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On Sunday 22 January, St John’s CCF RAF section entered a team in the national Air Squadron Trophy Competition for the first time. The team comprised 12 CCF RAF cadets from St John’s Fifth Form and Sixth Form, and one from Southborough High School, our Cadet Expansion Project (CEP) partner school.
The regional preliminary round included teams from 10 schools across the south and west, competing in seven events including drill, aircraft recognition, first aid and shooting. The event was held at Blandford Garrison, the home of the Defence School for Information and Communications Systems, part of RAF Number 22 (Training) Group.
All cadets had been training hard for the past 2 months, with much of the training done in their own time. The team was very capably led by Flight Sergeant Harry Butler, ably supported by Sgt Tamsin Backhouse, who both deserve much credit for their enthusiasm, drive and leadership. Without Harry's expert technical knowledge and ability, things would have been much harder.
Overall the team finished a very satisfying 4th, given this is the first time St John’s had taken part in the competition. The team hope to perform much better in future, now they know the format of the competition. They were singled out by the RAF staff marking the drill competition, where the team placed 3rd, for the huge improvement in standards and expertise over the past few months.
Ainsley Rawlings, Director of Outdoor Pursuits at St John’s, commented: “This team of cadets were a credit to themselves, their uniform and St John’s School, and we are all very proud of their achievements. A special thanks to Pilot Officer Chloe Parsons (Southborough) who managed the team throughout, and to WO Steve Vine for his invaluable support, advice and guidance.”
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