junior cadet and earn positions of increasing responsibility in a military rank structure, as well as having increasing skill and competence recognised in a classification scheme. Service as a cadet ends at the age of 20. In 2012, the ATC had around 41,000 cadets aged between 13 to 20 years,[1] in 1009 squadrons.[4] Its cadets are supported by a network of around 10,000 volunteer staff and around 5,000 civilian committee members.

Culture[edit]

ATC Crest

Aims and motto[edit]

The Aims of the Air Training Corps, as set out in the Royal Warrant and approved by HM the Queen, the British sovereign, are:

  • To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF).
  • To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life.
  • To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.[5]

The Air Training Corp's motto is "Venture, Adventure".[6]

As of 2013, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief and has served in this role since 1953.[7]

The cadet promise[edit]

Upon enrolment into the ATC, every cadet has to make the following promise, usually at a ceremony presided over by the unit's padre or commanding officer:

"I, Cadet *Full Name*, hereby solemnly promise on my honour to serve my Unit loyally and to be faithful to my obligations as a member of the Air Training Corps. I further promise to be a good citizen and to do my duty to God and the Queen, my Country and my Flag."[8]

This promise is recorded by the cadet's signature in his or her Cadet Record of Service Book (RAF Form 3822)

Ensign[edit]

The ensign of the Air Training Corps

The Air Training Corps Ensign is hoisted for every parade and hauled-down at dusk. It is expected that it should be treated with the same respect and dignity afforded to the Royal Air Force Ensign.

The ATC ensign is raised and lowered by a nominated member of the squadron, sometimes a cadet non-commissioned officer (NCO), member of staff, or simply a cadet who has been chosen, with the salute being taken by any commissioned officer or NCO, normally the squadron's Officer Commanding. All other officers are expected to salute during the hoisting and hauling down.

Most ATC wings and squadrons also have a banner, in addition to an ensign, which is paraded on formal occasions. The ATC also has a Corps Banner, which is afforded the same courtesies as an RAF Squadron Standard, although its status is different.

Uniform[edit]

All cadets are issued with a uniform that is similar to that worn by RAF personnel. The standard uniform consists of a dark blue shirt and brassard, grey trousers (male cadets) or skirt/slacks (female cadets), a blue-grey jumper, to be worn when required, and a dark blue beret. Black shoes are provided by the cadet.

Cadets are also issued with a light blue shirt and tie for formal occasions, and are usually either issued with or privately acquire a camouflage uniform, also known as a disruptive pattern material (DPM) uniform and more recently have been authorized to wear the official style of uniform the armed forces wear know as MTP (Multi Terrain Pattern). Cadets may be allowed or obliged to wear other specialist uniforms, such as flight suits, when required.

Air Cadet Organisation[edit]

Advertising material such as leaflets and official websites brand the Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force together as the Air Cadet Organisation (or ACO). Members of the ATC may refer to themselves as Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Organisation – Air Training Corps[edit]

The ATC is the largest part of the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO), along with the RAF sections of the Combined Cadet Force. The ACO forms one of the seven functional areas of No 22 Group RAF, which is responsible for the recruitment and selection of all RAF personnel and for the policy and delivery of RAF non-operational training (including flying training). A FTRS RAF Air Commodore serves as Commandant Air Cadets.

National[edit]

Headquarters Air Cadets (HQAC) is based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. There are subordinate headquarters at region and wing levels staffed by officers of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and civil servants. HQAC controls two Air Cadet National Adventure Training Centres – at Llanbedr, Gwynedd, Wales and Windermere, Cumbria, England. These provide a range of adventure training courses and accommodation for squadron and wing expeditions. HQAC also controls 28 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons around the UK, through the Air Cadet Central Gliding School at RAF Syerston, and 12 Air Experience Flights.

The ATC is divided geographically into six regions (each commanded by a retired Group Captain in the RAF Reserves), and each region is sub-divided into a number of wings. As of 2013 there are 34 wings, most named after the one or two counties of the United Kingdom that they operate in. Wings are further sub-divided into squadrons, and it is the squadron that is the focal point for the majority of members of the Corps.

