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A year at 2028 Southam Squadron by Cpl Helen Colvin

Cpl Helen ColvinIn January 2011 we had our annual Christmas party to start of the New Year. This meant going to Laser Quest in Coventry and then having a meal at the Taybarn. This was soon followed by training for Wing Field day, an event held every year where all our Squadrons compete in different events and doing our classification training.

February was an important month for the ATC as it was the 70 th anniversary Parade held in Daventry; Squadrons from all over Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing marched to the Holy Cross church and celebrated the achievements of the ATC. It was also a significant month for me, as I and three other cadets went to Little Rissington, to go gliding for the day. It was an amazing experience and we learnt about the gliders and were even able to fly them ourselves!

In March there were classification exams for different levels of cadets, I was completing my air craft recognition which went towards Leading Cadet. Most cadets pass these tests first time as we are given plenty of help and time to prepare for them. In March we also selected cadets, including myself, to compete in the 2028 Drill Squad for Wing training day.

April 2011 was my favourite month since I have been at cadets. Many of us travelled to SMP ( Saint Martin 's Plain) near Folkstone where we took part in loads of activities. For example, we went swimming at a Ghurkha barracks and achieved swimming certificates, we took part in a night exercise where we all used camouflage paint and used twigs and plants as camouflage, there was a day where we all made our own rafts and tried them out, many of us fell in (I think I was the first). However out of the whole trip there were defiantly two main highlights for me, one was flying on a Chinook Helicopter with a very friendly RAF loadmaster called Dave, such an amazing experience! Of course the other was when our Squadron decided we would visit 10 Downing Street ! We were allowed to have photos and stand right outside the door! The police man outside was so nice that we had a group photo with him!

May was also an important month for our Squadron as we had our awards evening at the Grange Hall in Southam, I was awarded my swimming certificate and my bronze D of E certificate, presented by the Mayor of Southam. Then there was the Wing Athletics in Solihull, quite a lot of our cadets took part and did really well, I along with others won gold's so were then invited to the next competition at Regional's.

In June, Wing training day finally arrived, many of us went to Gamecock Barracks, Bramcote, it was a very hot day but we all managed to perform quite well, however I am sure this year we will do better at the drill competition.

July was a good month for the cadets as we went kayaking at Edgbaston Reservoir, it was a really fun day and we played lots of different games like water polo and flipped our kayaks! There was also a very important date at cadets when Flt Lt Egging of the Red Arrows visited the squadron; 2028 is where he used to go to cadets, sadly I could not be there but I was told that he never stopped smiling and he was a very inspirational person.

In August an extremely sad thing happened when Flt Lt Egging died in a crash, our Squadron decided to raise money for a memorial by doing a sponsored 24hr drill where there was always a group of cadets marching. The event went down very well and we were able to raise a great deal of money.

In September our squadron attended the Battle of Britain memorial service in Leamington , the day was very good and many people attended. Then there was the next set of D of E expeditions. We went to Rough Close in Coventry where the silvers were doing there practice and the Bronzes did their actual, both groups passed. Then we had a visit from the RAF careers office which was great! They had some really fun challenges set up for us and later they told us all about what they did for the RAF and we were able to ask them anything we liked about jobs in the RAF, it was very useful and defiantly sounds like there are some great jobs available!

October was a very good month for some of us cadets. I and a few other cadets had to give a presentation on what we thought the role of a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) was, this was to see who was ready to be promoted to Corporal. Then there was the final part of our silver D of E in the Mendips, it was a really good three days and everyone passed their expeditions! There was also a visit to the BAE Systems where we were able to look around all the hangers and see how the planes are made. It was very interesting and different to see the planes being assembled like that. Finally in October our squadron was invited the Lincoln Cathedral Memorial service to remember Flt Lt Egging, we all felt extremely privileged to be there and at the end we were lucky enough to have our photo taken with Brian May of Queen who also attended!

November was a busy month for us as we were collecting money for the Poppy Appeal in Southam and we also attended the Remembrance Day Parade, it was good to see so many people attending. We also did a sponsored bag pack in Tesco to raise money for our squadron.

In December we held a Social Evening where we invited our families and we reviewed the highlights of 2011. There was also a raffle where lots of people won things that the cadets had brought in. Finally, cadets helped tidy the Squadron and leave it ready for the New Year.

Overall 2011 was a great year at cadets for me. I went on many amazing days out, I was promoted to Corporal and I met some great people. I defiantly recommend 2028 Southam ATC to others!

Article Submitted by:-
Cpl Helen Colvin - 2028 (Southam) Squadron
18 Feb 12

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