THE AIR TRAINING CORPS
also known as the ATC or Air Cadets, is a cadet organisation active across the United Kingdom and was formed on 5 Feb 1941. It is a voluntary movement that is part of the Royal Air Force. We are open to boys and girls aged 12 and in Year 8 or more and depending on status, they can stay until their 20th birthday.
The Royal Air Force supports many of the activities that cadets undertake, including Air Experience Flying and the opportunity to spend a week on annual camp at a RAF Station, either in the UK or overseas.
Other activities include Gliding, Shooting, Adventure Training, Camping, Fieldcraft, Sports, Drill, Projects, Band, Aviation related studies which can lead to a BTEC, Competitions, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, First Aid, Leadership Training and Initiative Exercises. This list is just a few of the things that are on offer.
The Air Cadets has its Headquarters at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire and the current Commandant is Air Commodore Tony Keeling. The Air Commodore in Chief is HRH The Princess of Wales.
The motto of the ATC is 'Venture Adventure'. The three aims of the ATC are:
* To promote and encourage amongst young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force
* To provide training which will be useful in the Services and Civilian Life
* To foster the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship
Most activities are free, as is the issue of uniform. There is sometimes a small charge for transportation to some events (particularly annual or overseas camps) and for messing whilst away on duty.
There are over 900 ATC Squadrons, with some 41000 cadets and more than 9000 adult staff. Cadets and the majority of staff are civilians, but some staff are reserve or regular RAF / military personnel.
There is a lot to gain from being an ATC cadet - as well as all the fun and excitement, the ATC can provide flying or gliding training, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and even a BTEC in aviation studies.
OUR SQUADRON AT KENLEY
450 Squadron is an active and successful Air Cadet Squadron based at the former Battle of Britain Spitfire and Hurricane fighter station, RAF Kenley, in Surrey.
There has been an Air Cadet Squadron serving the Kenley area since March 1941 and we now occupy our 6th premises which is purpose built and has a large outside space. Along with 615 Volunteer Gliding Squadron and the Kenley & Caterham RAFA, we are now the only RAF presence at Kenley.
When we were formed, we were originally 450 (Warlingham and Caterham) Squadron - so taking the first three letters from each, we were and remain, affectionately known as 'The Warcats'.
We meet every Monday and Friday, including during most school holidays, and many activities take place at weekends.
During the COVID-19 pandemic we were forced to close along with all other similar organisations. We are recovering well and our numbers are once again on the rise.
We are very proud of our heritage and the significance that RAF Kenley played during WW2. We are often approached by partners in the community asking for assistance at public events which we are keen to do as it also raises our profile.
As well as the Sqn based activities, we take part in Surrey Wing organised inter-Squadron yearly sports competitions which are 5 a side football, Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country. We are usually also involved in rugby, football, hockey and netball competitions.
As well as sports competitions, we also feature in the 'South Downs Trophy' which is an inter-Squadron Map reading / Orienteering day at various locations throughout the South Downs. There is a Drill competition, which is always popular. At the end of the summer we take part in the Aeromodelling Aircraft Recognition and Photography competition and have also achieved great success in this. Lastly towards the end of the year there is the 'Bray Trophy', which is a test of a Squadron's fieldcraft skills.
It is not only competitions where 450 Squadron thrives. One of the best activities available to cadets is to attend a camp - whether that be a local, weekend camp or longer one further afield, to places such as an RAF Station. We have also for many years organised our own week long Squadron camp to the Isle of Wight, where cadets get the opportunity to navigate the coastal route of the island on foot.
It would not be possible to list here every opportunity that is open to cadets; the best way to find out more, is to register to attend one of our new recruits nights, held every March and September.
450 (KENLEY) SQUADRON
ROYAL AIR FORCE AIR CADETS
V E N T U R E A D V E N T U R E