BEESTON Air Cadets and Staff Attend Drill and Ceremonial Camp 2016

Staff from 1359 (Beeston) Squadron, Air Cadets, provided a nucleus of training personnel to the recent Drill and Ceremonial Camp at MOD Beckingham between 6 – 14 August.

As part of the camp the South and East Midlands Wing provided the largest cadet and staff contingent.
The camp was open to cadets from all over the United Kingdom where they received in depth and comprehensive arms drill training to prepare them for the Air Cadet Organisation’s (ACO) flag ship 75th Anniversary Parade at Royal Air Force College Cranwell.
Warrant Officer (ATC) Rob Phillips was appointed Squadron Warrant Officer for Number 8 Squadron and provided that squadron with arms drill training for the week along with other instructors. To some cadets, the days training proved hard but ultimately worthwhile and productive learning a new and essential skill base as part of their ACO training experience.
Flight Sergeant (ATC) Kyle Crawford was attached to Number 4 Squadron and along with colleagues provided the cadets of that squadron with weapons drill training, ensuring that a close fellowship of camaraderie gelled the cadets from all over the country into one.
To provide a well-earned break from the arms drill training Warrant Officer (ATC) Gary Tinsley provided field and leadership training along with observational exercises with the South &East Wing’s Wing Warrant Officer , ) Dan Haywood. To top off the training a closely supervised paintball course was created where cadets used observational skills together with weapons handling awareness to progress from start to finish.
The flag ship parade itself, designed to celebrate 75 years of the Air Training Corps (ATC) and promote on a massive public scale the light blue foot print of the ACO was the result born of much sweat, hard work, some tears and perfect timing which itself the product of training and discipline.
As guests of the ACO, cadets from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Australian Air Cadets, New Zealand Air Training Corps, Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps and the United States Civil Air Patrol were invited to parade their colours along with the ACO Banner in a proud symbol of joint pride in their associated organisations of which Canada Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong can claim direct heritage to the United Kingdom ATC.
Over 350 ACO cadets drawn from the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF) carried out three days of practice for the main event. The final product was a true reflection of the pride that each cadet injected into their hard work, with the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier, himself an ex cadet marvelling with pride as cadets paraded past in slow and quick time. A perfect example of timing, a Supermarine Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over College Hall in salute just as Sir Stephen began his speech.
By the end of the day, after a flypast by the Red Arrows in a first time display over the College, the camp which began with nervous trainees being taught basic arms drill saw a final closing finale as dusk fell and spectacular fireworks wished the Air Training Corps a fantastic and happy 75th birthday.
WO R Phillips
1359 Sqn