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487 Squadron ATC
(Kingstanding and Perry Barr

487 Cadets experience Winter Gliding – 18th December 2011

Cdt Kieran Small first time in a Glider

Moody Skies at Cosford

On the morrow of this fine December Sunday, we awoke at the early hour of six o’clock. This harrowing experience did have a purpose, for we were to go gliding this crisp winter’s day. Two of us assembled at the squadron gates at 0715 hours, the third of us ambled up at 0740 hours, much to the ire of her fellow cadets (and her Commanding Officer). A minibus journey later, during which we accumulated cadets from 487 DF and 495 Sqn, we arrived at RAF Cosford. Despite several failed attempts to make CI Yates (487 DF) forget the gate code, we made it into 633 VGS successfully. This was 633 VGS’s final weekend of the year.

Upon entering the cadets Crewroom, where we would spend the majority of the day, we were greeted and given a briefing, despite a few technical problems with the TV. After a demonstration of how to put on a parachute, we settled in for a long and enduring wait.

Due to the inclement weather conditions: freezing rain and low cloud, together with “Carb-Ice” concerns, the first take off was delayed until the CFI was totally happy. Although two aircraft were detailed for day, one went u/s at an early stage leaving just one serviceable glider.

Finally, after what seemed like many hours, despite an entertaining conversation, we were invited one at a time to enter the available glider and take to the heavens. The Shropshire hills were snow covered and very impressive. We all thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of gliding and hope to return to the skies once more!

After collecting our 3822s & GIC 1 Certificates, we spent an hour or so in the Museum to round off a perfect day.

Cadets Matthew Bell, Kieran Small & Charlotte Roberts
Published 2011-12-29 17:13:34
487 First time flyers at RAF Cosford

Cdt Alice Cotton in the Tutor Aircraft (Picture by Alice Cotton)

Six Cadets from 487 joined 487DF, 485 and 8F squadrons for a day of flying. The day started at 07:15am when all cadets had to meet at the squadron before making our way to RAF Cosford but at 07:20am we were one cadet down (overslept), but arranged to meet him at the DF pick up point.

Having everybody present we set off for an interesting journey full of music, loads of chocolate and an awful lot of laughing and it wasn’t even 8’o’clock yet; not bad for a Sunday morning. None of the 487 Cadets had ever flown with the Air Cadets and some had never even been airborne.

We arrived at RAF Cosford at 08:20am and were the first squadron. We had to wait for the other 2 squadrons to turn up for the safety brief. We tried on parachutes and practiced emergency evacuations from the Grob tutor which would be the plane that we would be flying throughout the day.

We were split up into 7 waves of 4 people. While the morning group went flying the afternoon group took a look around the museum and spent the morning admiring war planes and eating bacon sandwiches and vice versa for the afternoon.

While waiting for our turns to fly we sat and watched some films but then the time came for us to get kitted up into our flying suits and take to the skies. It was time; all strapped in and ready to go. The pilot had completed his pre flight checks and was now taxing to the runway for take off. Within a matter of minutes we were in the air and flying towards Wolverhampton having a casual conversation with the pilot he then said “You now have control” this meant that I was now in control of the aircraft and was able to fly it where ever I wanted. After a short while of completing turns and flying in different directions I asked if it was possible to do some aerobatics and the pilot replied with “yes sure” with in no time he had us doing loops and barrel roles; you could feel the G-forces holding you down in your seats, I was a great adrenalin rush and a great thrill. Thank you 8 AEF

Cdt Nathaniel Steadman
Published 2011-12-16 23:04:16
Royal British Legion Standard Bearers

487 Sqn Cadets Cpl Lucy Basaran & Cpl Ryan Borhara leading out the Standard Bearer Party, November 2011

The Standard Bearers meet the Lord Mayor on the steps of Birmingham Town Hall

Corporals Lucy Basaran & Ryan Borhara formed part of the Royal British Legion’s Standard Bearer Party leading the Veterans and other Contingents at the Remembrance Sunday Parade at this years Parade in central Birmingham. They carried the Kingstanding Branch Standard and the Kingstanding Womens’ Section Standard.

Both Cadets are members of Kingstanding Legion Junior Branch and have received training from the Legion in the art of carrying the standards.

After the Parade both were asked, along with all the Standard Bearers to meet the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anita Ward at the Town Hall.

