2015 marked the 3rd opportunity for 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron Air Training Corps to enter the Central and East Region Foot drill competition, for Regional Field Day at RAF Halton. With prior warning of the tough competition, the cadets of 1360 squadron set out to practice their drill routine to perfection, but with just five weeks to go, the first couple of practices saw the squadron overcome a set of challenges.One of these challenges was especially challenging to overcome, the Drill squad lost two cadets to other prior events, which meant they did not have a full squad. 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron Air Training Corps would not let down their fellow squadron.
Cadet Warrant Officer Damien Simpson and Cadet Sergeant James Bland were chosen, by the strict Drill Instructor Flight Sergeant Glover, to be part of the South and East Midlands Drill team. Cadet Warrant Officer Simpson had the most important role of all, as the commander of the squad. Whereas Cadet Sergeant James Bland took his role in the drill squad itself
Saturday morning, rise and shine! Cadets of the Drill team arrived at Stapleford and Sandiacre Squadron Air Cadets at 9 o’clock in the morning with uniform and bags packed, ready for a tiring but exciting weekend of competition. The drill team had another two hour practice, with some fun in between, before the coached arrived at 11:30 am. We’re off! The team had a long two hour journey to RAF Halton, in Buckinghamshire, picking up the ensemble team from Syston Air Cadets.
As the sun set the team arrived at RAF Halton, heading to their accommodation, as soon as possible they were polishing their shoes, ironing and practicing drill till 8pm Saturday night. All the cadets and staff deserved a good dinner, so all of them headed to china china to get their favorite Chinese and head back to accommodation to hang out and talk about tomorrow’s events.
Here we go! Regional Field day is here… This was their time to show who South and East Midlands Wing are! Final uniform preparations were made and one final drill practice as one. Their performance time was at 9:30 am, at the drill hanger, as they headed down in their gleaming uniform nerves were rising and when they got in the hanger the team had one last discussion as one.
“Ready, sir!” As the inspection started, we could see the pride in the cadets as they had their heads up high and especially when the inspecting Warrant Officer could only pick small problems with uniform. As soon as Cadet Warrant Officer Simpson took the drill squad onto the parade square, the assessment began. The drill team pulled of a brilliant performance, resulting in wining in the drill category and heading off to corps! In the end, 2195 (Long Eaton) ATC helped gain not only the title of the Central and East Region foot drill competition, but South and East Midlands Wing also gain the title of overall winners of the region. Cadet Warrant Officer Simpson said “Given such difficult circumstances and a great deal of hard work, I feel immensely proud to have brought success home to my wing and my squadron.”
Whilst the Cadet Warrant Officer Simpson and Sergeant Bland were competing, Cadet Warrant Officer Rebecca Parr arrived at RAF Halton to attend the Annual Formal Inspection (AFI) of the Region. This was held in the officer’s mess and was led by the Region Commandant, Group Captain Gorman. The AFI was an opportunity to find out what the region was doing well at and where they were falling short, this was then followed by the Air Commodore leading a question and answer session where the floor had an opportunity to ask any questions with regards to the Air Cadets. Cadet Warrant Officer Parr said “It was very interesting to be involved in the AFI, not only to hear how well we are doing as a region but also to hear some of the possible ideas for the future of the Air Cadets.”
Well done South and East Midlands Wing, Corps is only around the corner. Good luck!
#whatwedo #SEMWwhoweare #aircadets
Written By Cadet Sergeant James Bland
2195 Media Team