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Another Successful Night for 861 Squadron

2014-09-17 10:34:11
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By Flt Lt Elliot - OC 861 (Wideopen) Squadron

861 (Wideopen) Squadron Air Cadets has had another busy night with the visit of Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Sandy Hunter who attended to tour the Squadrons facilities and meeting the cadets and Adult Staff that run the unit.

Air Vice-Marshal Hunter, former RAF representative in Moscow in the days of the Cold War and RAF Odiham Station Commander during the Falklands War, visited on a tour of the Squadron to find out more about what Air Cadets get up to on the average parade night.  His visit coincided with a visit from the Cadet Vocational Qualifications Organisation representatives who attended to deliver briefing sessions on the new BTEC awards available to cadets aged 15 years and over. 

The evening concluded with the presentation of awards to both cadets and staff by Air Vice-Marshal Hunter.  Warrant Officer Steve Climpson was presented with his first clasp to his Cadet Forces medal which represents another six years of faithful qualifying service in his role as the Squadron Warrant Officer at 861. 

After receiving his clasp to his Cadet Forces Medal, Warrant Officer Climpson said: “I was delighted to be presented with my first clasp to my Cadet Forces Medal by Air Vice-Marshal Hunter.  I can’t believe it has been six years since I was originally awarded the medal – the time has flown by.  I am still very much enjoying my service as a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer and I feel I still have a lot to offer the organisation”.

Ms. Emma Stearman was formally appointed as a new Civilian Instructor and was presented with her appointment certificate.  She said: “I joined the ATC as I want to make a difference to young people’s lives in North Tyneside.  The organisation has so much to offer and I am really looking forward to leading activities for the cadets now that I have been formally appointed as an instructor”.

11 Cadets were presented with their St John’s Ambulance Youth First Aid Certificates and 3 cadets with their classification certificates having just past their aviation studies exams.  Corporal Jake Tadman, 15 from Seaton Burn, was presented with his Bandsman badge to wear on his uniform.  He said: “I really enjoy music and I am playing in the Durham/Northumberland Wing band.  Being presented the bandsman badge by AVM Hunter was a real honour and I will be wearing it with pride on my uniform!”

861 (Wideopen) Squadron is always on the lookout for new members.  We have just reduced our joining age from 13 years to 12 years – so if you are 12 years or older and fancy challenging yourself, why not join 861 Squadron.  We meet every Monday and Thursday evenings between 7.00-9.30pm at our HQ in Wideopen check our website at for more information.

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