Welcome to the Flying Tyke, 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron's news blog. Keep checking back to keep up to date with the latest Squadron news.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wharfedale Air Cadets Remember the Fallen

by Sergeant (ATC) Sam White

Sunday 9th November 2014 marked the date of one of the most important events in 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron's calendar - Remembrance Day.

The Squadron took part in a number of parades and events in the area, in the morning the Squadron's band led the Remembrance parade in Addingham, which had been preceded by a church service with the 2 minutes silence occurring at 11am. Cadet Ethan Holdsworth laid a wreath on behalf of the Squadron here.
Whilst this was happening a small team were also present in Burley-in-Wharfedale along with Sector 5 Commander, Sqn Ldr J Hitchen RAFVR(T) to attend a short service there.

As with previous years, the Squadrons Civilian Committee prepared an excellent lunch for the Cadets at Abbeyfield Care Home in Ilkley where the band later played a selection of marches for the residents.

Following lunch, the cadets assembled behind the Town Hall in Ilkley for the main parade of the day, with the Squadron parading a large amount of cadets.
Led into the Memorial Gardens by the Squadron's band, the parade contained a number of local civic dignitaries including Kris Hopkins, Ilkley's local MP.
The Squadron's band played the hymns for the service during which Cadets went round collecting for the Royal British Legion, Cadet Courtney Heyworth layed the wreath here.

Overall the day went very well, even though there were a large number of new cadets for whom this was their first major parade. Both wreath bearers also deserve praise for their excellent performances.

Included amongst the new cadets was Cadet William White, the youngest member of the Squadron at the age of 12 years and 3 months, and the younger brother of Squadron Adjutant Sergeant (ATC) Sam White.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Wharfedale Cadets Become Young Life Savers

 Eight Cadets from 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron, Air Training Corps have completed the St. Johns Ambulance Youth First Aid course and been awarded their red first aid badges.

Sergeant Tom Hepworth, Corporals Daniel Chivers, Hannah Mayfield, Omar Shah and Sam Shaw and Cadets Beth Doherty, Aiden Holmes and Pearce Todd gained their first aid courses after completing the course run by Civilian Instructor Kjersti Moore.

During the course the cadets were instructed and assessed on various valuable lifesaving skills including CPR, primary surveying, secondary surveying, the recovery position and how to treat bleeding, choking and shock. 

Following successfully passing the course, Sgt Hepworth said 'I really enjoyed completing the first aid course and I learned lots of important life skills along the way!'

First Aid is just one of the many activities run by 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron, for more information visit www.ilkley-atc.co.uk

Monday, 8 September 2014

International Air Cadet Exchange USA 2014 Report

 By CWO Callum Parker 

                  This year I was very fortunate to be awarded a place on the International Air Cadet Exchange to the USA. I found out which state I was going to roughly a month in advance, and it was Florida! Needless to say I was ecstatic with this news. 

                  In the build up to the exchange I had to procure items and gifts that could be swapped and presented in order to be an able ambassador, this was an ongoing thing and in the end I had a few kilos worth of goodies ready to take with me. 

CWO Parker with the rest of the Florida IACE Contingent

                  The Exchange began with a briefing at Brunel University in London. I travelled there on Monday 21st July and met all the other UK IACE participants that would be visiting countries across the globe. The next day everyone would depart for their exchange countries and I, along with 12 cadets and two staff, would travel to Washington DC.
                  We arrived in the US and were transported to the Hilton hotel were we would stay until we left for our host wing. During our stay in DC we toured the Pentagon, visited Arlington National Cemetery, had a look around the National Air and Space museum as well as sightseeing various memorials and the White House.