Local[edit]

An ATC marching band

ATC Squadrons are established in most large towns in the United Kingdom. There are also units in Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands. In towns not large enough to sustain a squadron of 30 cadets, or as a supplement to an existing squadron in a larger town or city, a Detached Flight (DF) may be formed. A detached flight operates much like any other unit, but is technically a component part of a nearby, larger squadron. As of March 2013 there are over 900 ATC squadrons and 32 detached flights.[4]

Each squadron is commanded by a Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) RAFVR(T) officer, or sometimes a warrant officer. The commanding officer has a good deal of autonomy in running his or her unit, along with the responsibility that goes with it. Where a unit has other members of staff, the commanding officer allocates duties and provides recommendations on appointments, retentions and promotions.

The Squadron Warrant Officer (Sqn WO) holds the rank of warrant officer, or may be a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO) if no warrant officer is available, and will typically have spent many years working within the squadron or at least within the ATC. In the case where no commissioned officers are present, the Sqn WO or SNCO will take charge of the unit. The squadron warrant officer usually has a closer relationship with the cadets than the commanding officer.

The establishment of officers, WOs, senior NCOs and cadet NCOs is dependent on the size of the squadron or detached flight and this basic structure has many permutations – varying with the number of cadets and staff, accommodation and facilities. A typical small detached flight may consist only of the Officer Commanding and fifteen cadets and is often housed in rented accommodation. At the other end of the scale, a large squadron can consist of 120 cadets or more, four commissioned officers, two non-commissioned officers and a half dozen civilian instructors. Civilian Instructors (many of whom are retired RAF regulars) form the backbone of the ACO.

Activities[edit]

Grob Vigilant T1 motor-glider.

Activities undertaken by cadets in the ATC are intended to provide experience and training in the skills and disciplines admired by the armed forces; however, instruction is designed to be useful to a teenager whether the cadet later chooses a military career or a civil one. The emphasis is on team work, leadership, physical fitness, discipline and the development of such virtues and talents as courage, dexterity and mental agility. Parade drill is taught and regularly practiced, outward bound activities such as hill walking and rock climbing are often available and community service is encouraged, in particular the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Opportunities exist to learn rifle shooting and marksmanship, first aid and radio communications. Team sports such as rugby, football and netball, or more individual challenges such as orienteering and cross country running, often involve rivalry between squadrons. Adventure training gives a cadet the opportunity to develop the skills of initiative and leadership.

There are also opportunities for band music and many camps offer teenagers the chance to spend a week away from parents practicing fieldcraft or receiving instruction in gliding and other outdoor pursuits. Many of these activities, including gliding, have a well-defined scale of achievement that a cadet can work to build up; this includes the leadership qualities reflected in an NCO structure.

Annual camps[edit]

Grob Tutor in flight

The ATC runs numerous annual camps each year, run on RAF stations so that cadets may get a taste of service life. Annual camps are organised at wing level with place for all squadrons, so that every cadet who wishes to and who has achieved at least the First Class qualification may take part. Cadets usually stay in RAF barrack blocks and eat in the station's mess facilities. The itinerary is always packed with typical ATC activities such as air experience flying, shooting, adventure training and, of course, drill. Cadets also have the opportunity to visit various sections of the station and meet the people who work there.

Cadets may also have the opportunity to attend other sorts of annual camp, such as a locally (i.e. wing- or squadron-) organised camp based around adventure training or fieldcraft, or as guests on a camp run by one of the other cadet forces such as the Army Cadet Force or the Sea Cadet Corps. There are also Music camps for band members.

The largest camp of all is the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) camp held annually in July at RAF Fairford. Each year more than 500 cadets and their staff spend between 1 and 3 weeks doing essential work in the preparation and the taking-down of the infrastructure of RIAT. On display days cadets have jobs to do and after the show weekend they are able to meet the crews and see the aeroplanes at close range.

Work experience camps[edit]

Another option for more senior cadets are work experience camps. Whilst annual camps aim to give cadets a general taste of service life, the work experience camps cater for cadets who are interested in a specific trade, such as the RAF Regiment or RAF Police.

