Three of our cadets took part in a parade to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Air Training Corps. Cdt Sgt Josh Harris, Cdt Cpl Harry Williams and Cdt Ethan Holmes were selected to join 350 cadets from around the country for a weeklong camp to learn rifle drill and practice the routine ahead of the parade itself which took place in front of College Hall Officers’ Mess at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell – the spiritual home of the RAF. Reviewed by Chief of the Air Staff – Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier – the professional head of the RAF, amongst other senior RAF officer, the parade was also witnessed by Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman who is an Ambassador for the Air Cadets.
Sgt Harris has been a cadet for four years and currently takes an active interest in marching drill at the Squadron – teaching the new cadets and jumped at the chance to take part in this parade. He said: “Something like this comes up once in a lifetime. To be on the Parade Square on such an occasion was certainly the highlight of my cadet career and will be difficult to top: an amazing day to be an air cadet!”
The Parade was part of a day of celebration coined the “75th Anniversary Flagship Parade and Musical Extravaganza” which featured performances by the National Air Cadet Pipe and Marching Bands and various ensembles involving cadets from Squadrons based nationwide and displays from the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Aerobatic Display Team – The Red Arrows. The event culminated in a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ style performance from the Air Cadet National Concert Band and a spectacular firework display.
Sgt (ATC) Liam Ellis is an adult volunteer at 2247 (Hawarden) Squadron who accompanied the three cadets, forming part of the Media Team: taking photos throughout the week and supporting media operations on the day itself. He said: “I’m extremely proud of every cadet who took part in the Parade, though of course especially proud of our three. They achieved an extremely high standard of rifle drill in just a few days, which was a totally new skill and no mean feat. It was great to witness the parade and be part of such a significant moment in the history of the ATC – and organisation that I am immensely proud to be a part of.”