During one parade evening, staff at 1181 (Syston) Squadron received a fantastic phonecall from Mr Barry Smart.
Mr Smart is the branch Chairman of the Leicester Branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA). During his career, he had been involved with the Air Training Corps and was keen to develop links with the squadron. As well as being the Commanding Officer at many local units including 2229 (Loughborough) Squadron during his time, Mr Smart had been a wing staff officer with South Midlands Wing before it became South and East Midlands Wing.
The squadron invited Mr and Mrs Smart to join them during a parade evening to see what the cadets get the opportunities to do night to night. Welcomed by the squadron Adjutant, Pilot Officer McGlynn RAFVR (T), Mr and Mrs Smart were shown around the squadron getting to see cadets involved in exam preparation, aircraft recognition and to the delight of Mr Smart, the squadron’s flight simulator in action. After the tour, they had a chance to discuss the support that the squadron can offer to Leicester RAFA.
Following a fantastic evening, the squadron was lucky enough to be invited to be formally adopted by the Leicester Branch RAFA.
The formal adoption means that the two organisations are able to support each other and help each other to grow. With one of the quickest turnarounds in certificate making, Mr and Mrs Smart were able to formally present the squadron with their certificate recognising the link between the branch and 1181 (Syston) Squadron at their annual awards evening, less than a fortnight after they had visited the unit.
Flying Officer Kenyon RAFVR (T), Officer in Charge at 1181 (Syston) Squadron commented, “It’s fantastic that we are able to develop a link with RAFA Leicester. The work that the Royal Air Force Association does is vital in supporting RAF personnel past and present and Air Cadet groups across the country. We are very proud to have been formally adopted by the branch and are extremely grateful to Mr Smart for getting in contact with us and his hard work in making this happen. All of the cadets and staff look forward to working with the branch members in the future!”
By Plt Off Dan McGlynn
1181 (Syston) Sqn ATC