Overseas camps[edit]

For older and more experienced cadets who have achieved the Leading Cadet qualification and have attended a UK Annual Camp, the corps also offers overseas camps. These are generally more relaxed and seen as a reward for hard-working and long-serving cadets. Since the end of the Cold War, and the closure of RAF stations in Germany, the number of overseas camp opportunities has decreased. As of 2007 the destinations for overseas camps are:

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

Air Commodore Sir John Chamier is affectionately known as the "father of the air cadet movement".[6] He joined the Royal Flying Corps (the forerunner of the Royal Air Force) where he served as a pilot in World War I, transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1918 and after retiring from the service in 1929, become Secretary-General of the Air League - an organisation made up of people who wanted to make the British public aware of the importance of military aviation. With the clouds of war beginning to form over Europe, and the personal memory of how young men with only a few hours of training had been sent into air combat only to fall victim to well-trained enemy aviators, he conceived the idea of an aviation cadet corps.

Air Defence Cadet Corps[edit]

The purpose of the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC), set up in 1938 by Air Commodore Chamier, was to train young men in various aviation-related skills.[9] The ADCC proved popular, with thousands joining up.[citation needed]

In 1941, in order to provide the means of giving part-time air training to teenagers and young men who might later join the Royal Air Force, the ADCC was formally established as the Air Training Corps by Royal Warrant.

Air Training Corps[edit]

Slingsby Cadet TX.3 glider used by the ATC from 1953 to 1986.

On 5 February 1941 the Air Training Corps (ATC) was officially established, with King George VI agreeing to be the Air Commodore-in-Chief, and issuing a Royal Warrant setting out the Corps' aims. Within the first month of its existence, the size of the old ADCC, now the ATC, virtually doubled to more than 400 squadrons and continued to grow thereafter. A new badge was designed for the ATC and, once approved by the King, was distributed in August 1941. The motto ' Venture Adventure ', devised by Air Commodore Chamier, was adopted by the ATC and incorporated into the badge.

The new ATC squadrons adopted training programmes to prepare young men for entry to the Royal Air Force. Squadrons arranged visits to RAF and Fleet Air Arm stations as part of the cadets' training, where a flight might be a possibility. Such opportunities were not widely available, however, and many cadets were disappointed. One solution was to introduce opportunities for gliding, as a way to allow a cadet to get the feel of an aircraft in flight and to handle an aircraft's controls whilst airborn. After the end of the Second World War, gliding lessons became available.[10]

Prior to the 1980s, females were unable to join the ATC, although they were able to join an attached unit of the Girls Venture Corps (GVC) which had been formed in the early years of the Second World War, if one was available at that location.[11] As of 2013, the GVCAC still exists, although in greatly reduced numbers due to competition from the ATC, and the two organisations no longer share a site.

Before May 2008, cadets would spend a lot of time in the classroom before obtaining First Class classification, studying the following subjects: The Air Training Corps, The Royal Air Force, History of Flight, Initial Expedition Training, Basic Communications and Airmanship I. After a number of lectures and when the cadet felt ready, they would take a multiple choice examination, either on paper or on a computer. Some wings ran courses that would involve the cadet spending a few solid days learning and then awarded the appropriate classification if successful in their exams. In May 2008, HQAC decided to change the training programme for junior and second class cadets, sensing that new recruits were being deterred by exams.

Membership and ranking[edit]

Air Cadets stall at the 2009 Southport Air Show, Merseyside, England.

Cadets[edit]

Young people aged between 13 and 17 3/4 can join the ATC. They are initially given the title 'Junior Cadet' and can go along to most meetings to get a feel for the ATC. Enrolment confers the status of Second Class Cadet and upon achieving First Class Cadet status, they are allowed to wear the uniform. First class classification can take a month or 6 months to reach, depending upon the corp's activities and schedule. Once cadets have successfully completed lessons in a number of subjects and achieved first class classification, they are able to take part in almost all ATC activities. Those who stay on beyond 18 are known as Staff Cadets. All cadets over the age of 18 must complete a duty of care course within 6 months of their 18th birthday.

