On Sunday 3rd February, Air Cadets from the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing, Eastern Sector, celebrated the formation anniversary of the Air Training Corps (ATC) with a parade through Newmarket.
Over one hundred cadets and staff proudly marched through the town led by the drum section of 2417 (Newmarket) Squadron for the parade, which also included 104 (City of Cambridge) Squadron, 1094 (City of Ely) Squadron, 1451 (Haverhill) Squadron, 2461 (Sawston) Squadron, 2523 (Linton) Squadron and 2524 (Oakington) Squadron.
The cadets and staff marched to St Marys Church for a church service and en route Squadron Leader Tim Brain, Eastern Sector Commander, took the salute as the cadets and staff marched past. During the service rousing hymns were sung and prayers were said for The Queen, the Royal Air Force along with for cadets and staff. The cadets also had an opportunity to renew their Cadet promise.
The Air Training Corps celebrates its 72nd Anniversary, having formed from the Air Defence Cadet Corps in 1941 when the government at the time realised the important training that was being delivered to young men who then went on to serve in the military. The present day organisation continues to promote an interest in the Royal Air Force, aviation and adventure whilst developing skills in leadership and citizenship for both men and women.
Activities available through the Air Training Corps included flying, gliding, target shooting and adventurous training such as mountain walking, climbing, abseiling and kayaking. The Corps also provides life skills training through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, BTEC qualifications, leadership training and first aid. Cadets regularly visit UK RAF stations along with overseas visits to Germany, Gibraltar and Cyprus.
Squadron Leader Tim Brain, Eastern Sector Commander, said “The cadets and staff were smartly turned out and represented the Air Training Corps with pride. It was a real honour to see so many young people come together and show off this fantastic youth organisation”
Cadet Corporal Jack Sawcer of 2461 (Sawston) Squadron added “I really enjoyed being part of this year’s ATC Sunday parade in Newmarket. It was nice that people came out of shops and their houses to watch us march past.”