Several members of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets were named in the New Year Honours List. RAFAC's success is built on the dedication of its volunteers and staff and so it was excellent to see the following people receive awards:
Wing Commander Adey Hobson of No 2 Flying Training School (2FTS) received an OBE. Wg Cdr Hobson was described as having a relentless work ethic that services a vast portfolio of responsibility. He is 2FTS’ safety conscience and was said to have vastly improved instructional performance across the breadth of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets' gliding enterprise. Wg Cdr Hobson dealt with a remarkable set of challenges in the recovery of cadet gliding against a global pandemic and his efforts have been to the benefit of many cadets.
Squadron Leader Audrey Smart RAFAC of the South West region received a Deputy Commander Operations Commendation (DCOM). Sqn Ldr Smart was described as an outstandingly loyal and dedicated volunteer, who has unwaveringly given of her time and professional expertise to improve safety for Air Cadets and volunteers at every level of the organisation. In parallel with her extensive commitment to the Air Cadets, Sqn Ldr Smart has also been involved with many charitable organisations.
Mr Graham Booth of the Central and East region received an Air Officer Commanding No 22 Group (AOC) Commendation. Mr Booth is a Civil Servant employed as the Assistant Regional Commandant in the Central and East Region. With minimal notice, Regional Commandant position was vacated in December 2021, requiring Mr Booth to step up to fulfil the more senior military role for the following six months. His selfless determination, tireless work ethic and fiercely loyal commitment were said to be in the finest traditions of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and the Civil Service.
Warrant Officer Phillip Barnard RAFAC of the North region received an Air Officer Commanding No 22 Group (AOC) Commendation. For the past six years WO Barnard has also planned and delivered numerous multi-activity cadet training camps at the Inskip Cadet Centre, selflessly committing nearly 50 weekends in addition to his duties at 1030 (Whitehaven) Squadron in in Cumbria and Lancashire Wing. WO Barnard’s resolve, enthusiasm and commitment has allowed thousands of Air Cadets to experience exciting and challenging residential activity. Additionally, he has supported adult volunteers to deliver these activities at their own units.
Squadron Leader Dan Holden RAFAC and Squadron Leader Jarrod Williams RAFAC received an Air Officer Commanding No 22 Group (AOC) Team Commendation for their work in the restructure and leadership of the RAFAC HQ Volunteer Influence Team. The determined efforts of Sqn Ldrs Holden and Williams, given in their free time, maintained RAFAC's presence across the breadth of internal and external media channels when there were no permanent media staff at RAFAC HQ. Both have a wealth of Air Cadet experience having been volunteers for many years, which gives them the credibility and knowledge to be extremely effective. Both work full-time as Chartered PR Practitioners in their day jobs and were able to provide fresh perspective and contemporary thinking. Their contribution to the Air Cadets Astra initiative in its development phase has proved critical amid their vast amount of voluntary work for the benefit of the Air Cadets.
Flight Sergeant Jess Hall and Sergeant Jane Teather received an Air Officer Commanding No 22 Group (AOC) Team Commendation for their work in the HQ Ethica Review Team. Flight Sergeant Jessica Hall and Sergeant Jane Teather excelled in their review of safeguarding cases, sensitively dealing with difficult issues and putting in place frameworks that will better support RAFAC’s future safeguarding investigations. In so doing they exhibited the very finest personal qualities, promoting the safeguarding culture of the Air Cadets and upholding the reputation of the Royal Air Force.
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