487 Squadron along with its Detached Flight and 1459 Squadron also took part in the Parade.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn, commented “It’s very satisfying to know that the Royal British Legion have the faith to bestow such trust in Cadets on their most special day. It is an honour to represent the Legion on such an occasion”

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill RAFVR(T)
Published 2011-12-14 23:00:18
Hot Spot - Sgt Robert Andrew wins the Corps Open Age Aircraft Recognition Competition

487 Sqn Aircraft Recognition Team with Sgt Robert Andrew (centre) holding the Spitfire Trophy, flanked by Sgt Martin Kemp & Sgt Tom Bell

On Saturday 19th November, cadets and staff from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn, travelled to the RAF Museum in Hendon to take part in the national finals of the ATC Aircraft Recognition competition. This was the fourth time in five years that a team from 487 had attended the Corps Finals. It was Sgt Robert Andrew’s fifth time as an entrant in the Individual event.

The team comprised, Sgt Martin Kemp, Sgt Robert Andrew and Sgt Thomas Bell.
The trophies were presented by Gp Capt Hakin, Regional Commandant London & SE Region, who congratulated the team & Individual winners and commented upon the high standard and praised the efforts of all entrants.
Sgt Robert, 487 Sqn, was awarded the Spitfire Trophy as the Individual Open Age Champion, a hefty piece of silverware, although he was unable to bring home, to Birmingham, the valuable award, he was also presented with a beautiful print of a Spitfire, to keep as a permanent record of his achievement.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn, commented “Every year it gets better, a truly amazing achievement for one Sqn to get to the National Final so many times in the last few years, It takes a great deal of effort at Wing & Regional Training Days, beating all comers, to maintain the high standards. I would single out Sgt Robert Andrew, who is now officially the Corps top Plane Spotter, a big Well Done to him. A mention must also go to the other team members, Sgts Martin Kemp & Tom Bell, who have sustained their efforts of earlier years proving that they too are worthy of our regard, the whole Squadron is very proud of their successes”

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill RAFVR(T)
Published 2011-11-30 00:03:26
RAF Halton – Annual Summer Camp - 27th August to 3rd September 2011

Saturday 27th August;

Six 487 Cdts and two 1459 Cdts met up at the 487 Squadron at 10am. We arrived at RAF Halton, near Aylesbury at around 1pm. We were shown to our block, which was Block 10, Nimrod. When the rest of the Cdts arrived, we were allocated rooms and floors. We then had to change from civvies to dark blues and went to an ACLO brief and then attended a brief from the Camp Commandant. After that, we were split into flights: A Flt and B Flt. We were shown how to make bed-pack which had to be made to a high standard every morning.

Sunday 28th August;

We had to wake up at 6am every day to make our bed-packs and tidy our rooms ready for inspection. After breakfast we were briefed on our task for the morning: a familiarisation exercise. This is where we were split up into groups of 4 and we had a sheet of questions that we had to answer whilst going around the base. We then returned to the blocks and prepared our swimming kit. We went to dinner and then went to go swimming. When we got there, we got changed and decided which swimming test we wanted to do: Basic, Intermediate or Advanced. Everyone successfully completed these tests. Once the tests had all been completed, we were given free time in the pool. When swimming was over, we marched to Maitlands Mess (which is where we ate every day) for some tea. Soon after, we arrived back at our block only to find out we were practising drill for the Flt drill competition on the drill square. We were practising for just over an hour and then returned to the blocks to chill out. We all watched ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’ before going to bed.

Monday 29th August

Again split into our Flts, with one Flt started on team building exercises whilst the other group was talking with Flt Lt. O’Neill on First Aid in the mountains. Then, when the Flts had finished their activities, we switched round so each group was doing what the other was. The team building exercises consisted of 2 activities. After this, we took a trip down to RAF Benson, Oxfordshire which is about an hour or so away from Halton. When we arrived, we were directed to No. 33 squadron which operates the Puma HC-1. We were briefed about the aircraft and visited the hangars to explore the aircraft. We were then directed into No.78 Squadron which operates the Merlin HC3/3A transport helicopter. We were also briefed about this aircraft but unfortunately many of us fell asleep so the guy briefing us decided to shout really loudly and made them all jump out their seats, which was really funny. We then got to look around the Merlin’s and most of us got to sit in the cockpit. We then came back on the coach and went to tea. After tea, we practised a bit of drill and then went to the blocks.