All cadets are issued with a uniform and must each pay a small amount in subscriptions (or 'subs' as they are commonly known), usually around £50–100 per year, although this can vary widely from squadron to squadron. Activities such as small and full bore target shooting, flying and gliding are paid for from the budget of the Royal Air Force.

Cadet NCOs[edit]

As cadets become more experienced, and if suitable, they can be promoted by their squadron's commanding officer (CO) to the status of cadet NCOs. Promotion to the rank of corporal, sergeant and flight sergeant is at the discretion of the Commanding Officer. They (or a representative) will make a decision based on merit and leadership potential – many squadrons have formal selection procedures including interviews, whilst others select by observing potential during normal training. All cadets, regardless of rank, must leave by age 20.

The NCO ranks within the ATC mirror those of the RAF's non-technical/flying trades and are, in ascending order of seniority:

ATC Corporal Tabs.png Cadet Corporal (Cdt Cpl)
ATC Sergeant Tabs.png Cadet Sergeant (Cdt Sgt)
ATC Flight Sergeant Tabs.png Cadet Flight Sergeant (Cdt FS)
ATC Cadet Warrant Officer Tabs.png Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO)

It is common within the ATC to abbreviate these ranks by dropping the prefix "cadet". Cadet Warrant Officers are not addressed as Sir/Ma'am, but as Cadet Warrant Officer. This is to distinguish them from the Adult Staff, as they are at least 18 years of age and could easily be confused with an adult member of staff, or a serving member of the RAF.

Promotion to Cadet Warrant Officer is decided by a panel at wing level. Prospective candidates will be a flight sergeant, preferably holding the Master Cadet classification (see below) and will be required to attend an interview with the wing commander or his representative.

Staff cadets[edit]

All cadets who are over the age of 18, must complete a "BASIC" (Basic Adult Staff Induction Course) or "Duty of Care" course and have the prefix "Staff Cadet" before their rank. These Cadets wear a rank slide with the words 'STAFF CADET' embroidered below their rank insignia (or on plain slides for those of cadet rank). A staff cadet has extra responsibilities over cadets who are under the age of 18, including a duty of care to younger cadets and NCOs, and special training is provided for this.

Cadet classifications[edit]

Not all cadets who join the ATC can expect to receive promotion. However, all cadets can progress through the training system and, by passing exams, achieve different classifications. The classification levels are Junior Cadet, Second Class Cadet (this is automatically achieved on enrolment), First Class Cadet, Leading Cadet, Senior Cadet, Master Air Cadet and Instructor Cadet. In order to achieve these qualifications cadets study a variety of subjects, which are studied through tuition from the instructors and/or self-study from Air Cadet Publications or 'ACPs'. Each successive qualification generally allows a cadet greater participation in ATC activities. Cadets who have achieved the Master air cadet classification have completed their academic training and can attain a BTEC award in Aviation Studies.

Marking methodology[edit]

Leading Cadet and Senior Cadet exams consist of 8 modules each containing two questions (16 questions in total). Each module focuses on one area of the exam topic. A cadet must achieve either 1 or 2 marks (50% or 100%) for each module in order to pass. All exams are now taken online from home to allow more flexibility in gaining a new classification level.

First Class Cadet[edit]

First Class is also commonly referred to as 'Basic Training'. A variety of methods are used to test a cadet's understanding of the subject, including practical tests and exercises to test ability, and interviews/quizzes to test knowledge. All junior cadets also have to pass a practical Drill Test to become first class. The drill test is a sequence of simple drill manoeuvres essential for forming squads and a good foundation to build on for more advanced drill.

Leading Cadet[edit]

For a cadet to become a leading cadet, they must have already gained first class status. They will then have to complete 3 examinations: Navigation on Land using a map and compass, Principles of Flight and Airmanship Knowledge.

Senior and Staff Cadet (old syllabus)[edit]

Prior to September 2010, for a cadet to become a senior cadet, they had already to have gained leading cadet status and taken 2 exams from a choice of 8 subjects, examined in the same way as for the Leading cadet syllabus. The 8 subjects were: Air Navigation, Pilot Navigation, Satellite Communications, Propulsion, Airframes, Advanced Radio and Radar, Aircraft Handling and Operational Flying.

