It has been an extraordinarily busy 12 months for Central and East Region (CER), seeing us initially transition from the post-Covid era to safely getting ‘back to business’. You did this in spades and despite some challenges, all Wings enjoyed the opportunity for camps at RAF Stations and other establishments, with over 300 cadets and 80 volunteers per Wing managing to deploy on some. I visited quite a few and met many of you ‘in action’ and was really impressed, not only with how much the cadets were enjoying the various experiences but also your enthusiasm and professionalism to provide the activities and the safe place. For many of our cadets, this was their first time away from home in the post-Covid era.
Your support for events from across the Region following the very sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen was not only impressive but most poignant so well done for this.
My sincere congratulations go to all our CER people and teams who have been so deservedly recognised as part of the Honours & Awards process over the last 12 months, and to those who have been awarded Long Service medals for outstanding commitment and dedication. Over the last 6 months, I am delighted to have personally endorsed 20 new Commissioned Officers, whilst OC Wings have been endorsing numerous SNCO uniformed staff applications. Congratulations to all those that have been successful.
It has also been a period of change for CER and this will continue next year where we are fully engaged in transitioning and modernising as part of the RAFAC Astra initiatives and ambition. As part of the RFCA alignment, we welcomed Essex Wing in Sep 22 and next year we will say au revoir (not goodbye) to both Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing and the Buckinghamshire element of the Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire Wing to Wales & West and Southwest Regions respectively. We have also integrated 40+ CCF(RAF) Sections from the schools around our Region offering up fantastic opportunities for neighbouring ATC and CCF(RAF) units to support each other.
Next year also promises to be busy with many activities to look forward to, including RAFAC support for the Coronation of His Majesty the King, National activities and I am delighted to say that CER will have the lead for planning and delivering the RAFAC Cadet Muster Parade, likely to be in May 23. The aspiration is to fly as many of the 2,000 cadets attending whilst giving the opportunity for all to see both the RAF and RAFAC showcase its Force Elements and activities respectively.
I just want to conclude by saying a sincere thank you to each one of you for all your superb work, commitment and support in either enabling or delivering for our cadets and staff over the last year. I very much look forward to the next year where we can do even more together as a Region and a Team.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy 2023.
Group Captain Dave Boreham, Regional Commandant Central & East Region