Tuesday 30th August

After breakfast in the mess, we split into out Flts, one went down to RTS (Recruit Training Squadron) and the other went to the Trenchard Museum located on base. At the RTS, we were shown what was expected of recruits and we were told all about the weeks of training they had to complete. Meanwhile, those who went to the Trenchard Museum were told about the early history of the RAF and is named after Lord Trenchard who is the Father of the RAF. We then returned to the blocks and ironed all our uniform for the next day.

Wednesday 31st August

We got all our light blues ironed and shoes polished for the camp photo which was in front of a Typhoon. After this, we got changed into greens. Some of us went to do high ropes while the rest of us were doing WHT’s on the No.8 Rifle. When this had been done, and almost everyone passed successfully, we all changed round. The high ropes were very nerve-wracking for us all. The task we had to complete was we had to be in groups of 4 and we had to take it in turns to climb up the pole and stand on the ledge. When we were all at the top, we had to hold hands and lean back. After this, we marched back to have tea and prepare ourselves for the night exercise. We had our brief from the RAF Regiment and were set off for the night. This task lasted most of the night but it was great fun.

Thursday 1st September

We got split into our Flts after breakfast and marched down to the shooting range. One Flt went shooting whilst the other were going to have a brief from the RAF Careers, who unfortunately didn’t turn up. We were split up into shooting groups and once we had our turn to shoot, we were practising formations from the night exercise and some of us tried on the NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) suit while the rest of us were lying down in the sun. After this, we marched back to the blocks to get changed into light blues for the drill competition. Each Flt took it in turns to perform the sequence and we were marked by a Sgt from the RAF. We were then told we were going to march to music, so he picked a cadet to choose a song. Unfortunately he picked Madonna – “I should be so lucky”, which when we started marching, you can imagine it caused a few giggles. We then marched to Michael Jackson’s – “Billie Jean” which was really good. After this we had free time so we all just chilled out for the rest of the day.

Friday 2nd September

We went into London to look at the Imperial War Museum, which didn’t sound appealing at first, but once we got there, it was quite good. We spent most of the day there, going around in our chosen groups looking at things like The Trenches and The Blitz. We then returned and started getting ready for the camp party. We arrived at the place where it was at and it didn’t look like much but once we had got some good music on, the party got into full swing and we ordered pizza and drinks. We then got our Certificates and the results from the drill competition: A Flt won best drill and best Flt awards. Overall, it was an amazing night but we were all sad to be leaving the next morning.

Saturday 3rd September

We all got up early to finish packing and to tidy up the blocks. Soon after, we got our camp photograph and then we were all saying goodbye to each other. 487 left on the minibus while everyone else left on the coach. We then returned home about dinner time.

Cdt Sarah Harvey-Allen
Published 2011-10-20 23:07:27
RAF police work experience course 2011

Sunday 07 August

After a long train journey from Birmingham there’s nothing better than to search through your bag with all your kit in so the RAF police can have your paperwork and laugh at the photo in your 3822. After all our bags were packed in one of the two mini buses we took a 10 minute ride up to RAF Henlow. Soon after we were shown to our accommodation comprising of a large room with 30 beds, 15 on each side, with three smaller rooms with hangers and ironing boards etc. But only with a brief introduction to our new room mates we were soon formed up and marched to the mess hall for a good evening meal. After we were sent to a classroom in the block next to ours and did an icebreaker or as the staff like to call it exercise icebreaker. Once everyone had finished introducing themselves members of the Armed forces careers office or (AFCO) came in to speak about what jobs the RAF has and also watched a few DVDs about what’s in store for us should we join up. Then back to the block for a quick unpack off all the kit needed for the next day, then heads down for the night.

Monday 08 August

Next morning up nice and early. Starting with breakfast and some early new about the situation in London . However we were straight back up building 61 where we had our icebreaker yesterday where we had some arrivals then straight onto a power point presentation about members of the RAF police who take care of security and what they do at home and abroad. Soon after we were sent straight to the other side of the base as RAF Henlow is split into two bases via a road and all stood in front of a hawker hunter jet fighter to have our course photo. However there was no time as we were rushed back to the other side of the base for a quick lunch the straight back with out swimming kit for swimming PT. Once there we had to take a T-shirt with us as we did our basic and intermediate swimming qualifications. But as all RAF physical training instructors are we were straight back into the pool to 20 lengths of the pool with other exercises incorporated within. We were meant to have a look at the forensics lab but it was moved to the Thursday so back up to building 61 for a phase 1 and phase 2 talks on training for non- commissioned ranks. After dinner back to the other end of the base to do motivational exercises to work as a team and how to bond in situations and learning others strengths and weaknesses. Then back to the block for the night ready for the next day.