The highest academic classification was Staff Cadet. For a cadet to become a staff cadet, they had to have already gained Senior Cadet status, be 15 years old, and to have sat and passed two more exams from the same subject list as for Senior classification, along with an interview with a wing staff officer and an assessment of teaching a lesson.

Senior and Master new syllabus[edit]

In September 2010, a new classification structure, syllabus and examination process came into force. The following subjects are available: Piston Engine Propulsion, Jet Engine Propulsion, Rocketry, Aircraft Handling and Flying Techniques, Air Power, Airframes, Avionics and Aircraft Electrical Systems, Military Aircraft Systems, Basic Air Navigation, Basic Principles of Pilot Navigation, Advanced Radio and Radar, and Data Communications. Master Air Cadet has its own new badge for the brassard which shows an ATC Falcon surrounded by laurel leaves.

Instructor Cadet[edit]

A Master Air Cadet may, on the recommendation of their OC, apply to attend the Cadet Methods of Instruction Course. Successful completion of this course, and the assessment that follows, entitles them to wear a yellow lanyard over the left shoulder and to be referred to as Instructor Cadet.

Adult staff[edit]

The staff who run the ATC at unit level are of 3 types: commissioned officers, senior NCOs and civilian instructors (CIs). All uniformed staff must attend training courses run by the RAF at the ATC Adult Training Facility, RAF Cranwell (ATF), usually within a year of appointment, with further courses as they progress up the rank structure.

Adult Staff Ranks
Commissioned Officers Insignia Non-commissioned Officers Insignia Civilian Staff Insignia
Officer Cadet (Off Cdt) RAF Off Cdt.png Sergeant Sgt (ATC) OR5n6a RAF Sergeant.svg Civilian Instructor (CI) None normally worn,
although may be seen
with a lapel pin or
an armband, or may
be wearing a sweatshirt
or polo shirt with a logo.
Pilot Officer (Plt Off) UK-Air-OF1B.svg Flight Sergeant FS (ATC) OR7b RAF Flight Sergeant.svg Chaplain None normally worn,
although may be seen
with a lapel pin
Flying Officer (Fg Off) UK-Air-OF1A.svg Warrant Officer WO (ATC)
Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) UK-Air-OF2.svg Warrant Officer* WO (ATC) WO(ATC).jpg
Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) UK-Air-OF3.svg
Wing Commander (Wg Cdr) UK-Air-OF4.svg
Group Captain (Gp Capt) UK-Air-OF5.svg
Air Commodore (Air Cdre) UK-Air-OF6.svg

*Ex-regular WO, or (formerly) granted to other ATC WOs for long service, and may still be found as such.

Officers[edit]

Officers are commissioned into the Training Branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - the RAFVR(T). Unless an officer has previous service, he or she is commissioned as a substantive Pilot Officer, termed Officer Cadet until the Officers Initial Course (OIC) at RAF Cranwell is completed.[note 1] Promotion to Flying Officer normally occurs after two years. Former regular commissioned officers usually start at Flying Officer, subject to certain conditions. After 9 years commissioned service, or upon becoming Officer Commanding of a squadron and completing an Officers' Senior Course (OSC), the rank of Flight Lieutenant (acting paid) is bestowed.

Squadrons are usually commanded by Flight Lieutenants, who are also found as Wing and Regional staff officers along with Squadron Leaders and Wing Commanders. Particularly large squadrons are sometimes commanded by Squadron Leaders (usually when the squadron has 100 or more cadets).

