On Saturday 12th March 2016, the South and East Midlands Wing Cadet Development Team (CDT) held its annual conference at RAF Wittering, followed by a Dining-In-Night in the Officers’ Mess to celebrate the exceptional contribution made by CDT staff to the training and progression of Cadets in South & East Midlands Wing. The Dining-In-Night also provided a perfect opportunity to commemorate the milestone achievement of 2016 being the 10 year anniversary of the Cadet Development Team.
During the conference, OC CDT and each respective Course Director outlined the current portfolio of courses provided by the CDT, highlighting developments in each area of training over the past year and discussing future initiatives and progression opportunities. 25 members of CDT staff attended the conference, along with Wg Cdr Nigel Dickinson, OC South & East Midlands Wing and Wg Cdr Steve Mills, Central & East Region Training Officer.
The conference provided an excellent forum for the CDT to ensure its output continues to meet the needs of Cadets and achieves the primary objective of delivering a high quality learning experience for everyone taking part in Wing level Cadet training.
After the conference, CDT staff, along with partners and invited guests enjoyed a very special Dining-In-Night in the splendour of the RAF Wittering Officers’ Mess. During his after-dinner speech, Flt Lt Jodi Hudson, Wing Training Officer (Cadet Development) & OC Cadet Development Team expressed his grateful thanks to members of the CDT for their hard work and dedication in support of Wing level Cadet training.
Flt Lt Hudson also talked about the significance of the CDT being in its 10th year, taking the opportunity to look back over the history of Cadet training in South & East Midlands Wing and recognise the contribution of his two predecessors in the OC CDT role, Sqn Ldr Julie Rayson-Flynn and Sqn Ldr Mark Richards, who were both present at the Dining-In-Night and able to share in the anniversary celebrations.
The CDT was especially pleased to welcome Wg Cdr Steve Mills as Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker at the Dining-In-Night. Wg Cdr Mills spoke of his admiration for the work of the Cadet Development Team, as well as sharing a few anecdotes from his extensive ACO experience.
The CDT currently consists of some 38 instructors, all drawn from Units across South & East Midlands Wing, along with personnel from WHQ, the UAS and the regular RAF. CDT staff members include a large number of Cadet Warrant Officers, working alongside and together with various Officers, ATC WO & SNCOs, CIs and RAF NCOs in support of the delivery of CDT courses.
The CDT is responsible for the provision of a large number of Wing level Cadet training opportunities, including the Initial, Senior and Advanced NCO courses, the Cadet NCO Drill Course, the Method of Instruction Course, the Staff Cadet Course and the Junior Cadet Camp. During 2015, the CDT provided training to over a quarter of the enrolled strength of Cadets in South & East Midlands Wing, with many Cadets attending multiple CDT courses during the year.
The conference and Dining-In-Night marked 10 years since the formation of the Cadet Development Team. The CDT core ethos of professionalism, excellence and innovation remains as strong today as it was in the beginning, which will ensure Cadets in South & East Midlands Wing continue to receive a wide variety of training opportunities in support of their progression as members of the ACO.