Tuesday 09 August

Another early morning. Formed up and ready for breakfast with all the cadets attention on the news to see how the situation is going in London. But so of to the other end of the base to have a look at the working dogs of the RAF and to see what they do. After a demonstration of the attack/patrol dog we had a chance to get up close, and then saw what the sniffer/drug and fire arms dog had to offer. Yet again got close up except for one member of staff who had cocaine planted on him just to show how good they really were. After that quick laugh back to building 61 for another power point on the Def flying complaints investigation team. With a few funny video’s to kick it off the time soon flew past and it was time for lunch. Soon after into building 61’s bar downstairs to have a look at weapons that the RAF regiment and RAF police of three wing (operations wing) can use. After dinner time to relax by going down to Stevenage a 15 minute ride from the base to do bowling to unwind and have a laugh, then back to the base for a good nights sleep.

Wednesday 10 August

Up and breakfasted. Went to building 61 for presentation on SIB (specialist investigation branch) and what they do. Then straight back to the other side to do basic defence training and how RAF police defend themselves using a verity of attacks including push backs, gut punches, elbowing and kicks. After that we visited the PRI shop where we could buy merchandise such as t-shirts and mugs etc. after a quick lunch we headed down to the signals section to see the equipment RAF police used on patrol in Afghanistan such as large radios, hand held radios and signals used to identify each other and also looked at how to spot IED’s (improvised explosive devices) in the sand and what equipment is used to find them. With everyone’s morale on a high with a good meal it was back down to do the dreaded RAF fitness test which comprises of the bleep test, as many sit up as you can do in a minute and as many press ups you can do in a minute. I myself finished as one of the best candidates. However with everyone panting as though sent on a ten mile run we all still found ourselves with enough energy to play dodge ball and even saw how competitive the staff can be. Then back to the block for a well earned sleep.

Thursday 11 August

After breakfast straight to building 61 for a power point on phase 1 officer training and what we were up against should we join up as an officer. But back down to the other side of the base to do the forensics lesson where we saw how the police took finger prints and what they could get them off including IED’s (improvised explosive devices). Then moving back to building 61 we were shown what TPW (tactical operations wing ) or three wing does abroad. After a five minute break members of the general police duties wing or 2 wing showed us what they did in day to day life and what they do when away from home. Then members of 3 wing’s specialist training branch spoke to us. These specialist courses consist of CP (close protection) who protects high ranking personnel ranging from the prime minister to 5 star generals. CS (close support) which is where they go out to Afghanistan and train people like the ANP (Afghan national police). And WIZ who find bombs and there makers and see what they use to make them by making measurements and see who they are designed for. We were then sent back to the block to relax for a while to fill out a questionnaire to see what we enjoyed the most and what could be improved. Then went back to building 61 for a debrief and feedback session. Then off to dinner, and for one final treat had a film night where we watched films of our choice which we decided on Hot Fuzz and Limitless before it hit 01.00 in the morning so everyone almost fell asleep just by sitting on there beds.

Friday 12 August

our final day (more like a morning) after breakfast we finished packing and got onto the coach where all the staff thanked us and vice versa for coming here and hoped we enjoyed ourselves and wished us the best off luck in the future and hoped we would all join up in the near future. Except foe a few off us who were escorted by RAF police to our trains just as precaution because of the London riots.
For some final words I would encourage everyone who wants to do these work experience course as you learn a lot more then you do before you go and you meet a lot of new people from all over the country.

Cpl Nye
Published 2011-10-20 23:05:48
Cdt Louise Johnson shoots her way to a Corp Marksman Badge

Flt Lt O'Neil presenting the Corps Marksman to Cdt Johnson

Louise passed her WHT on the No.8 last summer whilst on Camp at RAF St Mawgan, firing on the 25 metre barrack range that week for the first time, with encouraging results. After a very successful first shoot, she returned to 487 Squadron’s indoor Range, where again she showed excellent progress and with further coaching was soon able to double her score.

This rapid advancement put her into 487’s shooting team, with an average score of 69, over several sessions, helped 487 Sqn to qualify in top spot for the Wing Field Day Collins Trophy Final Shoot. She scored 73 at the finals, and out of 32 cadets came 2nd overall, missing out on the individual best shot by only 1 point. Her achievements didn’t stop there, after passing her L98 WHT two weeks before she went on SENTA camp. She fired the L98 for the first time and after the first zeroing practice went on to achieve Corps Marksman firing at 100 and 200 metres.

