News

July 22nd 2016

Local cadets show support for outgoing Chief of Air Staff at special ceremony

Members from the South and East Midlands Wing Air Training Corps represented cadets across the nation by saying a personal thank you to the retiring Chief of Air Staff at a special dining out and sunset ceremony at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Air Chief Marshall (ACM) Sir Andrew Pulford GCB, CBE, ADC  has stepped down after three years in the top operational role in the Royal Air Force and 53 cadets paid tribute to his service at the ceremony on June 28.

Wing Warrant Officer Dan Haywood talks us through the day:

“The Cadets were greeted by the Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty and were each presented with a certificate of attendance personally signed by her which will form a unique entry into each cadet’s record of achievement.

The welcome for ACM Pulford. Images by Gordon Elias, Team Leader, Photographic Department, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 8HB.

The welcome for ACM Pulford. Images by Gordon Elias, Team Leader, Photographic Department, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 8HB.

“For ACM Pulford’s arrival at the magical, yet very soggy, College Hall Officers Mess (CHOM), the cadets fronted the steps and formed a light blue footprint to the RAF against a glowing back drop of the college.

“While passing through, ACM Pulford spoke to the cadets that had made the trip to initiate the start of his special leaving dinner.

“Prior to entering and meeting his formal guests for the evening, he was presented with a crystal Air Cadets 75th anniversary decanter for all the support and dedication he has given the movement over his RAF career. This was presented by Cadet Warrant Officer Jinni Surr from 1461 (Wigston) Squadron.

“The cadets had prime position as The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment struck up the distinct pounding of boots as the Queen’s Colour Squadron (QCS) took centre stage.

Images by Gordon Elias, Team Leader, Photographic Department, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 8HB.

Images by Gordon Elias, Team Leader, Photographic Department, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 8HB.

“The QCS went on to perform a spectacular continuity routine that was flawlessly executed. Once completed the QCS marched off and reformed to then become a guard of honour during the Sunset Ceremony.

“The main highlight for me was at the exact moment the QCS struck, seized and grasped the rifle hitting the final movement to the present arms. The ground shook with the raw of the Euro Fighter Typhoon launching overhead. The almighty heart stopping thunderous act stole everyone’s breath and carved a lasting memory in each person’s mind forever.

“The show was still not yet over as the the distinct engine of a spitfire completed a flypast followed by the ACM’s favourite air frame the Chinook.

“As the cadets marched off away from CHOM the uplifting drums of the Royal Marines played a beating for dinner piece in the foyer of the mess.

“Each cadet left RAF Cranwell full of morale and I was delighted with how professional and smart everyone from the wing had been.”

“The simple yet effective performance the cadets completed was a showcase to the senior officers of the RAF just how much the Air Cadets Organisation is in touch with its parent service.”

The Air Cadets that took part. Images by Gordon Elias, Team Leader, Photographic Department, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 8HB.

The Air Cadets that took part. Images by Gordon Elias, Team Leader, Photographic Department, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford Lincolnshire NG34 8HB.

“The simple yet effective performance the cadets completed was a showcase to the senior officers of the RAF just how much the Air Cadets Organisation is in touch with its parent service.”