Since the RAF Air Cadets were forced into a form of “hibernation” due to COVID we have been working really hard as a Wing to continue to engage our Air Cadet Community.
Hampshire and IOW Wing Air Cadets have around 1000 young people and 300 Adult Volunteers, and all of them are missing the contact time we usually have on parade nights.
As the Wing Training Officer, I have been working with our Squadrons to ensure that we continue to be active – albeit in a virtual manner! We have had significant successes during lockdown – a tremendous number of Cyber Badges have already been achieved, and there are promotions and academic qualifications being completed too!
Every week our Squadrons meet on Teams to undertake aviation or military skills training via their webcams. I see it as part of my job to maintain a wider sense of community… how better to achieve this than through competitions!
Every Wednesday our cadets take part in a multiple-choice quiz, playing for “bragging rights” for their Squadrons; and each weekend individuals compete against one another on the Wing Weekend Challenge.
So far, our cadets have competed over 6 weekends to win a coveted Challenge Badge. Amongst other things, they have: designed a Wing Mascot, baked amazing looking RAF Air Cadet themed cakes, and completed an Air Cadet Tetris Challenge! It is becoming more and more difficult to judge! However, once I have selected the finalists it is up to the Air Cadet Community to vote for their winners on Facebook and Instagram!
We have challenged our Cadets to design a Wing polo shirt – for cadets to wear and proudly show the world that they are a part of Hampshire and IOW Wing! Who knows, if we’re impressed enough we may get them made!
All Cadets have 2 weeks to work on and submit their designs from Friday 8 May 2020. I’m really looking forward to seeing just what they can do!
Squadron Leader Sarah Sturgeon RAFAC Wing Training Officer Hampshire and IOW Wing