Since then Cadet Johnson has been elevated to 487 Squadron’s shooting team captain and is starting to learn about coaching techniques so that she can pass on her knowledge and skills to help others achieve as much as she has. Her next goal will be to qualify and fire the L81 target rifle and represent the Sqn at Bisley in 2012.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill also commented on how proud he and 487 are of her achievements, she has come so far in a very short time and obviously has a natural talent for shooting, we all hope she continues to be successful, and at only 14 years old still has much to offer. She is 487 Squadron’s own Annie Oakley.

Flt Lt Brendon O'Neill
Published 2011-10-20 00:00:00
Fund Raising for the RAFA

Gina Perry and Natasha Glenville of the RAfA receiving the donation from 487 Civilian Committee Chair, Jane Jennings

The Cadets, Staff and Civilian Committee of 487 Sqn recently held a raffle for the Royal Air Forces Association. A cheque to the value of £ 400.00 was presented to Gina Perry and Natasha Glenville from the RAFA Office in Leicester.

The Squadron is aware of the work done by the RAFA helping Air Force veterans and the dependants of serving men and women who are in need of assistance or advice. Please click the link to the RAFA website http://www.rafa.org.uk for more information.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill OC 487 Sqn commented “I would like to thank Gina and Natasha for taking the time to visit the Squadron and to the Civilian Committee for undertaking the organisation, printing of tickets and scrounging of prizes making the raffle a great success. I would also like to thank the Cadets and others who acted as ticket sellers”.

The Squadron has always supported the RAFA and also assists the Royal British Legion with their Poppy Appeal and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Check out the Sqn website page http://www.487sqn.org.uk/index.php?newsid=28 for the story on the RAFA Top Flight Competition in 2007.

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-07-13 11:36:10
And the Results...

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill, OC 487 Sqn collecting the Per Ardua Cup at Wing Training Day 2011

487 Sqn recently picked up the coveted ‘Per Ardua Cup’ for being the best performing squadron in Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing for the second year in a row. The final results and awards from the day are as shown:

Overall Position: 1st

First Aid: 1st

Senior Aircraft Modelling: 1st (Cpl Bell)

Senior Aircraft Recognition: 1st

Best Individual Aircraft Recognition: Sgt Andrew (6th year running!)

Staff Aircraft Modelling: 1st (CI Ian Bell)

Shooting: 2nd

Best Individual Shot: CWO Creamer

(2nd Best Individual Shot: Cdt L Johnson)

Junior Aircraft Modelling: 2nd (Cpl Nye)

Senior Football Competition: 3rd (Through to semi-finals)

Collection of most Tesco Sports Vouchers: 3rd

Diorama: 4th

PR Competition: 5th

Drill: 7th

Junior Aircraft Recognition: 9th

Drill NCO I/C: 12th

Banner Competition: 15th

Again, a massive thanks to all the cadets for their efforts over the last 12 months. Their hard work and dedication has shown that with real commitment we can show real results. Let’s see 487 Sqn lift the trophy again in 2012!

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-07-07 11:35:02
487 Sqn Come Top in Warwickshire and Birmingham... Again!

Sunday 26th June 2011 saw 27 squadrons from across the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing come together for Annual Wing Field Day, to compete in a plethora of events such as:

Aircraft Modelling
Diorama Competition
Aircraft Recognition
First Aid
Media & PR
Five a side Football

Points are awarded for each of the events, and the better you perform the higher you score. 487 Sqn performed VERY well and scored enough points to come overall winners on the day!

This is the second year in a row that 487 have lifted the Per Ardua trophy at Wing Field Day which is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the cadets not just on the day, but throughout the whole year.

487 Sqn\'s Commanding Officer Flt Lt Brendan O\'Neill added:

\"Our cadets have been rewarded for all of their hard work once again, and winning the trophy for the second year in a row shows just how hard the cadets work to consistently raise the bar. We look forward to another winning year on the squadron and hope to build on our successes even further over the coming months and years.\"

Would you like to become a part of Warwickshire and Birmingham\'s number one Air Cadet Squadron? Call Pilot Officer Cotton on 07540251139 or email adj.487@aircadets.org for more information.

