The Chief of the Royal Air Force has flown into Swadlincote, to present a special trophy to the Air Cadets of 1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn.
The RAF’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton made a special trip to present the cadets with the Morris Cup, a national trophy awarded to the best Squadron following a year long competition against nearly 1000 units across the country.
Swadlincote is the first Air Cadet Squadron that the Chief of the Air Staff has formally visited since taking post last year. Commenting on the occasion, Squadron Commander Alyn Thompson said, “The Chief of the Air Staff is responsible for RAF personnel and operations worldwide and when you consider the commitment of the Air Force in Afghanistan at the moment, we are extremely honoured that Sir Stephen has taken the time out of his busy schedule, to join us for what is probably the most important event in the 1211 Squadrons 69 year history”.
The special event took place at Bretby Conference Centre near Swadlincote and was attended by 200 people, including the Chair of South Derbyshire District Council Councillor Pat Murray, Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation, Air Commodore Ian Stewart, Central & East Regional Commandant, Group Captain Brett Morrell and South & East Midlands Wing commanding officer, Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson.
The event, which was hosted by Cadet Wesley Eyley (15), involved the cadets giving a dynamic and interactive presentation about what they do at 1211 Squadron and what makes them stand out from the usual Air Cadet crowd. This included the Squadrons environmental project, involvement in the local community, international aid projects, BTEC’s and flying/gliding achievements. Through a series of light-hearted sketches, the cadets also demonstrated the importance of maintaining the right balance between working hard and having fun. The cadets also recognised the importance of the Squadron support team, a group of civilian volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to raise funds and to help ensure the Squadron runs effectively.
Sergeant Emily Woolford receives the Morris Cup from Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton
Following the cadet presentations, the long and eagerly awaited Morris Cup was finally presented by Sir Stephen to Cadet Sergeant Emily Woolford (17), who received it on behalf of everyone at the 1211 Squadron. Emily said, “I felt really honoured to be chosen to collect the Morris Cup and I am so proud of all of our cadets who put on a great show for the Chief of the Air Staff”.
Commenting after the event, Air Commodore Stewart added “I thought the evening was excellent…it was something very special”.
Flt Lt Robert Moore – Operations Officer 1211 Sqn
Photo courtesy of SAC Craig Hunter RAF