THE SQUADRON

 

There has been an Air Cadet unit in Ivybridge for many years. However the original unit was for unknown reasons disbanded some decades ago. The Squadron has been re-established, initially as a Detached Flight, since 1992 and regained Squadron status again in 1993. There have been four Commanding Officers, two Squadron Officers and two Adult Warrant Officers since the unit was re-established.

Ivybridge is located in South Devon on the southern edge of Dartmoor hence the Squadrons name. Initially it was part of Devon Wing but following a re-organisation of Wings in 1999 it became part of Plymouth & Cornwall Wing. The Unit initially used local halls for parade evenings before moving in to shared headquarters with the Army Cadet Force unit and then onto it's own Squadron Headquarters on the grounds of Ivybridge Community College. The Unit was again made homeless in 2005 when the headquarters was removed to make way for building work. A search started to locate a suitable site for a new Squadron HQ during which the Squadron continued to parade in temporary accommodation at Manor Primary School and then at The Erme Primary School. A new site has been identified for a Joint Cadet Headquarters at Filham Park. Building work commenced on the new cadet centre in October 2009 and was completed late April 2010. On Friday 07 May 2010 some 5 years after quitting their previous headquarters the squadron paraded in their new headquarters at the Ivybridge Cadet Centre.

 

The Squadron is made up of RAF Commissioned Officers in the Volunteer Reserve Training branch, ATC Non Commissioned Officers and Civilian Instructors. Each are appointed certain responsibilities.

SQUADRON STAFF

 

 

SQUADRON COMMANDER

 

Flight Lieutenant Adrian Corfield RAFVR(T) has been the Squadron Commander since 1998. He initially joined the Air Training Corps as a cadet in 649 (Dursley) Squadron and worked his way to Cadet Warrant Officer before having to leave after 9 years service due to age restriction. He rejoined the organisation in 1997 as a Civilian Instructor before going back into uniform as a Royal Air Force commissioned officer in the Volunteer Reserves training Branch. In 1999 he was promoted straight to Flight Lieutenant and to the role Squadron Commander after the previous commander left. As Squadron Commander he has overall responsibility for the Squadron staff and cadets. He has specialised as a Range Conducting Officer, Weapons Instructor, Storekeeper, Fieldcraft Exercise Control Officer & Instructor and has First Aid at Work qualifications. He is a Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition assessor and Duke of Edinburgh Leader. He also manages the Squadron website in his role as the Squadron's Media Communications Officer. Flt Lt Corfield is also appointed Wing duties as the Wing Webmaster and Social Media Officer.

 

SQUADRON OFFICERS

 

 

Flight Lieutenant Andrew Parsons RAFVR(T) joined the Squadron as a Civilian Instructor in September 2000 before later successfully undertaking the officer selection course at RAF Cranwell and later the Initial Officers Course. Fg Off Parsons was appointed his own command of a Squadron, 1876 (Kingsbridge) Squadron and promoted to Flight Lieutenant, though his dedication to the Corps means that he continues on as the Squadron Adjutant. As the Squadron Adjutant he has used his commercial skills from his civilian jobs to good use. He also assumes command of the Squadron in the absence of the Squadron Commander. He has completed the First Aid at Work course. His enthusiasm of the outdoors has resulted in his staff participation in Ten Tors training. In January 2013 Flt Lt Parsons successfully passed the Senior Officer's course and was transferred to 1876 (Kingsbridge) Squadron as their Commanding Officer. Flt Lt Parson continues to assist at the Squadron as a supernumerary officer.

 

SQUADRON WARRANT OFFICER

& SQUADRON TRAINING OFFICER

 

Warrant Officer Lynn Parsons ATC joined the Squadron as a Civilian Instructor in September 2000 before later successfully undertaking the NCO boards to be appointed as a Warrant Officer. On appointment as her initial challenge was to undertake the NCO Course at RAF Cranwell with little service experience, however she excelled in the course and on completion was appointed as the Squadron Warrant Officer. WO Parsons is responsible for all Training of cadets and the safe and smooth running of parade evenings. In addition to her regular duties WO Parsons plans and runs the popular Squadron Camps at Buckfastleigh and has also been actively been involved in Ten Tors training. As a First Aid at Work instructor she assists in the teaching and assessment of cadets in their Young Life Savers course. As the Squadron Warrant Officer she reports to the Squadron Officers.

 

SQUADRON NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

 

Flight Sergeant Steve Trenouth transferred from 1876 Squadron to 339 Squadron to expend his ACO experience. FS Trenouth is qualified as a Range Conducting Officer and as a Weapons Instructor. He has a keen interest in the outdoors and has assisted in the training in the Wing's Ten Tors teams, Fieldcraft exercises and Drill Courses. As the Squadron Sergeant he reports to the Squadron Warrant Officer. He successfully completed the HQAC SSTC course in August 2013. FS Trenouth is currently the Squadron Adjutant assisting the Squadron Commander in administrative duties.

 

CIVILIAN INSTRUCTORS

The squadron could not run as smooth as it does without the invaluable assistance of the Civilian Instructors (CIs). The Squadron has a number of CIs who have a wide knowledge of experience and knowledge. Though the number of CIs appear to be higher than on some squadrons many are only available part time due to their civilian job commitments.

Mr Dave Styles is the Squadron's Health & Safety Officer. He joined the Squadron in 2006 having retired from the Royal Air Force where he served as a nurse. He uses his medical knowledge to instruct in cadets Young Life Savers courses and his RAF experience in several other subjects. Mr Styles is appointed as the Squadron Health and Safety Officer having completed the ACO H&S course.

Mr Andrew Edmonds joined the Squadron in 2016. He is has served in the Army with excellent knowledge in fieldcraft skills. Mr Edmonds also has medical experience which is useful in the training of cadets in their Youth First Aider skill.

Mrs Sarah Taylor joined the Squadron in 2017. Brings her civilian skills as a teacher to the Squadron at a time of a newly introduced Progressive Training Program for cadets.

 

FLIGHTS

The Squadron's cadets are divided into two flights to install competition. While cadets may remain in a flight for all their service it is sometimes necessary to transfer cadets from one flight to another in order to maintain a balance of experience and skills in each flight. The two flights are:

 

 

Tornado                                       &                                      Typhoon

 In addition to the two flights there is a third flight known as Sentry which comprises of a Cadet Warrant Officer and two Cadet Flight Sergeants. They are the link between the staff and the cadets.

 

CADET NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

Cadets who have demonstrated key qualities may be promoted to Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks which mirror that of the NCO ranks in the Royal Air Force. Cadets can rise through the ranks of Corporal, Sergeant and Flight Sergeant to the highest cadet rank of Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO).

 

CLASSIFICATIONS

In addition to ranks cadets can be distinguished by classifications. After joining the Squadron as a Probationer cadets become 2nd Class following enrolment until they pass key exams. There are classification exams which allow cadets to rise through the classifications of 1st Class, Leading Cadet, Senior Cadet to the highest classification of Staff Cadet.

 

CIVILIAN COMMITTEE

In addition to the Squadron staff the Squadron is supported by the Civilian Committee. The Committee meet about every other month to make decisions on welfare and financial issues. The Committee is of vital importance to maintain financial independence for the Squadron.

 

COMMITTEE CHAIR

Mr M Cade

 

TREASURER

Mr L Nelson

 

SECRETARY

Mrs E Tayler