Check out the gallery on the left hand side of the page for more pictures from the day. Results for individual events will be posted once the figures are released.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-06-29 20:47:02
Getting Wet at the Cosford Airshow

13 Cadets and 2 staff from 487Sqn attended RAF Cosford Airshow on Sunday 12th June 2011.

The sun blazed through the curtains when my alarm went off at 0730. A very promising start! As all the cadets got onto the minibus however, the heavens began to open... and remained open for the remainder of the day!

Although the rain dampened the day a little, there were still some impressive aircraft flying, including the famous RAF Red Arrows. Each of the 4 hangars and the museum also provided ample cover from the rain with displays, stalls and shops set up by many different armed forces and affiliated companies from around the UK.

Despite the rain, the cadets from 487Sqn, as always, had a great day!

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-06-29 20:05:38
Flying the Flag

On Sunday 5th June 2011, five cadets from 487 Sqn went to 2438Sqn HQ to compete in the Wing Banner Competition. This was the first year 487 have entered this competition, and although we didn\'t win it gave the cadets excellent experience in the competition. We will be entering next year\'s competition with more experience and hoping for a win!

A big well done to the banner party cadets.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-06-29 19:56:43
487 Cadets Take to the Skies

On Sunday 29 May 2011, 7 cadets from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn and five from 487 (Erdington) DF, along with Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill and CI Andy Clarke from the DF, travelled to Nr 8 Air Experience flight at RAF Cosford for a session of flying in the Tutor aircraft.

Although dull and windy the flying soon got started and all the cadets from 487 Sqn & DF, along with other cadets from Warks & Birmingham Wing got airborne. The threat of rain did not materialise until the journey home.

The following cadets from 487 Sqn attended, most making their first flight in an ATC aircraft: -
Cdts Taylor, Hussein, Farrell, Johnson & Belhana, Cpl Nye and Sgt Reynolds.

A big thank-you to the OC and staff at Nr 8 AEF for an enjoyable experience.

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-06-29 19:43:08
Cdt Johnson Reports on Easter Camp at RAF Brampton

Diary for RAF Brampton 20th - 27th April 2011.

Wednesday 20th April

7:00 am - Everyone arrived at the Squadron for camp. At 7:30 am - We finally set off for camp, picking up other Squadrons on the way. After arriving at RAF Brampton, we were briefed by the DACLO a Cpl PTI, the RAF Police and the Fire Service. The fire service was very awakening as they set off the fire extinguisher next to the front row; some of the poor cadets were almost frightened to death from the loud sound it had made. We then marched back to Groom Block, our accommodation and were split into our flights; A Flt and B Flt.

Thursday 21st April

After waking up early on our first day of camp, we were told to be put in our wedgewoods for the camp photograph, followed by drill practice for the big competition at the end of the week. We had the camp photo taken in front of an aircraft; I think it was a phantom?? After the photo, we changed into our dark blues and set off to do a couple hours of sport at RAF Wyton. We had a hard session of circuit training. Every time we did an exercise, we had to run a lap of the hall then continue straight away with the next exercise. We did that about three times, every time decreasing the time period to do it. By the end of it almost everyone was knackered and in pain and then (for a nice cool down), everyone played a friendly game of rounder’s like a mini inter-flight competition. Overall it was enjoyed by everyone. Soon after having lunch, more exercise was to be done, but this time it was swimming at RAF Henlow. We had to do many laps of the pool and do many life-saving exercises and games. By the end of it all, all cadets had received their basic swimming certificates and even some had completed their intermediate swimming certificates too.

Friday 22nd April

On Friday, we visited the regional activity centre (the RACS), where we could go on professional flight simulators and many different flying and rocket building games on the computers. During our go on the professional simulator, Cadet Pepper showed us his expertise at how to take a Grob tutor safely up into the air and how to land it, effectively. After everyone had had their turns attempting to fly the planes, we then moved on to some initiative teamwork exercises. There were three tasks to be completed. The first task was to get a team of five across to the other side of the grass only using three chairs and a plank of wood, only one person could stand on the chairs but two people could stand on the wood. After coming up with an effective plan, Cadet Green decided to jump across the plank of wood, whilst everyone else would climb along the chairs. The next task to do was the magic circle; this was a drill procedure which was very similar to continuity drill. During the magic circle, a specific word or phrase would be shouted to signify the beginning and end of the sequence. Many creative and humorous words were shouted like “Salt and Pepper”, “Ding and Bat” and “Cheesy and Feet”. The final task to be completed was that everyone had to be transported to an island, by using two wooden blocks over some shark infested custard, but to make it harder, one of the cadets had to hold a special devices that could “Change” time, the device could not be tilted or dropper, otherwise sir would be turned back into a baby. Throughout the day, the sun was shining and it was roasting hot.

