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Air Cadets shine during Armed Forces Day National Event in Falmouth

It was a proud day for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and staff from across Cornwall who took part in the Armed Forces Day parade through the streets of Falmouth in perfect weather. 

Setting off from The Moor they paraded through the crowded streets of the Cornish town, experienced a Red Arrows flypast, and then marched past the Duke of Gloucester who took the salute.   

Also present was Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Richard Maddison OBE, who is a former cadet himself and who often participates as a pilot in the Air Experience Flying Programme. Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, also attended and was accompanied by his two Lord Lt Air Cadets, CWO Jack Bennellick of 169 (St Blazey) Squadron and CWO Abbie Potter of Penair CCF. 

Air Cadets took part in the parade and attracted many positive comments.

It was the stage for the whole UK to show support for the Armed Forces community and the full military parade involved regular and reserve personnel from all three services, cadets and veterans.  

The enthusiasm of the crowds lining the streets echoed all the way up to the saluting dais.  Undeterred by the cobbled street for some of the route, the cadets and staff received many compliments on how incredibly smart they all were.    

The Corps Banner Party consisted of cadets drawn from Cornish Squadrons.    

Banner Bearer, FS Alfred Jenkin 77 (Redruth) Squadron

Banner Bearer, FS Alfred Jenkin 77 (Redruth) Squadron said: “This is the most incredible honour I could get as a teenager and a Cornish RAF Air cadet.   

“You don’t often get the opportunity to carry the Corps Banner and represent about 35,000 cadets.”   

Escorts to the banner were Flight Sergeant Molly Hewer 335 (Saltash) Squadron, Cadet Warrant Officer Josh Gurdin (1387) Liskeard Squadron, and Sergeant Lucy Benellick of 169 (St Blazey) Squadron.    

Lucy said: “It is an honour to wear the uniform, be part of this parade and represent the Air Cadets.   There are so many different activities we can get involved in as Air Cadets, such as flying and shooting on a range.” 

See more images posted on the national RAFAC Facebook channel on the day

After a short break in the day’s events, there was a Junior Field Gun Demonstration.  Plymouth and Cornwall Wing cadets did the Corps proud and were so smart, good natured and full of fun and enthusiasm.    

Speaking after the event, Cpl Amely Carter-Schnepp, of 335 (Saltash) Squadron, who was carrying one of the wheels, said: “It was great fun and I used up a lot of energy with the team achieving a perfect, really fast ‘run’ with no mistakes, which the loudly cheering crowd loved. This has been one of the best experiences as a Cadet.” 

Plymouth and Cornwall Wing cadets did the Corps proud during the Junior Field Gun Demonstration

During free time the cadets were then able to enjoy the flying display and visit the Military Village.  

Squadron Leader Karla Oliver, Project Lead in the RAFAC Engagement/Recruitment area, said it had been brilliant to showcase the excellence within the organisation.  

“The young people were outstanding and they did so well,” said Squadron Leader Oliver. 

“The day was absolutely fantastic, the cadets marched absolutely superbly, and it was brilliant to have members of the Armed Forces community come up to me independently and comment on how smart the cadets were, completely unprompted.   

The crowd showed their appreciation to the Air Cadets who took part in the parade

“An RAF Flight Lieutenant told me that the cadets looked like they were serving members of the Armed Forces because their uniforms and the standard of drill and uniforms were that good. 

 “As adult instructors we are so proud to support them with that.   All the cadets have got a huge amount from this, to see how they fit into the wider picture and the value that they add to the community.” 

Squadron Leader Oliver added that the community had been welcoming to all cadets, and spoke highly of their presence. 

“That was especially the Air Cadets, they really do themselves proud,” she said. 

Squadron Leader Karla Oliver, Project Lead in the RAFAC Engagement/Recruitment area, with Squadron Leader Michael Symons MBE, who was the Project Lead for Plymouth and Cornwall Wing at AFD.

Sergeant John Oliver (RAF) a Service Helper added: “The important thing to note is that all the cadets wanted to be here, so they have all taken pride in the fact that they are involved in the National Armed Forces Day event. 

“Based on their performance so many other young people in the area have seen it as an opportunity to be part of something great themselves and so we have been able to recruit more young people into the organisation.” 

Wing Commander Francis Reis, OC Plymouth and Cornwall Wing, said that every cadet and staff member was presented with a Challenge Coin for taking part in AFDNE as thank you from Cornwall Council.

"I believe that Plymouth and Cornwall Wing did the whole Corps proud on Saturday," said Wg Cdr Reis.

"From my perspective it was a superb day."

Images and video from Armed Forces Day
RAF Air Cadet Volunteers:
CI Trishia Welsh, Flt Lt Philip Walker, Squadron Leader Kevin Hemsil 

Are you interested in joining Air Cadets as a volunteer? Please see more information and how to get in touch with a unit near you in this dedicated volunteer section on our website.

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