September 5th 2014


This month see’s Flight Lieutenant Alyn Thompson complete 30 years as the Unit Commander at 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps.

Originally joining as a Cadet back in 1970, he gained his Volunteer Reserve Queen’s Commission in 1980 taking over command of the highly successful Squadron from his uncle, former Spitfire Pilot George Thompson in September 1984.

The 1211 Squadron has seen many changes in the past 30 years with the introduction of girls into the Cadet ranks and alterations to the training syllabus which now includes

BTEC qualifications which are recognised both by the Military and Civilian Employers.

Alyn said: “As a Cadet I achieved Gliding Wings, the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and an overseas trip to Germany and believed I had gained a lot from my membership.  Today Cadets of the ATC can gain so much more with our organisation which I still believe to be the best youth group in the country.”

He added: “During my time as the Commanding Officer we have achieved a great deal becoming one of the top Squadrons in the UK and this year has seen us maintain that high quality with the Squadron once again winning the title of champion Unit in the Midlands with our recent win at the Wing Field Day Championships, not to mention Cadets and staff going overseas to Germany, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Ascension Island as well as UK Camps at RAF Cranwell and Army Swynnerton”.

Alyn is now the longest serving Squadron Commander in the country and is only the 7th to command at Swadlincote which was formed in 1941 and moved to its current location on Eureka Park in Swadlincote.

The 1211 Squadron are currently recruiting new Cadets and are taking them in from the age of 12, a reduction from the previous lower age limit of 13.

Anyone who wishes to join is invited along to the Units Open Day on Sunday14th September from 11.00am until 4.00pm.