Saturday 23rd April

Saturday was a very relaxing day, we were all taken to Grafham Water, where we were allowed to roam around the park, skip stones in the lake and play a nice calm game of rounder’s. Again, it was another hot day, so many of the cadets stayed in the shade and brought ice-creams and cool drinks. After a calm morning, we all went to Tesco’s to stock up on sweets and savory snacks to last until the end of the week. Soon after having lunch, we all went bowling which was enjoyed by all. Overall, we were split into six teams, A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 and B3. Each team had a member of staff on them as well. After bowling, we went back to the base and ate our evening meal; everyone was curious what we were going to see at the cinema, most people guessed that we were going to see RIO, HOP or Fast Five. We ended up seeing Fast Five, and in my opinion, it was one of the best films I had ever seen, it was enjoyed by all, especially the 487 lot.

Sunday 24th April

Sunday was especially enjoyed by everyone, not only was it Easter and we hadn’t yet received our chocolate eggs off the Easter bunny, but we were going to visit the RAF Duxford Imperial War Museum. There were many different aircraft to be viewed like typhoons, harriers, concords, etc. Each hanger had a special theme; one hanger would contain all spacecraft and equipment, whereas another hanger would have American aircraft in it. Throughout the day, many aircraft were seen flying above, almost like a mini air show. At the end of a good day, the Warrant Officer had found his kind side and decided to buy everyone a crème egg each. His paper plate award was “the very happy Easter bunny”.

Monday 25th April

On that day, we visited the American Memorial cemetery, where we saw a lot of graves and many names inscribed into the walls. We were given a tour of some of the graves by an American Superintendent. It was very sad to see how many people had died throughout the war and to know part of the individual life stories. At the end of the tour, four cadets were chosen to lower the flag at Taps whilst the others were able to watch and show their respect. At the end of the flag lowering, a huge gush of wind flew pass, strong enough to take Cadet Goody’s beret straight off her head, it was extremely funny, but just lucky for her that it didn’t fly into the water.

Tuesday 26th April

On Tuesday we visited the WW2 Battle of Britain control bunker at RAF Uxbridge, yes, it sounds so interesting and in fact it actually was, but unfortunately throughout the lecture from the guide, many cadets and staff were seen half asleep, almost everyone had, in a way switched off from listening and stopped concentrating, it was a very funny sight to see, although I was doing the exact same myself. After the lecture we went into the next room and sat down for about 20 minutes watching a video about the bunker. Fortunately, most cadets saw this as a chance for a quick snooze. After the mini video clip, we went into the small museum upstairs. This was the highlight of visiting the bunker as you could see an above view of the room where we had had our lecture and also could look at a few rifles, the different uniforms that were worn and some old different types of currency. When finally getting back to the base we had our tea, and then set off for laser quest in our own clothes. Laser quest was enjoyed by all, with everyone always eager to beat their opponent on every round. Each flight was split into three teams, so each team would play against one of the other teams in the other flight; this was also used to go towards the end result for the inter-flight competitions.

Cdt Louise Johnson
Published 2011-06-23 10:16:12

CWO Creamer from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC joined 20 other cadets from the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing at the 2011 Drill Development Course at RAF Cosford.

The cadets, mostly JNCO\'s and SNCO\'s, arrived at RAF Cosford on 27TH May and they were soon aware that this was to be a very fast paced course. The cadets were split up into their syndicates and this was followed by lectures on standards of dress in the ATC. This lecture also ensured that the cadets were perfectly aware of the standards the instructors expected from them throughout the weekend.

The course isn’t all about marching up and down though; the cadets are taught how to give drill commands and also the correct (ATC) way to do drill. There were many referrals back to the drill manual and it is hoped the cadets now have a better understanding of the standard drill movements in use today. All the 21 cadets attending the course will be taking part in their sqn\'s drill team at the Wing Field Training Day on 26th June.

Each cadet was given a specific drill movement that they had to deliver in their assessment. Not only did they have to teach the particular movement to the rest of their syndicate, they had to do so in the manner laid out in the drill manual. This is a very prescriptive manner, but it is hoped that by using this, the cadets can become more effective on their own Sqn\'s.

