Induction Evening February 2012!

On the 23rd February 8F Squadron held their first recruitment evening of the year! Our recruitment evenings are the perfect chance for people who are interested in joining to see what we are all about with talks, demonstrations and Q&A sessions for both potential cadets and their parents/guardians to enjoy.

Flying & Gliding, Adventure Training and Camps were just a few of the topics covered as well as the standard uniform talk and break-time gave everyone the chance to hear about life at 8F and mingle with both cadets and staff members.

If you couldn’t make it to our recruitment evening then don’t worry, you can still come up and have a look around – just give us a call on either a Tuesday or a Thursday evening and we can arrange a suitable time for you to come and pay us a visit! Click on our ‘About Us’ tab for our contact details.


Sat 18 Sep 10- Wings Appeal in the Centre of Coventry

Cadets and staff from 8F (1st City of Coventry) Squadron did their part for a good cause on Saturday 18 September when they collected money for the Wings Appeal in Coventry city centre. The Wings Appeal, held on Battle of Britain Week, collects money for the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA), an organisation which helps veterans of the RAF. 8F has attended other events with the local RAFA, such as the opening of their memorial garden last month.

The officer in charge, Flying Officer Adam Preece, was very proud of the cadets who’d turned out to support the Wings Appeal collection. “In the Air Cadets our cadets have the opportunity to experience a wide range of fun and exciting activities and are supported at every step by our parent organisation, the RAF. Helping to collect money for the RAFA, an organisation which helps veterans of the RAF, is their chance to repay that support and I am immensely proud to see our teenagers give up their Saturday to help out.”

Thu 09 Sep 10- Farewell to CWO Ellis

8F (1st City of Coventry) Sqn bid a fond farewell to CWO Nathan Ellis. CWO Ellis had been with the squadron since he was 13 and had led an impressive career during his time there, including being the youngest cadet ever to be made Corporal in the squadron and gaining his Gliding Scholarship.

For his leaving ‘do’ the whole squadron turned out to LazerQuest at the Walsgrave Triangle and embarked on a Battle Royale – cadets versus staff. After an energetic and brutal hour and a half of simulated warfare the combatants made their way to a well-earned pizza at a nearby eatery where they laid the restaurant bare within minutes!

Commanding Officer Amanda Hobbins made a lengthy eulogy to CWO Ellis listing his many good qualities and achievements, a touching speech that was shortly followed by a less touching one when Craig Perkins and Taz Bhachoo, members of staff who had been cadets with Mr Ellis, related some of their memories of their cadet time together!

The speeches were followed by the presentation of a card signed by all members of the squadron and the promise of an engraved tankard, such as all ex CWOs of 8F receive.

Mr Ellis was very much moved by the event and pronounced it the perfect ending to his time with 8F. He will be greatly missed by cadets and staff alike.


Sun 05 Sep 10- 8F Squadron go Regional!

Sunday 5th. September was a very exciting one for 13 members of 8F as they took part in the Central and East Region’s Regional Field Day! The Drill Team were asked to represent Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing at the competition at RAF Whittering, after winning the Drill Competition on Wing Field Day back in June.

The tension soon began to mount when they arrived as they discovered that they would be the second drill team to take the stage that day! Needless to say, the most nervous of them all was Flight Sergeant Hannah Johnson who was the Drill Instructor for the squad on the day:

“Regional Field Day was a nerve-racking event not just for me, but for the whole squad. However, we all did our best and managed to come 5th. It was a long day but hopefully we’ll be there again next year and win!”

The pressure was also being felt amongst the ranks as Corporal Matthew Blowers commented:

I felt a lot of pressure representing the whole Wing as I didn’t want to let the team down. However, I was really proud to have been part of the team.”

Everyone looked really smart and you could see the amount of effort and pride the cadets had taken in preparing for the big day. Despite the changing room being the coach they used to get there in, there wasn’t a crease out of place – which emphasises on the quality of the preparations they made at home!

Want to see more news on Regional Field Day and look at the Regional Field Day photo gallery? Click Here!


Sat 04 Sep 10- Cadets get their first taste of Gliding!

Four 8F (1st City of Coventry) cadets got their first chance to take to the skies last week when they had their initial flight in a Vigilant motor glider at 637 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, based at RAF Little Rissington. The cadets had joined 8F Sqn in April and had only recently completed their first class training, so it was a great treat when they received a last minute phone call from their Officer in Charge to tell them that some places had become available to complete the first flight of the Gliding Induction Course. Despite some nerves, all four cadets completed their twenty minute flight and no sick bags were called into service – a relief for the cadets and instructors alike!
Officer in Charge of 8F Sqn, Flying Officer Adam Preece, is also an instructor under training at 637 VGS. “Flying and gliding are the two activities which make the air cadets stand out as a youth organisation, so it is imperative that cadets take up the places offered to them. It is incumbent on us, as their Squadron staff, to do everything we can to make sure our cadets have the chance to experience flying and gliding.”
Cadet Leighton Protheroe was thrilled to have overcome his initial reservations. “At first I was a bit nervous because I’ve only ever been in an airliner before, but it was really exciting and I’d definitely do it again.”
The cadets spent the journey home practicing their clock code lookout and discussing how much they had taken control during their flights – all of them agreed that they’d do even more on their next flight!

