Brigg’s Air Training Squadron has beaten off strong competition from across the UK to be named the most improved squadron.
And they welcomed Commandant Air Cadets - Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty - and Robert Marshall of Marshall Aerospace, along with more than 100 friends and family, to a celebratory evening.
In recognition of their consistent and sustained improvement over a three year period, Mr Marshall presented 2222 Squadron with the Marshall Trophy, named in memory of his grandfather, Sir Arthur Marshall.
Arthur Marshall was born in Cambridge and was educated at the Perse School in Cambridge and at Tonbridge School in Kent, completing his education at Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1922, where he earned a degree in engineering.
He learned to fly in 1928, and shortly thereafter created an airstrip near his family’s Cambridge home, which by 1929 had turned into a full-fledged airfield.
Six years later, Marshall and his father, David, bought the land where the present Cambridge Airport now stands and started Marshall Aerospace.
Arthur died in the early hours of 16 March 2007 at his home near Linton in Cambridgeshire, aged 103.
And following his death, Sir Arthur’s family donated the trophy to the Air Training Corps to commemorate his lifelong interest in aviation, to be presented to “The Most Improved Squadron in the ATC over a Protracted Period of time”.
After the presentation, visitors were treated to a 15-minute display from the Squadron’s marching band and then viewed a series of presentations which the cadets themselves had put together, covering many aspects of the activities they are able to participate in.
Brigg Squadron has been most successful in achieving consistent and sustained improvement over a three year period.
Since 2008, cadet and staff numbers have consistently increased and with it the range of activities that the Squadron has undertaken.
Flight Lieutenant Gill Wills RAFVR(T), who took over command of the Squadron in November 2008, said: “We now have over 50 cadets on the nominal roll and eight adult staff a large increase over the past few years.
“The past three years have seen the Squadron make significant increases in First Aid training, Duke of Edinburgh awards and BTEC diplomas in both aviation studies and public services.”
The squadron won the Wing Field Day First Aid Competition and the Regional First Aid Competition and then went on to 6th place in the National First Aid Competition.
The Squadron band has also increased in numbers and has played at events such as Armed Forces Day and RAF Waddington Air Show, and more recently have played at the Menin Gate in Belgium performing in front of 5000 people as part of a combined unit visit.
The squadron has had cadets representing the Wing and Region at football, hockey and netball, and they have won the Senior Boys Swimming, the Junior Boys Athletics and the Junior Girls Cross Country Championships.
And the Squadron Road Marching team was formed earlier on this year seeing cadets and staff from the Squadron completing the RAF WARMA two-day marches at RAF Cosford.
The team then went on to the Spitfire Marches in Folkestone and finally finishing off the year in Cheshire competing in the RAF Winter WARMA.
The cadets have entered various distances, from entering short teams in 20km and 30km routes to the long teams entering 40km+ events.
And their aspiration for the future is to enter a Squadron team in the Nijmegan Marches in Holland.
“The cadets, staff and volunteers are a credit to the Squadron,” added Flight Lieutenant Wills.
“They have done the Squadron proud and it has been a team effort which has ensured that we have gained this prestigious award, which is absolutely justified.
“We are extremely pleased to be recognised for our efforts, hard work and commitment over the past three years”.
The Squadron is always looking for new recruits.
If you are aged between 12 and 17 and would like to join, then go along to a meeting, which are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7pm and 9.30pm at the Cadet Centre in Bridge Street.
Take along your parents to see what it is all about or email: email@example.com for further details.