During a parade night last week, 3 cadets from 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps took a visit to a local neighbouring Squadron, 126 (City of Derby) Squadron, with the aim of finding out how their parade evenings are structured and looking at how their Cadet Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) operate as a team in leading younger cadets of the unit through activities and going out into local schools and the community too recruit local youngsters into the Air Cadet Organisation in a way which has led to them regularly parading nearly 100 young cadets every week.
One of the main focuses the cadets of Swadlincote were interested in finding out was what activities the Cadets of Derby actually do during a night to night basis and what keeps the youngsters interested in the organisation.
The three cadets from 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron who visited 126 (City of Derby) Squadron included: Flight Sergeant (FS) Louis Mansfield (18), Corporal Joseph Neal (15) and Corporal Janah (15) and each of them had the opportunity too speak to different individual cadets and members of staff on the unit, to find out what their role is within the Squadron and how they go about carrying out their responsibilities effectively. As a result of this, each of the cadets found themselves in a position where they felt they had learnt a lot from the information they were given and felt confident about coming back to Swadlincote to implement their new skills on our Unit. Some of these newly acquired skills were good organisational and time keeping skills which prove too be major contributing factors to the smooth running of a successful air cadet Squadron. One noticeable difference at Swadlincote since the visit has been due to an improvement in organisational skills from our NCO team, each flight is able to work more effectively as a team which leads to more cadets enjoying a more productive evening as they are more aware of what is required of them to be able to constantly achieve their aims and develop as individuals on the unit progressing through the classification system and other courses that are made available to them both on the Squadron and off the Squadron at Wing activities.
Towards the end of our visit, Flight Sergeant Mansfield says: “From a flight sergeant and an older cadets perspective, to see how Derby Squadron function differently to ours influenced me to bring back their qualities to our Squadron.” Whilst Corporal Neal goes on to explain: “I think it was a good experience too see how a Squadron operates differently to us: and finally Corporal Janah believes“To visit 126 (City of Derby) Squadron was an interesting and enjoyable experience and is a great demonstration of cohesion throughout our wing.”
Corporal Neal does a lot of work at Swadlincote Squadron with the new recruits in the training flight and since visiting Derby Squadron and having the opportunity to speak to new recruits from another local unit, feels a lot more confident within his work in teaching the youngsters of Swadlincote more about what is expected of them as an Air Cadet as he was able to pick up new ways of encouraging new recruits in being engaged in learning about aircraft and how to march correctly.
Overall, this visit proved to be a very useful one as all cadets involved, both from Swadlincote and Derby Squadron seemed to gain a lot from it from hearing stories about how each unit functions to its full potential and FS Mansfield from Swadlincote Squadron looks forward to returning the favour and welcoming some of 126 (City of Derby) Squadrons cadets over to 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron during a parade evening in the near future so they are able to gain an insight into what life is like as an air cadet on Swadlincote Squadron.
CI C Tildesley