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Wing Radio Officer

Richard Coates
Wing Radio Officer

Richard Coates is responsible to the OC Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing for all matters relating to Radio Communications Projects

Contact: Richard Coates


  • To have organised agreed radio channels for inter squadron training
  • To get cadets operating in real events, not just training exercises.
  • To get cadets taking part in both Cadet and Amateur radio operating contests.


  • To have a regional database of operator exam questions so that Wing radio officers can generate consistent quality exam papers.
  • To get Wing radio officers to make a matrix of which squadrons, parade on which nights, using which channels and coordinate communications between them.
  • To coordinate procurement of 'new' radio equipment

Useful Information

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Wing Radio Officer's Report to Squadron Commanders Conference 2006

ATC VHF Operator – How to Get Started
  How to earn the communicator badge
  Radio Training
  Radio Training Calendar 2007
  Air Cadet Radio Field Days 2007
  Wing Radio News December 2008
  Wing Radio News February 2009



With the amount of radios that are available for channel U2 we now have a greater opportunity to get involved in the Datacomms module of the Cadet Communicator qualification. Flt Lt Coates is our specialist on this subject and will be organising a Datacomms basic operating course. He is also the person to contact for technical information and advice on equipment.

We can also use the Cadet Force HF Data Network. It will allow you to send email to Internet addresses over the radio. It can be used for normal day-to-day use to keep it active and will be utilised as a national network in times of nation emergency. If any Squadron has HF radio equipment you are welcome to use it, contact Flt Lt Coates for details.


To qualify for the Communicators Badge you must score 6 points from the modules listed below. VHF Provisional Operator and VHF Full Operator are compulsory. You can do them in almost any order, note the joining requirements, but you cannot apply for the badge until VHF Full it is completed.

Provisional Course

Cadets must be 1 st class or higher.



Badge Points

VHF Provisional Operator

This is the one Cadets have to start with. It can be completed in one day except that Cadets will be required to return to their Squadron with an exam paper. They can look up the answers to it in reference material and return it to the Wing Radio Officer to complete the qualification. The candidate should be able to complete the practical assessment with minimal assistance.

Contact your local radio training team member.


Modules with no course.

These modules can be completed by a cadet without any formal training. They do not have any minimum joining qualifications or requirements. These modules are worth 1 point each.


Cadets should be able to design a multi-page web site that contains font changes, pictures and hyperlinks. This site must then be published to the internet or supplied on CD so that a member of the training team can access it. It must NOT be one of the on-line web page building programs. It MUST be one that is written on the cadets PC and uploaded to the web using FTP. On completion the cadet or a member of staff must email their training team member to let them know it is ready.

The Cadet will then be asked, by email, to locate a particular piece of information on the internet by use of a search engine, zip (or other compression method) the information and email it back to the training team member.

The Cadet must then write a short (200 word minimum) description of each of the following.

  • Viruses and Spyware.
  • Firewalls and their importance.
  • Passwords and Security (100 words)
  • Domain Name Servers, IP addresses and routers.

A practical assessment sheet is available from the Wing Radio Officer to simplify this.

Advanced Radio & Radar

This is the standard cadet exam, a pass in this exam counts as a point.

Cadets can take this exam at any time even if they are not eligible for it in the normal exam cycle. Contact the Wing Radio Officer for an exam paper.

Satellite Communications

This is the standard cadet exam, a pass in this exam counts as a point.

Cadets can take this exam at any time even if they are not eligible for it in the normal exam cycle. Contact the Wing Radio Officer for an exam paper.

Army Signallers Badge

If you have a Cadet that is an Army Cadet Signaller (Crossed Flags Qualification) they immediately qualify for 2 points. Contact the Wing Radio Officer with proof.


To help with the more specialised subjects a series of courses will be held through the year. They will normally be at 497 (Daventry) Squadron.

If the 0 point subjects are incorporated into the badge syllabus in the future then you will be able to automatically score the point. At the present time they are for interest only

The times will be 09:00 till 17:00 (latest) on the last Saturday of the indicated month, subject to some alteration to miss major Wing events.

Candidates can turn up on whichever course they need to fulfil the requirements of the badge. Some may require follow-up ‘homework’. Contact the Wing Radio Officer to book places.

Uniform will be working blue unless otherwise started.

Bring Lunch or use local shops. A microwave and hot drinks are available.


Joining Note


Badge Points

VHF Full Operator

This is a continuation of the Provisional Operator course. Candidates should be able to complete this in one day but if the course over-runs the final exam may be taken back at your Squadron. The candidate should be able to complete the practical assessment without any assistance.

Must have passed VHF Provisional



Morse Code.

This does not score any points towards the badge and is done for interest only. It will get people started on Morse Code. By the end of the course cadets will be able to send and receive simple messages in Morse. It will include lots of practical and game playing.




HF Operating & HF Listener

HF Listening – Morning Only.

HF Operating – All Day.

As these 2 modules are so similar the training for both will be on the same day. The course will cover the basic principles of HF radio listening and operating. It will teach cadets how to set up an HF station and operators will get some on-air time to get them started.

This will include HF contest training.

To complete the Operating module you will need an HF transceiver accessible on your Squadron or at home.

For the Listener module you will only need a receiver with an HF (Short Wave) band.

HF Listener None

HF Operator Must have passed VHF Full


1 for each.

Codes and Cryptography.

This does not score any points towards the badge and is done for interest only. It will include basic codes and ciphers including the cadet CODEX system, Vigenere ciphers, Army BATCO encryption (which is still in use today) and simple code breaking.




Datacomms - at 485 Squadron

This course will show cadets how to assemble a datacomms station and will cover all of the basic operating to get them started. There will be on-air practice and a practical assessment. If the course over-runs the final exam may be taken back at your Squadron.

Must have passed VHF Provisional

Date TBD


Field Telephones

This does not score any points towards the badge and is done for interest only. This will teach how to install field telephones in friendly and hostile conditions.

There will be a lot of outdoor practical, bring coveralls or similar and boots.

This course will change dates, actual date to be decided.




Practical Exercises.

This includes electronics theory and hands-on electronics assembly, soldering and measurement. This will be a very busy course. Note the joining instructions.

There will be some outdoor practical, bring coveralls or similar and boots.

Study of course material in advance.



Amateur Radio Foundation Licence

See for details.

This is a 2 Day course with an externally invigilated formal exam at the end. It will be run whenever we get enough people interested. It is a considerable help if you have passed Advanced Radio & Radar.

If you already have a Foundation licence or higher you automatically score the point. If you have an Intermediate licence you score the point for Practical Exercises as well.

None. AR&R pass preferred.

As Reqd



At the recent HQAC Radio Communications Meeting we set the dates for the radio field days in 2007. There will be an HQAC newsflash at some point.

15 April 2007 HF Field Day
20 May 2007 VHF Field Day
30 Sept 2007 HF Field Day

All details and rules for these contests are in ACP44 AL1. All Squadrons are welcome to join in.

For the VHF contest the Wing team will set up at the old BBC transmitter site on top of Borough Hill in Daventry. All squadrons are welcome to come along and share the operating. Let me know if you are interested.

If you have a good location and qualified operators I have the following equipment available for loan for the duration of each contest.

1 HF portable station, which is powered from a 24V battery. (2 batteries available)

3 VHF base stations powered from a 12V car battery.

I know that some of you have qualified operators and it would be really good get more squadrons on the air for the day. You will notice from the recent radio training program that the contest training is on 31 March. This will give cadets a chance to practice before the event.

ATC Call Signs & Frequencies
For Details of ATC Call Signs, Radio Training Notes and frequencies visit

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