966 (Wallingford) Squadron has recently won the Marshall Trophy for 2010/11. This is a prestigious award which is presented to the Air Cadets squadron judged to be the best in the Thames Valley Wing. The award is particularly notable as 966 Squadron is, comparatively, one of the smaller squadrons in the Wing and had to beat off stiff competition from some of the much larger squadrons who have won the trophy in previous years.
The Commanding Officer, Flt Lt Churnside said ‘this trophy reflects the collective achievement of each and every cadet and staff member. It has been awarded to Wallingford because we have achieved the most as a unit, from the 26 squadrons in Thames Valley Wing.’
The competition is based on a number of different criteria, which range from flying through various activities such as the number and level of Duke of Edinburgh’s awards that have been gained. The squadron’s particular strength this year was the high number of cadets who, at 16 years old, have achieve their solo gliding wings with 2 cadets having completed flying scholarships in powered aircraft. The squadron currently has 7 cadets who have flown a glider solo and another 4 about to embark on a gliding scholarship to achieve their solo wings. The squadron also gained a number of ‘Wing Blues’ this year when 966 cadets represented the Wing in various sporting activities, including swimming, hockey and cross country runing.
Colin Dalton, the Mayor of Wallingford, said ‘This is fantastic news; the Town Council are delighted and proud of our association with 966 Squadron and congratulate them. Yet another great achievement by volunteers and the young people of our Town.’
Following its success the squadron has accepted the nomination of the Officer Commanding Thames Valley Wing, Wg Cdr Fisher, to be entered for the Lees Trophy which is awarded to the best squadron in the Air Training Corps.