Mirfield Air Cadet Is the Best in the North
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By Flt Lt Peter Doubell - 868 (Mirfield) Squadron
Cadet Flight Sergeant Matthew Thornton of 868 (Mirfield) Squadron was selected as the North Region nomination for the highly prestigious Dacre Sword competition for the Air Training Corps.
The nomination reflects a wide ranging and successful career as a cadet. Since joining his local squadron in Mirfield in September 2009 Matthew has achieved the following highlights:
- Instructor Cadet Status (the highest achievable)
- Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
- Gliding Scholarship (training to fly a glider solo)
- Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship (training to fly a powered aircraft solo)
- First Aid qualifications (Heartstart, Youth First Aid, Activity First Aid and First Aid at Work)
- Air Cadet Communicator
- BTEC awards in both Aviation Studies and Public Services
Additionally, he has been a staff cadet at the North Region Air Operations Acquaintance Centre and is now a full instructor in their programme teaching air combat operations in a synthetic flying environment. He has utilised his knowledge and skills in both Radio Communications and Flight Simulator training as the lead in these activities at his Squadron, and he is a long-term member of the Squadron Band and is now their senior member; he has also undertaken hill walking, rock climbing, abseiling, caving and canoeing and achieved the National Navigation Award at Bronze and Silver levels.
The Dacre Sword is presented annually to the Male “ATC Cadet of The Year”. Cadets are nominated by each of the six regions in the Corps, so Matthew Thornton is one of the top six male Air Cadets in the country.
Flight Lieutenant Peter Doubell, squadron commander of 868 Squadron, said “Matthew is an extremely accomplished member of the Squadron and supports all our endeavours and activities – he really shows how much a young person can gain from our organisation. To achieve this accolade is a fitting culmination to and outstanding cadet career.”
To mark his achievement Matthew will enjoy a flight in a RAF Tucano training aircraft.
The local Air Cadet Squadron meets at the Air Cadet Centre in Mirfield on Huddersfield Road near the Stocks Bank Road junction, on Tuesday and Friday evenings. For more information please visit or contact Flt Lt Peter Doubell on 01924 498 896.