Author Archives: Jonathon Holroyd

Record Number of Cadets Enrolled

On Tuesday 6 November the Squadron’s Commanding Officer, Flt Lt Churnside, enrolled a record number of 11 new cadets. This brings the squadron strength to nearly 40 cadets, which is the highest it has been for a number of years.  Since their intake 6 weeks previously the new cadets have been instructed by Cpl Tamara Simmons and Sgt Euan Thompson in preparation for their enrolment and first public engagement with the rest of the squadron on Remembrance Day, Sunday 11 November.  The new enrolment will now begin First Class training as their initial step on the classification ladder.  

Following the enrolments, one of their instructors, Cpl Simmons, was promoted to Sergeant as a recognition of her leadership qualities and commitment to the squadron and the ethos

Inter-Squadron Swimming Competition

On Sunday 4th September, 4 cadets from 966 (Wallingford) Squadron woke up nice and early to meet 150 cadets from around Thames Valley Wing, where they would take part in the annual Wing swimming event.

We were all nervous as we changed and assembled ourselves on the seating by the pool. After several briefings, we all jumped into the freezing cold pool for a warm up. Four lengths later, we were ordered out of the pool to claim our seats on the stand again. Then the races began.

We had Cdt Godwin-Suttie doing junior backstroke and freestyle, Cdt West doing junior butterfly and freestyle, me, Cpl Harrington, doing senior breast stroke and freestyle and Flt Sgt Whiteside doing senior backstroke. The races went extremely well, with two medals

Benson Families’ Day

On Thursday 25th August, we attended the RAF Benson Families’ Day. When we arrived, we went almost straight to the Merlin hangar for our flight, for which they took us out towards Didcot and Abingdon and flew some fun manoeuvres, including a low-gravity manoeuvre where one of the crew hung from his harness! The rest of the day consisted of meeting cadets that were staying in RAF Benson on their summer camp, helping to park vintage cars, selling programmes, collecting for the RAF Association and the RAF Benevolent Fund, and also having our marquee blown away! After a hard, but enjoyable, day’s work, we all took a ride on one of the fair-ground rides that were there; some of us then regretted the doughnuts we’d just eaten – the flight

966 Cadet receives RAF Association Flying Scholarship

Cadet Flight Sergeant Siena Whiteside has been awarded a 12 hour Royal Air Forces Association Flying Scholarship 2011.

The RAF Association awards five scholarships to Air Cadets annually. The overall winner receives a 35 hour flying scholarship, and the four runners-up receive 12 hour scholarships. Scholarships are flown at South Warwickshire Flying Club and cadets follow the syllabus for award of National Private Pilot Licence (NPPL).

There were over 70 applications for the scholarships this year, and 12 short-listed applicants were invited to RAF Cranwell for the final selection board. Selection involved undertaking the RAF Pilot Test Battery aptitude test followed by a Board Interview with leading members of the RAF Association.

This year’s scholarship winners were invited to the RAF Association’s Annual Conference 14-15 May, for award of

Wallingford Classic Car Rally

On Sunday 8th May, 7 cadets from 966 Squadron assisted at the Wallingford Vehicle Rally.  They helped marshal classic cars through Wallingford town for the parade and also helped out collecting money for SeeSaw, the principal charity at the event, a charity which supports bereaved children. The squadron also had a recruitment stand to try and attract young people to join the squadron, proving successful with a few potential cadets signing up. The car rally was a great opportunity for the cadets to reinforce the squadron’s image within the community and promote the activities that the Air Cadets offer, with Cpl Evans making an announcement over the public address system on the benefits of joining the ATC.  Cpl Godfrey said, ‘It was a great day out and got to

Wing Athletics

On Sunday, 8th May 2011, cadets pitted their sporting skills against cadets from squadrons from all over the wing at the most recent inter-squadron athletics at Tilsley Park in Abingdon. During the day, cadets from 966 (Wallingford) Squadron took part in running the 800m, throwing the javelin and high jump. Other competitions included long and short races, long jump, shot put, discus and relay. Unfortunately the squadron did not rank in the top 3 squadrons in the wing but did win a medal. FS Ewers said “I am pleased with coming third in my 800m race”.


By Cpl Taylor

Nuffield Day Walk

On Saturday, 21st May 2011, 6 air cadets and 4 staff members from 966 (Wallingford) squadron took the challenge of going on an adventurous walk around Nuffield. They walked approximately 19Km in total and carried all the kit they would need for an overnight stay including food, water, clothes, sleeping bag and roll matt. Along the walk they mainly stuck to the footpaths, but encountered field and wooded areas, stiles and gates. The cadets’ map reading skills were put to the test to check they were staying on route and they used compasses to check that they were walking in the right direction.
Cpl Payne said “The best part was that we were helping Warrant Officer Barker and Cadet FS Ewers to pass their Basic Expedition Leaders Award so

Llanbedr AT Camp

A number of 966 cadets and staff recently attended a week’s adventure training at NACATC Llanbedr, one of the Corps’ Adventure Training centres – 7 days of hard work, exercise and (mostly) great weather!

During the week, the cadets participated in low level walking around the North Wales countryside, as well as high level mountain walking and a night of wild camping, having carried all their equipment along and set up their own camp. They also enjoyed two days of outdoor rock climbing and abseiling, and some time on the centre’s climbing wall and high ropes course. They were also taught some useful knots in a knot-work workshop with CI Rowan and Fg Off Beasley. A tiring week for everyone! On the thursday evening, the cadets were all taken down

CO’s last night and Squadron promotions

The Squadron’s last CO’s parade was Flt Lt Norcross’s last night as OC 966, and indeed his last night as an RAFVR(T) Officer in the UK, as he was moving to New Zealand!

Flt Lt Norcross presented a number of cadets with awards, made a number of promotions (listed below) and made a leaving speech to members of the Squadron. He was presented with a card from the cadets, a cookie cake and a Squadron t-shirt from FS Whiteside, and the staff also signed a card for him. He then formally handed over control of the Squadron to the incoming CO, Flt Lt Churnside, a long-serving Officer with 966 Squadron.

Promotions made: Sgt Ewers to FS Sgt Whiteside to FS Cdt Evans to Cpl Cdt Taylor to Cpl Cdt Harrington

Annual Inspection 2011

On Thursday 5th May, cadets showed off their squadron in the most recent annual inspection conducted by the Wing Executive Officer, Sqn Ldr Haines, and the Wing Warrant Officer, WO Lambert.

During the course of the evening, cadets took part in an inspection, followed by an opportunity to impress the inspectors with their drill. After a short break, cadets faced a quiz about the ATC and the RAF. The three cadet groups took on the single staff group in a “battle of the minds”. One of the cadets said “it was an extremely fun night and all the cadets had a lot of fun.” The cadets were all very proud of what was achieved and were extremely happy when one of the inspectors said that we were a great squadron