Wing News



AIR CADETS CELEBRATE 80 YEARS - posted 06-Feb-21


RAF Air Cadets have been celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the issuing of the Royal Warrant by King George VI on 5th February 1941 establishing the Air Training Corps from the Air Defence Cadet Corps. The concept of the Cadet Corps was the idea of Air Commodore John Chamier who serving during the World War I saw the need for better training of young men in aviation for service in the Royal Air Force.


Following the Second World War the Air Training Corps continued to grow with the emphasis of promoting an interest of aviation in teenagers led by members of the RAF Volunteer Reserve Training Branch. Together the ATC with the RAF Section of the Combined Cadet Force formed the Air Cadet Organisation providing training in aviation subjects but also offering adventurous activities to 13-22 year olds.

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In the 1980s girls were allowed into the organisation for the first time undertaking the same training and participating in the same activities as their male counterparts. While adventure was always an underlying theme of the ACO as enforced by the motto "Venture Adventure", flying both in powered and unpowered aircraft has been a key feature of the organisation.  

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In 2017 as part of the close ties with the Royal Air Force, the parent organisation, the Air Cadet Organisation was renamed the Royal Air Force Air Cadets with commissioned officers moving from RAFVR(T) to the new RAF Air Cadets (RAFAC) commission as approved by Her Majesty The Queen, with Non-Commissioned Officer staff also moving from ATC to RAFAC.

On Friday 5th February 2021, 80 years after the ATC was formally established, air cadets celebrated not in the way they would have liked, but through online events including for cadets of Plymouth & Cornwall Wing a presentation by Air Commodore John Bissell and Wing Commander Abbott who talked about their time in the RAF and about the strategic review of the RAF Air Cadets during which the cadets were able to discuss what they like about being a cadet and what they like less with a view of helping Air Cdre Bissell and Wg Cdr Abbott report their findings in the review with the aim of making a great organisation even better for the future.

Further activities are planned for the months ahead to celebrate the anniversary with potential face to face activities when it is safe to do so.