Dorset and Wiltshire Presentation Evening

80 members of staff attended the first ever Dorset & Wilts Wing Presentation Evening which was held in the conference suite at Boscombe Down. Guest of Honour to hand out the awards was Regional Commandant Gp Capt Remlinger.

The evening commenced with a light buffet, laid on by Zoe and Kirsty with a huge range of savoury nibbles, biscuits and cakes and fresh strawberries. Guests took the chance to catch up with fellow staff and meet committee members from across the Wing. There were photo boards set up with pictures of cadets and staff taking part in a wide variety of activities. A rolling slide show of other pictures was displayed throughout the evening.
The formal part of the event started with the ceremonial cutting of a beautiful cake decorated with the Air Cadet logo, created to mark the start of the 75th anniversary celebrations. The awards were then presented with the additional surprise for Mike Webster who was told he had been promoted to Sqn Ldr.
Gp Capt Remlinger rounded off the evening with a short speech before the guests departed.
The award winners were:
Sir Roger Austin Sword for improvement in Duke of Edinburgh participation – presented to Dorset & Wilts Wing
Cadet Forces Medal – WO Janet Lee
5th clasp to cadet Forces Medal – Flt Lt Roger Starling
Dorset Lord Lieutenant Certificate of Commendation – Mr Gary Brennan and CI Michael Lodge
Chief of Air Staff Commendation – Sqn Ldr Richard Courtney
Commandant Air Cadets Certificate of Meritorious Service – Sqn Ldr Steve Goddard and Flt Lt Mike Webster
South West Regional Commandant’s Certificate of Merit – A Sgt Harriet Mulcahy, Cdt FS Philippa Balshaw and CWO Callum Bird
South West Regional Commandant’s Commendation – Sqn Ldr Mark Bodger, Sqn Ldr Nick Watt, Flt Lt Pete Church and WO Adrian Hutchinson
Officer Commanding Dorset & Wiltshire Wing Commendation – Sqn Ldr Ian Bishop, Flt Lt Nigel Winton, Sqn Ldr Mark Bodger, Sqn Ldr Stuart Hodgson, Flt Lt Dave Bell, Flt Lt Nigel Alden-Fenn, Wg Cdr (ret’d) Mark Van Vogt, Mrs Kirsty Evans, FS James Lucas, WO Jamie Green, Flt Lt Ben Evans, Flt Lt Ray Coe and Flt Lt (ret’d) Jenny Child

Change of Command at 622VGS

Sqn Ldr Steve Goddard steps down as OC 622VGS on 27 Feb after 16 years with the unit. Steve joined the Sqn after his first solo flight as a cadet on 2260 Waterlooville Sqn.

622 handoverSteve’s departure is due to a career change and relocation. He will be joining the team of full time instructors at Central Gliding School RAF Syerston and assisting with the continuing recovery of the glider fleet.
Steve was recently awarded Commandant ACO’s Certificate of Meritorious Service for his work in keeping his staff active and engaged in the ACO during the gliding pause.

The post of OC 622VGS will be filled by the current CFI Flt Lt Jon Botting. The Sqn is based at Upavon.

Dorset & Wilts Wing wishes Steve all the best in his new posting and looks forward to working with Jon in the future.

Calne’s Air Cadets Hear First Hand About The Raid That Changed History From The Last British Dambuster

Recounting one of the most daring and ingenious air raids of WWII, ninety-four year old Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) George ‘Johnny’ Johnson RAF DFM, gave Calne’s air cadets an eye witness account of the Dambuster’s mission as the bomb aimer on the Lancaster bomber ED 825 which took part in the raid that took off from RAF Scampton on
16 May 1943.

You could have heard a pin drop as transfixed the cadets listened to ‘Johnny’s’ story from being selected to join 617 Squadron to meeting the Queen to receive his Distinguished Flying Medal after the raid.

Lancaster ED 825 was one of six Lancaster bombers tasked with breaching the Sorpe Dam, with nine others who would attack the Mohne and Eder Dams. The Sorpe dam was an easier target in terms of no defences, but it was to be a much harder target to hit due to the terrain and the dam’s construction which meant they would have to use a different technique they had not practiced. The bomb would not bounce; it had to be dropped dead centre of the top of the dam.