CWO Parker at the Lincoln Memorial

                  On Friday the 25th July, all the visiting cadets flew to their host wing, so I and another CWO from Cambridge departed with two Belgian cadets and our Belgian staff escort. We arrived at Pensacola International Airport around noon and were greeted by one of our host cadets and a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) staff member, they took us for lunch and then to the beach to meet the CAP cadets on camp that we would be staying with that night.
                  For the next few days we met with our host CAP cadets/staff and stayed with host families in the Panhandle. During our time in the Panhandle we visited Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, went to Big Kahuna’s waterpark, had a beach BBQ with a CAP Squadron and watched a Baseball match in Alabama.

On Tuesday 29th we departed the Panhandle for Orlando, stopping in Tallahassee (the state Capital) for lunch and a tour round the State Capitol building, after a very long drive we arrived in Orlando at midnight and stayed with host families.
                  Throughout our stay in Orlando we tried indoor skydiving, visited Kennedy Space Centre, watched a rocket launch, spent a day at Universal Studios theme park and went shopping at the outlet mall twice! As well as sightseeing we also met the Florida Wing Commander at a pool party in Animal Kingdom Lodge and were presented with gifts from the CAP. 

On our last day in Florida we experienced an ‘Orientation flight’ in a Cessna 182, this was an hour long flight and we flew over the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Centre. After this we presented the Florida Wing Commander and our CAP Escort Officer with trophies and certificates from the UK on behalf of the RAF Air Cadets. That night we had a ‘farewell dinner’ at Bongo’s Cuban restaurant in Downtown Disney with our host families and escorting cadets.

Kennedy Space Centre

The next day we said our goodbye’s and flew back to Washington DC where we immediately started creating our presentation on our state. After a further day of sightseeing various monuments, buildings and museums we headed to the hotel to deliver our presentation (which made everyone quite jealous) and exchanged our remaining items before packing our bags and getting a short but good night’s sleep.

Wednesday 6th August, It was finally time to fly home and we jumped on the plane to Heathrow, after a very tiring flight I then had to endure 4 hours of train journey before I got home at midday on the 7th August.

CWO Parker with his American hosts

Conclusively, this exchange was undoubtedly the best thing I have done in cadets (I thought nothing would beat my flying scholarship!) and I couldn’t be more grateful for being given the opportunity to go. It is an experience where I have made friends for life and one I certainly will not forget, I encourage every cadet to aim for this as it is without doubt, phenomenal.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wharfedale Cadets Hit Right Notes

2014 has been a busy year so far for the members of 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron's band.

As well as playing at various local events with the Squadron band a number of cadet have been playing with the National Marching Band of the Air Cadet Organisation.

In June, Flight Sergeant Jørgen Moore, Sergeant Bailey Ryan and Corporal Tom Kraft joined other members of the National Band to perform at 10 Downing Street in front of the Prime Minister, David Cameron to support a Government initiative to expand cadet units in schools.

The National Marching Band playing in the garden of 10 Downing Street.

Following the performance, FS Moore said 'Playing for the prime minister, David Cameron, and other dignitaries in the gardens of 10 Downing Street with the Air Cadet Organisation National Marching Band was without a doubt the highlight of my career in the ATC. I was very nervous at first, but the friendly and warming ethos in the gardens allowed the whole band to relax and play to the best of our ability. It was a very proud moment for myself, and definitely one that I will remember for years to come.'

At the end of July, FS Moore, Sgt Ryan & Cpl Kraft along with Sergeant Tom Hepworth, Corporal Hannah Mayfield, Corporal Daniel Chivers and Cadet Pearce Todd, along with Sergeant (ATC) Sam White travelled down to RAF Halton for a week long camp with the National Marching Band.

The week involved several rehearsals and resulted in performances in Portsmouth for a families day at HMS Excellent and another performance at outside College Hall at RAF Cranwell for the graduation of cadets on the Air Cadet Leadership Course.

 Cadets playing outside College Hall Officers Mess, RAF Cranwell

At Portsmouth the cadets were also able to look round the Royal Marines School of Music at HMS Nelson and see some of the Royal Marine musicians in practice sessions.

Cadet being shown round the Royal Marines School of Music by Corporal Ellie Wilson.

