Squadron Commander’s Update 2015 April

Exciting times at 209! The past month we have got geeky on IT!


2015-03-19 19.46.35 But first, let’s put a big hand together for the tremendous success of the VIP Opening last month.  At the beginning there were sceptics of the “joint forces” approach but by the end everyone was convinced.  Working with Second Lieutenant Etherington and Sgt Bayliss (both ex-Air Cadets!) to make this event a real showcase for what we can achieve together is beneficial for the Cadets and the Staff of both units.

We now have a fantastic new, revamped website which will play a vital role in many different fields including recruitment, fundraising and raising awareness for the awesome opportunities that the Cadet Forces have to offer in West Bridgford and around the country.


Flying & Gliding Training


In particular we have laid out plans for our integrated flight simulator. Using the IT skills of the staff we are developing software which will integrate to our updated Linux based flight simulator with a real time air traffic control (ATC) simulator. This ATC sim has an antenna which listens out for the transponders of the aircraft flying in the Nottingham area to get a real world live picture. With clever networking we can virtually embed the aircraft the Cadet is flying into this realtime airspace to allow the Cadet air traffic controllers to experience the job first hand. It is currently running intermittently so if the link doesn’t work try tomorrow, but you can see the results here. The system runs off a small RaspberryPi computer with an antenna I made at home out of some old Television Coax, the challenge for Cadets will be using their Radio Comms knowledge to create an antenna which can “see” more aircraft than mine! Game on!



2015-04-03 15.46.32 Over Easter Morrisons kindly allowed us to do our first joint service bag pack which was a huge success for both fundraising and the joint service ethos we are trying to promote at West Bridgford.  Splitting the money between the Army Cadets and ourselves, we are hoping to part fund camps for Cadets and improve the flight simulator with the monies raised. We thank Morrisons for this opportunity and look forward to seeing those staff who helped us at the Squadron BBQ in the summer as a treat!


How you can help us

The final topic I would like to highlight this month is a general call out for feedback.  Firstly, the Corps have released a survey for all volunteers in the organisation to understand how they can help us staff get the most out of being a volunteer; don’t forget that capable, available and motivated staff provide the best Cadet experience possible; it is critical that we recognise this.  If you haven’t done so already get on Bader and fill it out!  Secondly, the Civilian Committee are creating a questionnaire for parents to fill out and provide us with an insight into what you think is good and bad about being the parent of a Cadet, so keep your eye out for this as it will make a huge difference in these times of change that are happening at both Squadron and Corps levels.


And finally…

More Medals The sun is shining and the evenings are getting lighter.  Just in time for all the sports competitions we have coming up over the summer. We already have many Cadets who have been representing the Squadron and Wing at Rugby, Football, Hockey, Netball and Cross Country.


There is so much more to talk about which I have not covered, but please do browse through our news feed to keep up to date!

#LookingFine209 #WhatWeDo


Simon Howroyd
Flying Officer
Officer in Charge
209 (West Bridgford) Squadron