Work Experience at RAF Henlow, by Cdt Ben Emery

I am Cadet Ben Emery from 8F (1st City of Coventry) Squadron. Last week I did my work experience and, instead of going somewhere where I’d be stacking shelves all week, I decided to write to the RAF and try to get a placement on one of the bases.

It took a while and many letters, but eventually I was accepted onto RAF Henlow for the week. Living in Coventry, it would’ve been a long journey each morning to get down to Henlow every day, so instead I booked into a hotel for the week down there. On Monday morning, when I arrived, I was given a timetable of what I’d be doing in the week. It was a good choice doing it through the RAF, as each day I was in a completely different section of the base, doing new things I’d never have done had I gone anywhere else.

On the first day I was working in the base’s gym. I was set a few tasks throughout the day , such as tidying up the hall, sorting out benches and putting away equipment. Once I’d done all my jobs for the day however, I got to use the equipment in the gym, and learnt how to play squash.

The second day was brilliant as I worked in the part of the base that was the reason I chose Henlow. When I’m older I’d like to become a doctor in the RAF and so spending a day in CAM was ideal for my work experience. I had a jam packed schedule on this day and did a lot of activities including: trying out the NVG’s, using the flight simulator and talking to lots of people with different roles in the RAF. I found it really useful as I got to speak with people who are in the position I’d like to be in once I’ve finished my studies.

I had a biology exam on Wednesday and had to come home to take it, and since it was such a long journey I was unable to do any more work experience, but that was more than made up for on the next day when I joined the regiment flight. I followed a group of sergeants on a course for the day, sitting in on some of their lectures and even taking part in activities like shooting on the laser range. I enjoyed my experience here greatly and learnt lots including some of the fighting techniques the military use.

On the final day I was only in work for the morning. I was taken around the police HQ and given a general idea of what they do there. Whilst the job seemed exciting at first, their biggest case at the time was a stolen ladder from an Officer’s garden!

If any other cadets are considering doing their work experience on a RAF base I would highly advise it. Overall it was a great experience: I had loads of fun all week plus I got a much better idea of what life in the RAF is like in all different sections. Beats a shop any day I think!

Parents’ Parade A Success!

8F (1st City of Coventry) Squadron marked its cadets’ achievements by presenting them with trophies and certificates in front of their parents, Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing staff and the Lord Mayor of Coventry.

Each year this Coventry Squadron, known for being the first and largest Air Cadet Squadron in the city, hosts a Parents’ Parade. Cadets’ families are invited to come along to the Squadron, view a number of presentations by staff and cadets about the Squadron’s various activities, and see their child’s achievements marked with a special award.

The awards this year were marked as something special, not just by the glorious weather, but by the attendance of the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Brian Kelsey, Sqn Ldr Harrison and the Wing Chairman who witnessed the presentation of awards such as Best NCO, Cadet of the Year, Best New Recruit and Most Improved Cadet, as well as the multitude of classification, sports and Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards accrued by 8F Squadron over the last year.

Lord Mayor’s Air Cadet, FS Rich Hulm, was also presented with his official Lord Mayor’s cadet badge by the Mayor, who was immensely pleased to have been included in the event and made a short speech congratulating the cadets on their achievements and 8F on its success. 

After the Awards were presented, parents were challenged to atent race exercise where they pitted their skills against the cadets in a race to erect a Sqn tent. Whilst the cadets were faster by almost five minutes, the CO ruled that the parents had done a better job of it and awarded them a certificate in honour of their achievement.

The day was a great success and the Squadron abounded with smiling faces as the parents toured the presentations put together by staff and cadets to show some of the activities and skills learnt on the Squadron.

“We don’t often hear much about his activities when he’s at Cadets,” one parent confided. “He seems to have a great time, but we haven’t got a clue what he’s up to. It’s so nice to find out a bit more about it and meet the staff and other parents.”
Commanding Officer of 8F Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Amanda Hobbins, was pleased that the day had gone so well, especially as it was her first Parents’ Parade as CO. “I think it’s important that the parents get an idea of what we do down here so they can help support their children in their Cadet careers. This is also an acknowledgement of the time and money they spend supporting their children as they get to see them reap their rewards in terms of trophies and certificates. This is why we put so much work into the Parents’ Parade and why it’s so worth it.”

8F Cadets in Act of Remembrance

The Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) were joined by 8F(1st City of Coventry) Air Cadet Squadron when they gathered for their annual ceremony of remembrance in their memorial garden this year.

Twelve cadets from 8F Sqn were honoured to be invited to join with current members of the RAFA to honour past members in a ceremony of blessing for the RAFA Memorial Garden on Sunday 4 July. The blessing was conducted by the RAFA’s Reverend Frank Seldon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and comprised of memories of those who had died, intermingled with prayers and passages from the Bible.

