Feb 27 2015

Welcoming our newest SNCO

Sgt (ATC) Alan Collins1039 (Gillingham) Squadron are pleased to announce their newest SNCO, Sergeant (ATC) Alan Collins, this evening.

After successfully completing an interview board comprising the Wing Commander, a Wing Staff Officer and the Wing Warrant Officer on 26 January 2015, Sgt (ATC) Collins officially received his appointment as an SNCO this week. He is our third current SNCO, joining Sgt (ATC) Matthew Bairnsfather and Sgt (ATC) Daniel Pearmain.

Sgt (ATC) Collins joined 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron as a cadet in January 2003. He rose to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer before leaving in July 2009. He returned to the RAF Air Cadets as a member of the 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron civilian committee in January 2010, leaving in July 2011 when he moved away from Medway.

He rejoined 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron in February 2013 as a Civilian Instructor. He moved to 25 (Parkwood) Squadron in March 2014 and returned to 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron for a fourth time in January 2015. Sgt (ATC) Collins is currently the squadron’s Media & Communications Officer and also has responsibility for the squadron’s BTEC administration.

Feb 28 2014

Farewell to our Media & Communications Officer

Alan Collins

Alan Collins

1039 (Gillingham) Squadron have tonight said goodbye to our Media & Communications Officer.

Alan Collins, a civilian instructor with Gillingham Squadron since February 2013, has attended his last parade night with us before he moves to another squadron.

The move brings to an end his second spell with Gillingham Squadron and his first as an adult volunteer.

Mr Collins first joined Gillingham Squadron as a cadet in January 2003. He spent over six years with the squadron, reaching the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer and enjoying a wide range of the opportunities the RAF Air Cadets offer.

Although he left in July 2009, he was always destined to return to Gillingham Squadron and in February 2013 he became a civilian instructor. He took on the role of Media & Communications Officer and ran the squadron’s inter-flight competition.

Mr Collins is not moving far, however, as he is taking on a new role with 25 (Parkwood) Squadron, a former detached flight of Gillingham Squadron, initially providing administrative support for the various BTEC qualifications available to cadets.

Mr Collins said, “I have many fond memories of Gillingham Squadron, both as a cadet and an adult volunteer, and I will always consider it to be my home.

“However, I am looking forward to a new challenge, learning how a different squadron is run and gaining wider experience which I can use to the benefit of the cadets.”

Dec 04 2013

Do you have any memories from Gillingham Squadron?

As you may be aware, 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron will soon be moving to new purpose-built premises.

We have been well-served by our Marlborough Road headquarters since the early 1960s and as we prepare to say goodbye we are putting together a special feature for our website.

As part of this feature, we are looking for any special memories from cadets or staff of any generation of their time at Marlborough Road.

If you would like to share your memories, please send these to our Media & Communications Officer, Alan Collins, at 1039@aircadets.org, including your name, years you were on the squadron and the highest rank you were promoted to, by Friday 20th December.

Nov 17 2013

Gillingham Air Cadets rewarded for achievements


RAF Air Cadets from Gillingham have been rewarded for their achievements during their Annual Inspection.

The cadets, from 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron, were presented with awards during the ceremony at the squadron headquarters in Marlborough Road, Gillingham, on Friday 15th November.

Squadron Leader Tim Croydon, a former Gillingham squadron cadet currently serving with the Royal Air Force, was invited to inspect the cadets and present the awards, which celebrate the cadets’ success and achievements over the past twelve months.

Awards were presented to:

Cadet Claire Cooper (aged 16): Sports Trophy;
Cadet Sergeant Zoe Onegi (aged 17): Dave Wood Trophy for Leadership;
Cadet Ryan Smith (aged 14): Best Effort;
Cadet Kaylli Stephens (aged 15): Best New Cadet;
Cadet Corporal Robert Stokes (aged 15): Best NCO;
Cadet Alex Tricker (aged 14): Best Attendance, Cadet of the Year and Smartest Cadet; and
Cadet Corporal Raphael Yahyi (aged 15): Community Cup.

Cadet Vuyani Mushekwa (aged 15) was voted Best Cadet by his peers, while Vulcan Flight won the year-round inter-flight competition and were named the Best Flight.

After the awards were presented, Cadet Corporal Stokes and Cadet Mushekwa were presented with their drumming proficiency badges, while Cadet Blaze Stephens (aged 16) and Cadet Luke Tyler (aged 15) were promoted to the rank of cadet corporal.

During the course of the evening, there was also a chance to recognise the achievements of the adult volunteers on the squadron. After completing their 12-month probationary period, Sergeant (ATC) Matthew Bairnsfather and Sergeant (ATC) Daniel Pearmain were presented with certificates of appointment.

Sgt (ATC) Bairnsfather was also presented with a pace stick as a gift from the squadron following his successful completion of the Senior Non-Commissioned Staff Drill Instructors’ Course in September.

Sqn Ldr Croydon

Squadron Leader Tim Croydon

Sqn Ldr Croydon said “The range of activities the cadets have been involved in is very impressive and they were all very enthusiastic about what the RAF Air Cadets has to offer. The awards were well-deserved.

“I left Gillingham squadron in 1985, so I enjoyed returning to the squadron and seeing what they are doing now. In particular, the recent support from MidKent College is laudatory and very exciting for the squadron.”

Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins, 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron’s Officer Commanding, added “Our cadets have achieved so much over the past year it has been difficult to decide who should receive each trophy.

“I’m proud of all of our cadets and what they have done and look forward to another successful year for Gillingham squadron.”

You can see photographs from the evening in our Annual Inspection 2013 gallery.

Nov 06 2013

Gillingham Air Cadets to hold Annual Inspection

RAF Air Cadets from Gillingham are preparing to hold their Annual Inspection and presentation of awards later this month.

1039 (Gillingham) Squadron will be holding their Annual Inspection on Friday 15th November at their headquarters in Marlborough Road, Gillingham, at 7pm, with their Inspecting Officer marching on at 7.30pm.

This year a former cadet, Squadron Leader Tim Croydon, will be the Inspecting Officer and present the awards to the cadets. Sqn Ldr Croydon is currently serving with Air Command in the Royal Air Force and has previously been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Once the awards have been presented, Sqn Ldr Croydon will be given a tour of the squadron and the cadets will have the opportunity to talk to him about life in the RAF.

All of our cadets’ parents are warmly invited to attend the evening.

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