Shoreham air cadets aiming for new heights this autumn

Members of 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron of the Air Cadets reach for the skies
Members of 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron of the Air Cadets reach for the skies

VISITORS to the RAFA Shoreham Airshow will spot a large number of young people, smartly dressed in blue uniform, assisting with marshalling and other duties.

The berets they wear identify them as members of one of the country’s largest youth organisations – the Air Cadets.

The 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron is starting a new recruitment drive in September, offering young people the chance to get involved in a whole range of activities, both locally and overseas.

The number of cadets on the squadron grew by almost 30 per cent last year, and the commanding officer, Pilot Officer Alan Mearns, is keen to see the same happen this year.

“The cadets have an ever-increasing amount of events that they are able to take part in, both on the squadron and externally,” he said.

“We’ve seen cadets have some amazing experiences during their time with us.”

Young people can join from the age of 13, and stay until their 20th birthday. Activities include flying in and taking control a two-seater aircraft, gliding, climbing, canoeing and military-themed exercises.

The squadron holds parade nights twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm to 9.30pm.

It is looking for more young people to get involved. New cadets are invited along on Tuesday, September 10, at 7pm. This coincides with the official enrolment of the previous recruitment intake, so cadets can see what happens following the initial induction period.

Plt Off Mearns is also keen to see more adult involvement.

He added: “A lot of people aren’t aware that the Air Cadets is staffed for the most part by volunteers, and we are always looking for enthusiastic people to come and work with the cadets.”

Volunteers would typically assist with instructing the cadets both at the squadron and at other cadet events.

For further information about the Squadron, please visit www.1440sqn.org or telephone 01273 464382 on parade nights.