126 (City of Derby) Squadron has been crowned second best Air Cadet Unit in the country, after entering a national competition.
The Squadron joined nearly 1,000 units across the United Kingdom to be considered for the prestigious Sir Alan Lees Trophy and were put forward for the top award after being judged as the best unit in the Central and East Region in the Air Cadet Organisation.
The winners of six regions were judged on a host of criteria such as links with local businesses and charities, the projects and activities they take part in and the awards the Squadron picked up in various competitions throughout the year.
The Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, personally inspected each of the six squadrons put forward for the top trophy and visited the squadron in July this year to tour the unit and meet supporting local dignitaries including the HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire Mr William Tucker, the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Elizabeth Fothergill and Mayor of Derby Linda Winter.
The Squadron impressed enough to be named the runners up for the Sir Alan Lees Trophy and will be awarded the Morris Trophy as a result.
Officer Commanding Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Ian Marshall, RAFVR(T) MBE, of 126 (City of Derby) Squadron, previously won the Sir Alan Lees Trophy while volunteering at the 140 (Matlock) Squadron and has led Derby Squadron to victory winning the Morris Trophy twice prior to the current win.
Sqn Ldr Marshall said: “I could not be more proud of how the cadets performed at the inspection and throughout the year.
“We are privileged to have come so far in the competition and to finish second out of around 1,000 units across the UK. This is a wonderful achievement for everyone involved with the squadron including volunteers, cadets and their families.
“I am pleased to command 126 Derby Squadron and commend the cadets and staff for all their hard work.”
This is a huge achievement for all members of 126 Squadron and the unit will be celebrating the win in due course!