NCOs and WOs[edit]

Adults may also be appointed as senior NCOs, these being ranks within the ATC. Adult NCOs/WOs are uniformed in the same way as their RAF counterparts with two exceptions: a small gilt ATC badge is worn on the rank badge and Warrant Officers wear a different rank badge (unless they have previous regular or active reserves warranted service). The ranks of Adult NCOs/WOs are Sergeant (ATC), Flight Sergeant (ATC) and Warrant Officer (ATC).[note 2]

Civilian instructors and chaplains[edit]

Civilian Instructors, known as CIs, play an important role in training cadets and, in many ways, are the 'backbone' of the Squadron. Unlike adult NCOs and Officers, CIs do not wear uniform, although until recently greens were acceptable for fieldcraft and shooting activities, flying suits are still to be worn by those serving on AEF's or VGS' as this is a safety feature and as such overrides other dress regulations. CI's do not officially form part of the chain of command in the squadron, but they may hold what might be called Command posts. But it is expected that any cadet, irrespective of rank, should and will listen to CI's and obey relevant instructions given. A Civilian Instructor's recognised dress consists of a light blue polo shirt and dark blue sweatshirt bearing the name of the corps and "Royal Air Force", in an effort to standardise the means by which CIs are identified. CI's are addressed as Sir or Ma'am by cadets when speaking to them or Mr, Mrs, Miss then surname by staff speaking to them or by anyone who is referring to them when they are not present, neither "CI" and surname or "staff'" are correct forms of address. Staff is the only correct term of address for Service Helpers.

Many CIs are ex RAF, or have skills that complement the aims of the ATC.

Some may serve as position holders within a Squadron. it is known for a CI to be Squadron Adjutant or Training Officer for example.

Similarly, ATC chaplains are usually civilian members of the local clergy (although forces chaplains may join as Service Instructors). Civilian chaplains also do not normally wear uniform, and are generally addressed as 'Padre' by all ranks or alternatively as 'Father' if ordained into the Roman Catholic Church.

Service instructors[edit]

Members of the full-time Armed Forces often assist at ATC Squadrons in the role of Service Instructor – they engage in instructional duties which are often related to their serving role. Service Instructors wear the uniform of their parent unit and are addressed appropriately, with ranks junior to NCO being addressed as "Staff".

Structure[edit]

The Air Training Corps is formed of six Regions across the United Kingdom and each of these regions are made up of five or six wings. As of March 2013 there are over 900 ATC squadrons and detached flights, each assigned to a wing.

Regions[edit]

  • Central & East Region[12]
  • London & South East Region[13]
  • North Region[14]
  • Scotland & Northern Ireland Region[15]
  • South West Region[16]
  • Wales & West Region[17]

Wings[edit]

Central & East[12] London & South East[13] North[14] Scotland & Northern Ireland[15] South West[16] Wales & West[17]
Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing Essex Wing Central & East Yorkshire Wing North East Scotland Wing Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing Merseyside Wing
Hertfordshire & Bucks Wing Kent Wing Cumbria & Lancashire Wing South East Scotland Wing Devon & Somerset Wing No. 1 Welsh Wing
Norfolk & Suffolk Wing London Wing Durham & Northumberland Wing West Scotland Wing Dorset & Wilts Wing No. 2 Welsh Wing
South & East Midlands Wing Middlesex Wing Greater Manchester Wing Highland Wing Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing No. 3 Welsh Wing
Trent Wing Surrey Wing South & West Yorkshire Wing Northern Ireland Wing Plymouth & Cornwall Wing Staffordshire Wing
Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Sussex Wing Thames Valley Wing West Mercian Wing

Squadron insignia[edit]

The first 50 squadrons that were formed retain an F to show they are "founder" squadrons, e.g. No 7F (City of Liverpool) Squadron. Only 30 of these are still in existence; the other 20 have disbanded over time. Some founder squadrons have reformed under Roman numerals, having been refused permission to re-assume the F; the first Squadron to do so was XIX (19 Crawley) Squadron, Sussex Wing.

A Detached Flight uses its parent squadron number followed by the letters DF to show that it is a detached flight e.g. No 38DF for No 38 (Crieff) Detached Flight, raised by No 38F (Perth) Squadron.

Trophies[edit]

ATC squadrons each have a chance annually to win the two most prized trophies in the corps. The Sir Alan Lees trophy is awarded by the ATC commandant to the squadron with the best statistics and overall impression when inspected. The Morris Trophy is awarded to one of the 6 regional candidates upon inspection by the commandant.