The week also saw the first performance of the Air Cadet Organisation Ceilidh band, which featured FS Moore on drum kit as well as Sgt (ATC) Sam White on acoustic guitar and Sqn Ldr Sue Leighton (ex-OC 1224 Sqn) on the flute.

As Cpl Chivers celebrated his birthday during the week he was presented with an Air Cadet Music Services mug by Wing Commander Gil Singleton, Principle Director of Music in the Air Cadet Organisation.

The week was a great success and enjoyed by all attendees. As this was Cadet Todd's first National Band Camp he was presented with the prestigious gold drum badge.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

NACATC Windermere Report

by Cadet Flight Sergeant Lisa Whitaker

On the 12th April, I set off for National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centre, Windermere, on a coach along with 27 other cadets. We all quickly got to know each other, which made the rest of the weeks activities a lot easier. The first night concluded us splitting into 3 flights, and each flight being allocated days to help with catering and the first few of our many lessons on topics such as D of E expeditions and route planning.
The first day began with the a basic swimming test and some free time to spend in the pool. Passing the test meant we could go canoeing later on in the week. After that it was straight to Vertical Air, an outdoor high ropes course designed to test our team work and communication skills, as well as give a few of us quite a fright being so high up in the air. The night ended with more lessons, on weather and how to find the right walking boots for you.
We all awoke bright and early for our practise bronze DofE walk on Monday morning. We split into our flights and were given a different route to follow, all heading to the summit of The Old Man of Coniston. The sun was shining as we set out, but it got very chilly at some if the peaks we had to walk to, but eventually, after many gruelling hours of walking up and over numerous hills, we reached the summit, and the view was amazing! You could see all the way to Morecambe Bay.
Tuesday was a very hectic day, comprising of 3 separate activities happening all at once. So each flight departed heading for different destinations, and over the course of the day, we went canoeing (a lot of people fell in) outdoor rock climbing (the best of the three) and camp craft, which helped us gain some useful knowledge for our expedition the next day.
Wednesday and Thursday were our expedition days, starting from Limfit Park, and finishing in Ambleside after stopping the night at a campsite. The weather held out for us during the day but got very windy and wet whilst we all endured a sleepless night. But reaching the finish point at the end was definitely worth it, and for a lot of people it meant their completion of the Bronze D of E. 
Friday seemed to be a blur, with some people going off to do mountain biking in a nearby trail, and the rest of us orienteering and cleaning the centre for our departure the next day. The night ended with our DofE Aims presentations, some more serious than others. 
Saturday was another hectic day, with everyone needing to be packed, final elements of cleaning to be done and the coach to be packed up. The coach journey gave us all time to catch up on a bit of lost sleep! But also to share memories of the amazing week we had just had. 
I would definitely recommended the course to anyone interested in adventure training, as it is a perfect insight into all kinds of outdoor activities.

RAF Akrotiri Camp 2014

by Cadet Flight Sergeant Jamie Partovi

I didn't expect my bid for the RAF Akrotiri camp in early 2014 to succeed, as these camps are a privilege. On top of this the camp was subsidised by Wing and so really was excellent value for money. For these reasons I was ecstatic to be informed I was to attend the ten day camp in the Mediterranean.  

We arrived late and so most of the formalities had to be postponed, apart from being assigned a flight and it turned out I was the designated Flight Commander for ‘Athena Flight’. 

The first day we did a familiarisation exercise to get to know the base we would be staying in. This was shortly followed be swimming tests to ensure we were able to take part in all the water activities planned. To get to know our peers we all went down to the beach and took part in various ice breakers.
FS Partovi in the cockpit of a Griffin Helicopter

The next day was a great one - Waterpark! 

One of the more interesting parts of the camp was a First Aid simulation. A surprise scenario was sprung on the cadets mimicking a car accident using real trauma dummies, this was an excellent team building exercise. followed closely by a tour of the Bomb Disposal unit.

The second day took us to the water park where we spent the day.

