The Air Cadets at 22 ( Sandy ) Squadron are just one of the thirty Squadrons in Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing of the Air Training Corps.
The Squadron was formed in the year 2000 from a detached flight and is housed in the ATC/ACF Cadet Centre in Alnwick Close off Sunderland Road Sandy . The Regional Commandant officially opened an extension there for Air Cadet use in 2002.
One of the first major events to be planned was the Parade and Church Service for the celebration of the 60 th Anniversary of the formation of the Air Training Corps in February 2001 when 22 Squadron would be the hosting Squadron in the Sector.
The Squadron takes part in all Wing activities, including Athletics, seven different Sports, Aero-Modelling and Air Recognition, ATC Sunday Parades and two Remembrance Parades each year in Sandy and Tempsford Airfield.
It also has a long standing relationship with the Town Mayor and the Council, and supports them in all activities it can, including the Mayor's Civic Service, The Poppy Charity Ball, St George's Day Charity Ball, Victorian Fayre and the Mayor's Reception.
Cadets also collect for the RAFA Wings Appeal and are adopted by Bedford Royal Air Force Association. This year the Squadron became affiliated to the Royal British Legion and regularly collects for the Poppy Appeal and supports them with their Charity Ball.
The Squadron is also very proud of its affiliation to 22 Squadron Royal Air Force SAR, and has been visited by two former Commanding Officers from 22 Squadron HQ at Chivenor and OC “B” Flight at Wattisham on the Squadron's Annual Awards Presentation evenings.
There have also been many formal and informal visits paid to the Squadron including the Station Commander of Henlow, Brampton and Wyton, who paid an informal visit on 28 th April 2005 . Met by the Commanding Officer, he was introduced to the Staff and shown around the Centre before meeting the Cadets.
He talked about his role as Station Commander, and asked Cadets about their activities within the Corps, including Annual Camp, Flying and Gliding.
Following this he sat in on a probationer Lecture given by two senior Cadets on the structure of the Squadron, Wing and Dress Regulations.
Cadets also attend Air Experience Flying at RAF Wyton and Gliding at RAF Henlow. This is regarded as the mainstay of the Air Cadet activities, and is always oversubscribed. Cadets can have “hands on” experience under the guidance of the Flying Instructors, including aerobatics at Wyton which they thoroughly enjoy.
Wing Annual and Overseas Camps are always sought after, and oversubscribed, Cadets have attended Camps at RAF High Wycombe, RAF Northolt, RAF St Athan, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, RAF Cottesmore, RAF Valley and RAF Leeming, and this year are going to RAF Boulmer. Overseas Camps have included Rhinedahlen in Germany and Cyprus and they also have the opportunity to apply for an International Air Cadet exchange to countries including the USA , Hong Kong , India and Canada . Cadets also attend the Annual Wing Easter Camp at Stanta in Norfolk , plus their own Squadron organised weekend Camps. They also gain experience from the Adventure Training Courses held at Windermere and Llanbedr, as well as their JNCO and SNCO Courses, and for the over 18 Cadets the Duty of Care Course.
Weapons handling tests and dry training for Shooting are also on the agenda, as well as swimming proficiencies and Gym activities, courtesy of RAF Henlow. Fetes, Carnivals, Steam Rallys and Country Fayres also keep the Cadets busy. Squadron based activities including Projects, Education, First Aid, Drill, Leadership and Team Building exercises plus generally helping in the Community keeps this Squadron very busy throughout the year. All this is only possible through the commitment and enthusiasm of the Staff , Service Helper and Committee Members who motivate the Cadets to achieve beyond their own expectations, and have fun at the same time.
Many young people today say they have nothing to do, they get bored. We invite them to join us and see what we do twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursday) and over the weekends. Make new friends learn unusual skills, take part in activities you can't do at School or College and gain valuable qualifications at the same time. You have to be 13 plus, and we take both male and females. Log onto out website at www.sandy-aircadets.org.uk for further information, or call 01234 307776. The cost involved is £1 a week and the uniform is free, so take control and Aim High – The skies the limit.
Flt. Lt. Margaret Bell - Officer Commanding - 22 ( Sandy ) Squadron