Also important to the event was the thanks to former Secretary and President of the Coventry branch RAFA who passed away last year. Iris Taylor MBE, an honour she gained for services to the RAFA, had her contribution marked by a special memorial stone laid in the garden.

All the Cadets present felt the emotion of the day, something which Sergeant Atkinson, a member of 8F Squadron’s staff, felt was a key part of their participation.

“It’s easy for us all to forget sometimes that the names on memorials were real people. Ceremonies like this help remind us to think of the people behind the names and show respect to them. It’s important that the Cadets take part in these sorts of events so that future generations will remember our former service personnel.”

On a more upbeat note, the cadets also had the chance to mingle and talk to the ex-service personnel who form the current membership of the RAFA. A memorable conversation was had with one former WAAF who reminisced about her days as a Cadet and how she had met Princess Elizabeth, now Her Majesty The Queen, at the unveiling of the Godiva Statue.

Cadet Lucy Smith, a fairly new member of 8F Squadron, was very enthusiastic about getting to chat to the RAFA members. “It was really interesting to talk to them about their memories because you can find out things that you wouldn’t otherwise. We don’t often get the chance to talk to older people and we all had a really good chat!”

A March in the Park!

A Coventry Squadron raised over five hundred pounds on Sunday when they took part in and helped to marshal for the Coventry Fun Run.

It was one of the hottest days this year when fifteen members of 8F (1st City of Coventry) Squadron marched round the 5km course of the Coventry Fun Run on Sunday 27 June. Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing’s winning drill Squadron put in a strong performance as they completed the route in 58 minutes and 52 seconds.

Whilst each of the cadets raised at least £15 of sponsorship to take part in the Fun Run, they also carried a bucket round with them as they marched, collecting donations from spectators along the way. The crowd was behind them, cheering and clapping and using their hoses to cool the participants down in the hot sunshine of midday. A highlight for the team came as Touch FM, the radio station covering the event, gave them a mention live as they were marching.

Back at the Memorial Park a recruitment stall was held by the Squadron’s Warrant Officer, selling Help for Heroes bands and collecting donations, as seventeen 8F cadets, along with cadets from 2438 (Bishop Ullathorne) Squadron, helped to marshal the race.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry was present at the Fun Run and took the opportunity to come over and speak to his recently appointed Lord Mayor’s Cadet, FS Richard Hulm, who had been marching the Fun Run. When he learned that cadets from 8F had not only marshalled, but also participated in the event he was both surprised and impressed at the numbers and the dedication of 8F’s cadets.

Flight Sergeant Hannah Johnson spoke for all the cadets when she said; “The four miles’ marching was actually quite enjoyable as we all sang throughout it. It was tough in the heat, but we’re very proud that we were able to complete the Fun Run in under an hour!”

Commanding Officer, Flt Lt Amanda Hobbins was equally enthused. “8F continually demonstrate their community spirit, team work and determination and I think their participation in this event, as both participants and marshallers, encapsulates the attitude and character of 8F’s cadets.”

The money raised will be divided equally between Squadron funds and the Help for Heroes charity.

Hot Support for Armed Forces Day in Coventry

FS Hulm reads his prayer in Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral was full of military uniforms and pride on Saturday, as members of all the cadet forces, members of the regular forces, citizens and other local organisations turned out to celebrate Armed Forces Day. The day was of particular note for 8F (1st City of Coventry) Squadron, as they turned out to watch one of their own perform his duties as the Lord Mayor’s  Air Cadet for the first time.

Flight Sergeant Richard Hulm had only been notified on the Thursday that he had been elected to perform this role, so it was greatly to his credit that he did so well reading out a prayer in St Michael’s Cathedral in front of a large and prestigious congregation on the Saturday!

8F and 2438 Squadrons parade past the Guildhall, Coventry

The Commanding Officer of his Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Amanda Hobbins, was very pleased with how the parade went.

“It is so important that the Air Cadet Organization turns out to support events like this and shows the forces that we’re thinking of them. I am immensely proud of all my cadets who showed up in this heat and performed their role so wel

l and I thought that FS Hulm did an excellent job and I am looking forward to his next engagement.”

After the church service and the parade through the town centre FS Hulm was invited back to the Guild Hall, along with the Lord Mayor’s cadets from the other two Cadet organisations, to meet the Mayor and other dignitaries over a drink. The Lord Mayor made a special point of posing for photographs with all the cadets and shaking their hands, speaking to each of them about themselves for a few minutes.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry with his Sea, Air and Army cadets & the Lady Mayoress

FS Hulm admitted he was relieved when the event was over. “I was a bit nervous about speaking in front of everyone and leading the parade with the standard bearer, but it all went really well. The other two cadets were very nice and it was an honour to speak to the Lord Mayor.”

All in all it was a busy weekend for Flight Sergeant Hulm, and 8F Squadron as a whole, as they were to spend the next day marshalling and taking part in the Coventry Fun Run!

2438 (Bishop Ullathorne) Sqn also took part and are pictured below with 8F Sqn.

FS Richard Hulm shakes hands with the Lord Mayor of Coventry

8F and 2438 Squadrons take part in Armed Forces Day Parade, Coventry