1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron, Air Training Corps were asked to help out the world famous ‘Red Arrows’, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team at their annual End of Season Guest Night to mark the end of the 2015 flying season.
For the first time the event was held at a hotel in Grantham rather than at an RAF base and 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron was in attendance to provide an honour guard and hosting duties. 12 eager cadets loaded into a minibus after spending their day at the squadron HQ ensuring their uniforms and shoes were in top notch condition to formally welcome the guests and the Red Arrows themselves.
As they arrived, the cadets filed into the hotel to receive a briefing from the PA to the Commandant Central Flying School, and then get changed into their uniforms. There was an air of excitement as the cadets could see guests arriving to get checked into the hotel. Once fully briefed on their tasks for the evening, the cadets were allowed to finally meet the Red Arrows and take photographs with them.
Flying Officer Daniel McGlynn RAFVRT, Officer in Charge, was then presented with a signed, framed photograph of the Red Arrows for the squadron by Squadron Leader David Montenegro – Red One. Cadet Page said “I was privileged to be one of the cadets chosen to be part of the Guard of Honour. It was one of the best moments in my life to have a one-to-one conversation with a Red Arrows pilot. He wanted to know what kind of aircraft we flew in the Air Cadets and I told him all about my flying experience in a Grob Tutor, which don’t go quite as fast at the Red Arrows jets!”
The excited cadets took up their positions, most outside to form the guard of honour, with Corporal Libby Gregory and Cadet Peter Wright assisting guests inside. Amongst the VIP guests in attendance were Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton (recently retired from his position as the Chief of the Air Staff), Air Vice Marshal Malcolm Brecht (Chief of Staff Capability (Air) RAF) and Air Vice Marshal Andrew Turner (Air Officer Commanding No. 22 Group RAF). Also attending as Guest of Honour was Piers Sellers OBE, the British astronaut who has flown three space shuttle missions and logged over 559 hours in space.
Cadet Corporal Libby Gregory said “I was inside the hotel showing guests where they were going to be sitting during the meal, and was very honoured to talk to AVM Turner and shake his hand. I think it is one of the highlights of my cadet career. He asked about my experiences with the cadets and was very interested to hear about my recent flight on a Chinook whilst I was on camp, as he was once a Chinook pilot himself!”
Flying Officer Daniel McGlynn RAFVRT
1279 (Melton Mowbray) Squadron