Sir Alan Lees Trophy
Year Winner Officer Commanding
2000 No. 230 (Congleton) Squadron, Staffordshire Wing Flight Lieutenant Rod Goodier RAFVR(T)
2008 No. 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Squadron, London Wing Squadron Leader Jerry Godden RAFVR(T)
2009 No. 610 (Chester) Squadron, Merseyside Wing Flight Lieutenant John Kendal RAFVR(T)
2010 No. 1475 (Dulwich) Squadron, London Wing Squadron Leader Kevin Mehmet RAFVR(T)
2011 No. 215 (Swansea) Squadron, No. 3 Welsh Wing[18] Squadron Leader Phil Flower RAFVR(T)
2012 No. 2160 (Sleaford) Squadron, Trent Wing Flight Lieutenant Mel Walker RAFVR(T)
2013 No. 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron, Durham & Northumberland Wing [19] Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson RAFVR(T)
The Morris Trophy
Year Winner Officer Commanding
2006 No. 2409(Halton) Squadron, Herts and Bucks Wing[20] Squadron Leader Jerry Davies RAFVR(T)[20]
2008 No. 1855 (Royton) Squadron, East Lancashire Wing Flight Lieutenant Mark Hamilton RAFVR(T)
2009 No. 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron, Central and East Region Flight Lieutenant Alyn Thompson RAFVR(T)
2010 No. 126 (City of Derby) Squadron, Central and East Region[21] Squadron Leader Ian Marshall RAFVR(T)[21]
2011 No. 1855 (Royton) Squadron, East Lancashire Wing[18] Flight Lieutenant Mark Hamilton RAFVR(T)
2012 No. 633 (West Swindon) Squadron, Dorset & Wiltshire Wing Flight Lieutenant Helene Woodham RAFVR(T)
2013 No. 2156 (Droitwich) Sqaudron, West Mercian Wing [22] Flight Lieutenant Paul Wilde RAFVR(T)

The Foster Trophy is awarded to the cadet who has achieved the highest academic results in the entire corps over his/her time in the ATC, after finishing the cadet syllabus that leads to a Btec in Aviation Studies. In addition, there are also trophies presented annually by the Royal Air Forces Association. These trophies include the "Sir Douglas Bader Wings Appeal Trophy" for the ATC squadron collecting the most money on a per capita basis, The squadron achieving second place is awarded the “Sir Augustus Walker Trophy". The “Sir Robert Saundby Trophy” is awarded for collecting the highest net Wings Appeal amount.

The Quinton Memorial Trophy is a national award presented annually to the adult non-commissioned officer who has gained the top academic results in the senior non-commissioned officer initial courses held at the Air Cadet Adult Training Facility, Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. This trophy is named in honour of Flight Lieutenant John Alan Quinton.[note 3]

Civilian committees[edit]

For every squadron and wing there is an associated civilian committee. The Wing Committee is drawn from squadron civilian committee members and there is an annual AGM at squadron and wing level. The job of a civilian committee is to manage the financial resources of the squadron or wing, since the uniformed officers and civilian instructors in the ATC have no financial responsibilities and need money to manage and provide cadet activities, e.g. annual and overseas camps, and adventure training. Nearly all civilian committees welcome support from members of the public, parents, school managers, local councillors, ex-service personnel, the RAFA and The Royal British Legion. A civilian committee is responsible for overseeing the initial unit formation and direction, and will monitor the welfare of cadets. Civilian committees often include parents of cadets and retired ATC staff. A squadron's civilian committee can provide a link to the Wing Committee and the Regional Chairman.

The ATC is a charitable organisation.[note 4] The Royal Air Force provides funds for a few of the key activities such as flying and glider pilot training, but the great range of other activities offered by the ATC have to be financed from other sources. Here the civilian committees play their part to seek and manage the necessary finance by way of fund-raising. Schemes might include: cadets packing bags for money at the local supermarket; 'spare change' collections at local events; marshalling duties at public events.

