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.

Oct 16 2013

MidKent College adopts Gillingham Air Cadets

MidKent College Principal Sue McLeod presents the Certificate of Adoption to 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron Officer Commanding Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins

MidKent College Principal Sue McLeod presents the Certificate of Adoption to 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron Officer Commanding Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins, with Assistant Principal Lindsey Morgan and cadets from Gillingham Squadron

MidKent College is celebrating Kent Cadet Week with the formal adoption of 1039 (Gillingham) Squadron.

The new partnership will open up a range of benefits for the squadron, including the use of facilities at the Medway Campus for online tests, presentation evenings and more.

Students on a variety of courses at the College will also get involved with projects and activities connected to the work of the Air Cadets.

Principal Sue McLeod said: “We are delighted to be linking up with 1039 Squadron and look forward to building on this exciting new partnership in the weeks and months to come.

“The Air Cadet Organisation has a proud tradition of training, developing and enabling young people to succeed in life – philosophies that go hand-in-hand with the College’s own.

“We hope this will be the start of a long and prosperous relationship that will benefit both Air Cadets and MidKent College students alike.”

The squadron offers a wide range of activities for all its cadets, including flying and gliding, adventure training, shooting, sports, music and more.

Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant Paul Collins said: “Our new partnership with MidKent College will bring lots of fantastic benefits to our cadets, who cannot wait to take advantage of what the College has to offer.

“Our number one aim is to help young people be the best they can be, and we are overjoyed that the College has taken the decision to do what it can to help us succeed.”

MidKent College already had a ready-made link with the Air Cadets, as its national director of music Nick Sermon is also the College’s teaching and learning manager for Media/Music Technology, and Art and Design.

Earlier this year Nick received a personal commendation of meritorious service from former RAF Chief of Staff Sir Stephen Dalton in recognition of his work with the Air Cadets’ marching band, which he formed in 2009 and now has hundreds of young people applying to join every year.

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