When proud Katie Cunningham stepped up to receive the Alan Payne Shield awarded to the best cadet in the Herts & Bucks Wing of the Air Training Corps there was pride and sadness – it was the third year running that the outstanding cadet has received the honour, but it was also the last.
The annual presentation at the No 1187 (Hemel Hempstead) Squadron at the Cadet Centre in Queensway marked the end of Katie’s seven years of service to the organisation.
During that time officers say she has consistently demonstrated a phenomenal commitment to the squadron, the wing and the ATC.
Highlights of her final year saw her leading a team of 15 cadets around the gruelling RAF two-day march at RAF Cosford, covering a distance of 50 miles in atrocious wet weather conditions. While other entire teams were withdrawn, she led her team to a 100 per cent finish.
Other highlights of Katie’s cadet career include a week’s camp at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, a flight in the RAF’s display Hawk, completion of the Nijmegen Marches as well as the Belgian Death March & also a Commandant Air Cadet’s Commendation.
Other presentations on the night included: Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to Cadet Corporal Andrew Carroll; Cadet Corporal Daniel Hatton and Cadet Corporal Victoria Taylor-Bateman; Aircrew Association Trophy for Academic Achievement: Cadet David Fenlon; Frank O’Brien Trophy for the Smartest Cadet: Cadet Natalie Chiku; Donovan Trophy for Endeavour: Cadet Antony Dorey; Most Promising Cadet: Cadet Aaron Wharfe; Gwnn Richards Memorial Trophy for Best Cadet: Cadet Lloyd Huggins; Cadet NCO of the Year: Cadet Corporal Victoria Taylor-Bateman; Special Presentation of 1187 Squadron Shield for service to the civilian committee: Mr David Hearn. Cadets Natalie Chiku, John Fletcher and Lloyd Huggins were promoted to cadet corporal, and Cadet Corporals Andrew Carroll, and Victoria Taylor-Bateman were promoted to Cadet Sergeant. Cadet Sergeant Andrew Deeley was promoted to Cadet Flight Sergeant:
The evening concluded with a short speech from guest of honour Squadron Leader Peter Norton of the Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire Wing ATC. who emphasised how impressed he was with the great variety of activity and opportunities offered at 1187 Squadron.
If you are aged between 13-18 years and would like to know more about joining the Air Cadets contact Flight Lieutenant Fusedale firstname.lastname@example.org or report to the HQ in Queensway on a Tuesday or Thursday evening at 7.30pm. There are currently also vacancies for adult staff with skills to offer.