At a local Army Barracks we spent the morning practising on their Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (DCCT) - Electronic range, as well as using their climbing wall. that evening we played sports on the beach followed closely by a delicious buffet.
FS Partovi taking on the WWO for C&E Yorks Wing at Table Football
To follow was a visit to the Dog section and the Fire Section, both very interesting. that afternoon we were allowed the opportunity to go clay pigeon shooting which was great fun, as well as a short walk down the mountain near a place called Troodos. while one half of the group were shooting the other half were taken to explore some local ancient ruins, sadly we didn't have enough time to see them all; they were massive!

We returned to the beach to go Banana Boating followed by a Barbeque.

The next day we visited the Red Arrows, and then had a boat party.
FS Partovi with one of the Red Arrows' Hawk aircraft
All in all this was an experience of a lifetime and I would recommend it to anyone considering applying for a place.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Wharfedale Air Cadets Celebrate Year of Success

 On Sunday 6th of April, 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron held their Annual Dinner and Awards Presentations. In a change from previous years, the ‘dinner’ this year was in fact a Sunday Lunch!

The event was a chance to showcase what the Cadets on the Squadron have achieved over the past year and attracted a number of dignitaries including Her Majesty’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Mr Roger Whittaker and his wife Elizabeth, former Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Ian Stewart and his wife Rosemary, Squadron Leader John Hitchen, Sector 5 Commander Central & East Yorkshire Wing, Squadron Leader Andy Blaikie from South & West Yorkshire Wing, Former Officer Commanding 1224 Squadron and now Projects Officer for Air Cadet Music Services Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton and her husband Mark, North Region Music Officer Flight Lieutenant Max Puller and Company Sergeant Major Darren Harvey-Hill, from the Royal Military Police.

The afternoon started with the lunch, which was followed by the presentation of certificates that had been earned, by the cadets over the past 12 months, these included Classification Certificates, DofE Awards, BTECs, Marksmanship Awards and Flying Scholarship Certificated. There were also Certificates of Appointment presented to several staff members.

After the presentation of the certificates it was time for the trophy presentations, the winners were:

Attendance Trophy – Cadet Pearce Todd
The Warrant Officers Trophy and the Warrant Officers Cup for the cadet and NCO each earning the highest points for consistently having best turnout over the last year were presented to Cadet Aiden Holmes and Sergeant Karl Verspyck respectively
The White Rose Trophy for most promising new marksman – Cadet Jemima Spence
West Riding Wing Cup for Sport – Corporal Daniel Chivers
The Inter-Flight Competition Trophy (first awarded in 1941) was collected by Flight Sergeant Callum Parker and Sergeant Jørgen Moore on behalf of A Flight
The Ian (Charlie) Clarke Memorial Trophy for Community Service, named in memory of a young Airman who was killed in a road accident in Addingham in 1991 was won by Corporal Bailey Ryan
Percussionist of the Year – Cadet Tom Kraft
Musician of the Year – Flight Sergeant Kjersti Moore
Best New Cadet – Cadet Charlie Franks
Tesco Trophy for Best Intermediate Cadet – Corporal Tom Hepworth
Millennium Trophy for Best Senior Cadet – Corporal Bailey Ryan
The David Stead Memorial Trophy for Cadet Of The Year, presented in memory of Flight Lieutenant David Stead, a former cadet of 1224 who was sadly killed, along with his crew, when the C-130 Hercules he was piloting was shot down over Iraq in January 2005 was won by Corporal Daniel Chivers
Flight Sergeant Callum Parker won the Commanding Officers Cup for his dedication to training and leadership
Corporal Tom Hepworth won the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Airedale & Wharfedale Salver, awarded to the cadet who collects the highest amount for RAFA over the year
The Squadron was also presented with awards for being the highest collecting ATC unit in both the Yorkshire and Northern areas.
Warrant Officer (ATC) David Wood was also presented with an award for being the highest collecting Adult volunteer in the area.