Thundering low over a church steeple they dived at 180 mph to level off thirty feet over the top of the dam to release the bomb less than 350 yards from the point from which they levelled off. It took ten attempts before ‘Johnny’ called “Bomb gone” much to the relief of the tail gunner. The 6,600 pounds of explosive in the bouncing bomb detonated right on target, throwing up a fountain of water 1,000 feet high with some of the spray entering the rear gunners turret.

The dam was only slightly damaged as ED 825 was the only Lancaster to make it to the target and Barnes Wallace had predicted that due to the dam’s construction, it would require five or six bombs to breech it.
Cadet Sergeant Cuggy said “I really enjoyed the visit of Sqn Ldr ‘Johnny’ Johnson tonight. The way that he told his story was not only interesting and very humbling but was also very inspiring”.

He was asked how he felt when he met the Queen to receive his medal. He said that he was very nervous, but the Queen smiled and put him at ease.

Before he left the squadron he gave the cadets some valuable advice. He said “You should make the most of the opportunities you have, and to do a good job that you feel happy doing in life”.

Commanding Officer Sqn Ldr Webster said “It was very humbling to be in the presence of a genuine hero, who held the attention of cadets, staff and visitors alike throughout the presentation. It is an experience none who were there will forget, an evening with Johnny Johnson the last Dambuster”.

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Cadet Williams has his book signed by the author Sqn Ldr Johnson
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Sqn Ldr Johnson with 2189 (Calne) Squadron Air Training Corps
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Sqn Ldr Johnson signs some of his books for staff and cadets

Calne’s Air Cadets Have Busy Start To The Year

Cadets from 2189 (Calne) Squadron proved have started the year as they mean to go on by taking part in several activities on a recent weekend.

Four cadets went to 3 Air Experience Flying (AEF), Colerne to experience the thrill of powered flight in the Grob Tutor, which is the elementary training aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF). For Cadets Kayll and Flockton this was their first experience and both came back with beaming smiles. Cdt Kayall said “I really enjoyed taking control of the aircraft, it was great fun”.

Activity was not restricted to the air, as on the ground, Cadet Sergeants Cuggy and Stiles both attended a method of instruction course at MOD Boscombe down. On the course they were taught the instructional techniques that will enable them to deliver consistent training to a high standard to cadets at the squadron. They now have to deliver a lesson to cadets as part of an assessment before becoming Instructor Cadets.

Cadet Corporal Kaiser (Cdt Cpl) was also at MOD Boscombe Down where she attended the Cadet Junior Non Commissioned Officer (JNCO) course. The course helps Corporals around the wing to build on the pre course training received at squadron level and practice the needed qualities and skills to be a Corporal. On the course Cdt Cpl Kaiser undertook an inspection, practiced commanding a squad on the drill square, overviewed the responsibilities of a JNCO as well as learning how to deliver a task briefing called SMEAC (situation, mission, execution, any questions, check understanding).

Cdt Cpl Kaiser said “The course allowed me to see what I need to improve on, I also met new people from other squadrons and saw how different people have different strength and weaknesses which helps us all to improve.”
Cadets Kayll and Williams also took part in the Air Training Corps South West Regional Cross Country Trials.

Commanding Officer Squadron Leader Webster said “Training, personal development and having fun, describes the opportunities offered to the Squadron cadets, to stretch themselves and challenge their abilities.”

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Cadet Kayll in a Grob Tutor
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(L to R) Cadet Sergeant Stiles, Cadet Corporal Kaiser, Cadet Sergeant Cuggy

ATC Exhibition Officially Open

The new exhibition at the RAF Museum, Hendon, was officially opened by the ATC Ambassador, Group Captain Carol Vorderman, on Sunday, 7th February. Guests were welcomed by Maggie Appleton (Chief Executive of the Museum), Air Marshal Sir Baz North (DCOM Capability and AMP), and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty (ACO Commandant).

A large number of distinguished guests were on hand to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, which tells the story of the Air Training Corps over its first 75 years, and forms part of the anniversary celebrations.

The exhibition Admission is free, and the exhibition will be open until the end of this year.

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