AIR Cadets in Steyning have been kept busy this year with a raft of opportunities.
The squadron is now recruiting and holding an open night for anyone interested to attend with a parent or guardian on Tuesday. If you are interested in joining the Air Cadets,you must be between 13 and 15 years old.
Steyning Squadron parades Tuesday and Thursday nights, 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the Cadet Centre in Shooting Field.
Please phone 01903 813113 or visit www.1140sqn.org.uk or www.sussexwing.org for further details.
During the year, cadets have been camping at RAF stations and Army bases in both the UK and Germany, competition walks on the South Downs, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions and assisting in the running of both Shoreham Air Show and the Wings and Wheels Air Show at Dunsfold.
They supported the Dambuster event during Goodwood Revival, community work fundraising for the RAF Association and swimming competitions from which two cadets will go on to represent Sussex Wing at the regional competition.
With all this, the cadets have even managed to fit in some gliding at RAF Kenley.
The summer has culminated in a weekend packed with competitions against the rest of the squadrons in Sussex, with 300 Air Cadets attending the weekend held at Crowborough Army Training Camp.
The weekend involved the cadets competing in a number of events. Competitions included marching drill and uniform, banner drill, marching band, target shooting, aircraft recognition, aircraft modelling and photography.
There was also adventure training competitions and abseiling, climbing and rocketry.
On the adventure training sites, the cadets were challenged to construct rafts to rescue secret information from an island, recover items from a tree by standing on top of a stake of milk crates, recovering secret information from a simulated enemy camp, and recovering equipment from a mock hazardous area.
The cadets were assessed and scored on their teamwork and leadership of each task with all cadets getting a chance to take the lead.
Cadet Todd Roper, 15, performed well in the aircraft recognition competition, coming third in the county.
The summer did end with some sadness, as civilian instructor Chris Harland from Shoreham retired after 35 years, most of which was at the Steyning squadron.
He decided it was time to step down and concentrate his time on his other hobbies, walking and photography.
Chris said: “Over the past few years, the squadron has gone from strength to strength, and I am confident that I leave the squadron with a young and strong staff team.”
Flt Lt Dave Emsley, the squadron commander, thanked Chris for his service: “Chris has been a stalwart of support to the unit and I thank him for all he has done over the last 35 years.
“The squadron is now in a strong position and we will continue to grow in size and achievement over the coming years.”