Coningsby Air Cadets

17 (Coningsby) Sqn ATC became a squadron in its own right on 19 Jun 11 and since then has gone from strength to strength, with new recruits streaming in. The Sqn has been affiliated to 17(R) Sqn who have gone to great lengths to help the cadets become established at RAF Coningsby.

To date 17(Coningsby) Sqn cadets have enjoyed a variety of activities. In August they attended their first Summer Camp at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire, where they went to the RAF museum at Hendon, played inter-squadron Sport, took part in personal development activities and visited the Puma and Merlin Squadrons at RAF Benson. The autumn camp saw cadets visiting RAF High Wycombe.

Throughout the summer many of the cadets had the opportunity to experience gliding and flying at RAF Syerston and RAF Cranwell, with one cadet qualifying as a solo glider pilot at the end of August. The cadets have been able to hone their shooting skills on the 25m range at RAF Coningsby at least once a month, firing the No.8 .22 bolt action rifle and the L98 5.56mm cadet rifle. The L98 is an exact copy of the L85 rifle used by the UK armed forces but is limited to semi-automatic firing only. This activity is always well supported by the cadets and many have qualified for the Sqn and Corps marksmanship badges.

Many of the cadets have been working towards completing course work on aviation topics ranging from ‘Principles of Flight’ to ‘Radio and Radar Principles’ in order to progress through the ATC ranks. Nevertheless, they have also found time to complete field training, covering camouflage and concealment, navigation and various outdoor based leadership exercises culminating in a practical ‘Greens Camp’ held at Thorpe Camp in Tattershall Thorpe. The weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all participants.

On the ceremonial front the cadets have been in the public eye, parading with and hosting WWII veterans at the Arnhem Memorial Parade in Woodhall Spa: A great opportunity for exchanging experiences and stories. They also supported the SSAFA Big Brew event in Horncastle, raising money and awareness for the Servicemen’s charity. During the August Bank Holiday weekend  cadets from 17(Coningsby) Sqn raised funds for the ATC and BBMF/Red Arrows cycle event by taking part in a sponsored cycle event from 1073 (Skegness) Sqn to Beckingham training area, completing 57 miles.

As this goes to print, the Sqn prepares for the annual Remembrance Day Parade. This year the Sqn standard bearer will be Sgt Connor Ellis.

The Sqn is always looking to recruit new cadets, uniformed adults, civilian instructors and civilian committee members. If you would like more information please contact the Sqn CO, Flt Lt Phil Ellis, on 07891065350 or for civilian committee matters, Yvonne Bates on
01526 343236.