There were also several promotions made during the awards, they were:

To Corporal: Max Franks, Hannah Mayfield and Ashleigh Smith
To Sergeant: Tom Hepworth and Bailey Ryan
To Flight Sergeant: Jack Bacon, Jørgen Moore, Karl Verspyck and Lisa Whitaker

The band also played sets throughout the afternoon playing songs such as Eye of Tiger, a John Williams Medley, The Air Cadet March and When I’m Gone (from the film Pitch Perfect) amongst other pieces.

Overall the evening was a huge success and we cannot wait for next years event!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Ilkley Air Cadet Plays at Prestigious Remembrance Ceremony

Cdt Calum Carslaw from 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron, based on Ashlands Road in Ilkley recently travelled to Belgium with the National Air Cadet Pipes and Drums to parade at the Menin Gate in Ypres, and visit the battlefields of World War One. 
            The band was formed from cadets from Scotland and Northern Ireland, Central and East Yorkshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and London and South East Region.  This very special event was planned to coincide with the World War One Centenary and was supported by Commandant Air Cadets, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Air Training Corps and read the exhortation during the service. 
            Cadets from Scotland and Northern Ireland travelled south on the 18th February to Folkestone, near Dover, and stayed the night in barracks before a very early departure at 0500 to the ferry.  All the cadets were treated to a hearty breakfast on the boat followed by an extensive look through the duty free shops.  Once in France, the coach travelled to Tyne Cot commonwealth cemetery and the cadets were given an opportunity to understand the importance of the trip.  After lunch in Ypres, they travelled to Langemark cemetery, where many Germans are buried in mass graves - a very distinct difference to the commonwealth cemetery - and back to Ypres to prepare for the evenings performance. 
            After a short practice in the church hall, the cadets were allowed some free time to see Ypres before having to return to the church hall to get changed into kilts.  The band warmed up, then got into position to set off at 1930.  At 2000, the band arrived at the Menin gate.  During the service, after the buglers had played the last post, Cadet Carslaw played the solo lament - Flowers of the Forest.  After marching back to the bus, everything had to be packed away quickly to ensure they caught the late ferry.   
            The trip was a success and a worthwhile event to take part in.  The Air Cadet Pipes and Drums are hoping to perform in the Combined Cadet Forces massed pipes and drums at Inverness and Edinburgh Castle this year and hopefully performing for the Queen at Balmoral.  

Calum has been playing the pipes for 6 years and is available for local weddings and events. He has a website at www.carslawbagpiping.blogspot.co.uk. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Cross Country Success for 1224

 by Cadet Flight Sergeant Chris Cavaliere
On Sunday 12th of January fourteen cadets from 1224 Wharfedale did themselves proud. The Central and East Yorkshire Cross Country championship was held at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. It was a frosty morning; the cadets had little motivation to go off other than the promise of a McDonalds on the return journey. Cadets being cadets this was more than enough to boost their self-esteem for the races to come.

Overall the Wing was well represented with most squadrons having cadets competing on their behalves.  Of the five races that ran throughout the morning 1224 Squadron had cadets competing in each. The route itself was approximately three miles of mixed terrain, grass, concrete and marshland. Although the route itself was not so challenging, the calibre of the cadets running was very high making the races all the more intense, and intense it was.

At the end of the five races the awards ceremony took place; presenting the awards was Officer Commanding Central & East Yorkshire Wing, Wing Commander Wiggins. Many well deserved medals were given out to the cadets for placing in the top three of each race. From 1224 (Wharfedale) Cadet Jemima Spence was awarded a silver medal for positioning second in the Under Fifteen Girls category; as well as the medal Jemima received a letter inviting her to represent the Wing in the North Region Cross County Championship, an achievement to be proud of. After the medals were received the trophies for the overall category winners were presented. Of the six trophies on offer, the Wharfedale cadets were awarded with four! Included in the four trophies was the Overall Winners trophy. These trophies were awarded as a result of all the cadets’ hard work. No single cadet won the awards, it was a joint effort and one every cadet who attended should be proud of.