A minimum of 5 members make up a civilian committee, and at the annual general meeting the committee officers a chairman, treasurer and secretary must be elected; for larger committees an additional officer, the deputy chairman may also be elected. The OC and chaplain are ex-officio members of their civilian committee and as such whilst they have no voting rights they may advise in committee matters. The minutes for meetings are generally taken by the committee secretary.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Unlike RAF Officer Cadets at the RAF College or RAFVR Officer Cadets of the University Air Squadron, RAFVR(T) Officer Cadets are, in fact, commissioned and as such are entitled to proper paid compliments. In coming years this is likely to change and the non-commissioned Officer Cadet RAFVR(T) rank will be introduced, bringing the RAFVR(T) in line with the RAF and RAFVR.
  2. ^ Prior to the 'LaSER (London and South East Region) Review' of 2003, the adult ranks of Sergeant and Flight Sergeant did not exist, meaning that the non-commissioned rank structure of a squadron was more straightforward i.e. Cadet, Cadet Corporal, Cadet Sergeant, Cadet Flight Sergeant, Cadet Warrant Officer, Adult Warrant Officer. This has been disturbed by inserting the ranks of Sgt (ATC) and FSgt (ATC) and WO (ATC). However, this does allow a wider scope for developing staff who do not wish to become commissioned officers, and brings the ATC's adult rank structure more in line with those of the other cadet forces, whose adult ranks begin at Sergeant or service equivalent.
  3. ^ Flight Lieutenant John Alan Quinton was an RAF navigator on a Wellington aircraft, which was flying an air cadet on an Air Experience Flight in 1951. During the flight, the aircraft was involved in a mid-air collision and Flight Lieutenant Quinton gave the only parachute within reach to the cadet, pushing him out of the aircraft. His quick thinking and heroic action saved the life of the cadet but cost him his own, for which he was posthumously awarded the George Cross.
  4. ^ Squadrons and ATC Wings are generally "charities excepted from registration" Charities Act 2006 section 3A. This means they enjoy all of the legal benefits of a registered charity without the burden of registration. Every year the civilian committee has a mandatory duty to submit, by 31 July in every year, a simple income/expenditure account to Headquarters Air Cadets (HQAC) via Wing HQ

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Plastow, James. "Youth Engagement Review: Final Report" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Welcome to the Air Training Corps, RAFC Cranwell: Air Cadet Organization, 2007, archived from the original on 16 January 2007, retrieved 17 January 2007  In 2013, the officer in command of the ATC was Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty.
  3. ^ Air Cadet Organization: Annual Report 2006, RAF Cranwell: Air Cadet Organization, 2006 
  4. ^ a b "Air Cadets (ATC) Squadron Finder & contact details". Air-cadets-squadron-finder.org. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Expand Your Horizons: Adult Volunteers, Lincolnshire: Air Cadet Organization, 2007 
  6. ^ a b Air Cadet Publication 31: General Service Training, Section 1 - The Air Training Corps, Lincolnshire: Air Cadet Organization, 2000, pp. 1–1 
  7. ^ H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Monarchy Today, 2006, retrieved 23 October 2008 
  8. ^ RAF Form 3822: Cadet Record of Service, Lincolnshire: Air Cadet Organization, 2004 
  9. ^ "Ministry of Defence - About Defence - What we do - Reserve Forces and Cadets - DRFC - History of the Cadet Forces". [[Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) | Ministry of Defence]]. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Air Cadet Publication 31: General Service Training, Section 1 - The Air Training Corps, Lincolnshire: Air Cadet Organization, 2000, pp. 1–3/4/5 
  11. ^ GVCAC HQ website. "The Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets". Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2008. 
  12. ^ a b Central & East Region
  13. ^ a b London & South East Region
  14. ^ a b North Region
  15. ^ a b Scotland & Northern Ireland Region
  16. ^ a b South West Region
  17. ^ a b Wales & West Region
  18. ^ a b "Air Cadets News". Best of the best... Swansea squadron wins Lees Trophy. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "Longbenton Squadron are the Lees Trophy Winners". Air Cadet News. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  20. ^ a b "2409 Sqn Presented with Morris Trophy by Commd't Air Cadets". 17 November 2007. 
  21. ^ a b Sqn Ldr Wilson (17 July 2010). "126 Squadron Wins The Morris Cup". South and East Midlands Wing. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "Droitwich Squadron wins the Morris Trophy". Air Cadet News. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 

External links[edit]