The current Commandant Air Cadets is: Air Commodore Tony Keeling.
The Air Training Corps began its life, in 1941, as a recruiting agency for the Royal Air Force.
With the end of the war, thoughts had to turn to the role of the ATC in peacetime and in 1945 the government announced that the ATC would be retained by becoming part of a recently formed Reserve Command. This helped the Corps enormously because, instead of just being an organisation with close links with the RAF, it now actually became part of it - with serving RAF officers at its head.
By 1960 many changes had taken place, and a review of training in this year saw a move away from academic study to a more general approach to aviation related subjects. Although initially formed to meet the needs of a nation at war, the Corps continues to thrive, with independent Air Cadet Organizations in many other countries throughout the World.
More than sixty years from when Air Commodore Chamier gave the Corps 3 years to prove itself, the ATC finds itself strong and active, and still capturing the imagination and enthusiasm for aviation amongst young people.
As the ATC enters the 21st century it continues to grow, and to help a new generation of young people to find a positive purpose in life.
There are two parts to make the RAF Air Cadet Organisation; the Air Training Corps (ATC) and Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The ATC forms the majority, of which we as a squadron belong.
The organisation is run by regular members of the Royal Air Force from our headquarters at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
The ATC is broken down into smaller areas known as Regions (6) and Wings (32). Each wing is made of around 30 squadrons. 1451 (Haverhill) Squadron is part of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing, Central and East Region.
All members over 18 are checked against the Disclosure and Barring Service database before appointment and then every time their service is extended. All staff is subject to extensive vetting and reference checks.
All staff at Squadron and Wing level are volunteers, whilst Region and HQ are staffed by civil servants and members of the RAF.
RAF Officers on the squadron are Commissioned Officers holding a Cadet Forces Commission. The adult Non-Commissioned Officers are appointed by the ATC and wear uniform, whilst the Civilian Instructors are appointed by the ATC but do not wear uniform.
The ACO is moving into the digital era and as such has created Cadet Portal.
Cadet Portal is the one-stop shop for ATC cadets to manage their personal details, monitor their progress and see what activities are coming up.
The ACO has a large variety of activities from Flying to Fieldcraft, which continues to grow.
Upcoming activities will be posted on Cadet Portal for cadets to see and sign up to.
Some activities cannot be undertaken until cadets reach a certain age or qualification, but the majority of activities are available to all.
All staff are fully trained, and no member of staff is allowed to lead any activity unless they have the relevant qualifications.
Check our #WHATWEDO section to find out more.
There is a small monthly subscription fee of £20.
This covers all UK camps and activities on and off squadron. Non-UK camps are not covered by subscriptions.
This is provided free of charge and replaced on a 'wear and tear' basis, however there may be a few items you will need to acquire due to squadron stock, such as shoes and boots.
When cadets join the ATC they are expected to take pride in their appearance. They will be expected to attend in the correct uniform and have it correctly ironed and shoes clean and polished. They will also need to have their hair cut so that it is off the collar or tied up in a bun, single ponytail or single plait.
We expect a high standard of behaviour from our cadets. If the cadets do not meet the expected standard they can be subject to a number of reprimands of which you may be asked to come in and speak to the Commanding Officer so as to explain cause of action.
There is no obligation for you to join the RAF or any other armed forces. The RAF Air Cadets is not a recruiting service, but the training we provide will put you in good stead for what ever career in either civilian or forces you wish to pursue.
Simple answer Yes! Yes you can.
Civilian Committee - They are vital to the squadron. One of their main role is to help fund raise for the squadron to enable the staff to run events and activities for the cadets. The committee is usually made up of parents and other members of the community who meet for a few hours every 4-6 weeks.
Civilian Instructors - CIs are the backbone of the ATC. CIs are often people who have specialist knowledge in certain subjects which they can teach to the cadets. They are also very active in planning and supporting activities for the cadets.