During the course the cadets were also given instruction in continuity drill by the Wing Drill Instructors. A drill display was created and the cadets were soon marching around in figure of eight movements and also marching towards and through each other! The cadets formed the numbers 70 to celebrate the anniversary of the ATC. This year, the display was finished by the staff on the course marching forward to accept the salute from Sqn Ldr Harrison. Unlike the display in 2010, this year’s display was set to music, Michael Jackson was found in FS Taylor’s car and the cadets were soon marching to Thriller!

On Sunday the cadets started the day by giving their mutual drill instruction, each cadet had to deliver a lesson in a particular drill movement. The cdt’s were not only assessed on their instructional techniques, but also in their own personal turnout on the day. It didn’t end there though; all the cadets now had to sit a 30 question exam paper. This is a pass or fail course and each cadet is given a written report which will be sent to their Sqn OC’s in the near future.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Sqn Adj
487 Sqn

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-06-19 20:50:58
Cdt Lucy Basaran is Top Of The Class At RAF Cosford!

20th-22nd May 2011 saw the second JNCO Leadership Course of the year take place at RAF Cosford. A total of 36 cadets from across the Wing had volunteered to undergo a weekend of learning and development. Cdt’s Basaran, Nye and Hart attended the course from 487(Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC.

In this fast moving course, the cadets were soon sorted out into their various syndicates and it was then time for the cadets to introduce themselves to their other team members. The assessment of the cadets is under taken by members of the Wing Learning and Development Team and each syndicate has two assessors, normally an officer and a SNCO.

The training that takes place on the Saturday of the course is intensive and starts with the cadets been inspected by Drill Instructors from the Wing Learning and Development Teams. The training then continued with topics such as the role of a JNCO, the RAF SMEAC system, leadership and leadership styles, communications and presentation skills all been discussed with the cadets.

After dinner on Saturday night, the training continued with all the cadets returning to Fulton Block to put some flesh on the bones of their syndicate presentations.

At approximately 20:00 that evening, an air raid siren was heard on the station and the familiar roar of a merlin engine was heard as a Spitfire attacked the station. The aircraft was taking part in an evening of music organised by the RAF Museum.

Sunday morning saw another early start for the cadets. It was time to put into practice all that they had learnt on Saturday. A whole host of differing initiative tests were undertaken and each cadet was able to lead their syndicate during the morning. The cadets then returned to Fulton block to give their syndicate presentations. Each syndicate had chosen a really good subject to present to the staff and cadets and there followed some excellent debates, mostly in relation to current world issues.

At the end of the course, it was announced by Sqn Ldr Harrison, Wing Learning and Development Officer, that Cdt Lucy Basaran had been named as the best cadet in the green syndicate.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Sqn Adj
487 Sqn

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-06-19 20:37:59
Bronzing in the Sun!

10 cadets from 487 Sqn achieved a benchmark in their cadet careers over the April Bank Holiday weekend by completing their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition in Capel Curig, Snowdonia.

The cadets spent weeks planning what would be the culmination of all their expedition training over the winter months, working in groups to ensure that all areas of their expedition would run smoothly. The cadets planned their own menus, kit lists, route cards, expedition aim and emergency procedures and set off on Saturday 30th April.

The cadets got off to a great start on the Saturday and after a few minor navigation errors, soon settled into a steady day of walking. They soon realised that although the glorious weather was pleasant for sunbathing, it proved much harder to walk in carrying full packs. De-hydration and sunstroke were very real prospects, though the cadets had been prepared with extensive training and so were well aware of the precautions to take.

A tired and dishevelled group of cadets sprawled on the grass at the campsite at the end of day 1, in front of their tents, and discussed how their expedition aim had gone throughout the day. After a hot meal for tea and a quick health check by the staff, the cadets bedded down for a well earned rest.

Sunday morning saw the cadets pack up their kit after breakfast and head off into the hills again. After learning from the errors of the previous day, the cadets were much better at navigating across the terrain on the second day. The cadets reached the last checkpoint tired, sweating but with a great sense of pride and achievement, at having completed what was a very demanding expedition.

Plt Off Cotton organised the expedition and was also undergoing assessment herself throughout the weekend, to become and accredited DofE Assessor at Bronze and Silver level. Fg Off Heather Hart from 1459 Sqn kindly offered to assist on the weekend and conduct the assessment of the groups and Plt Off Cotton.

Plt Off Cotton said:
“The cadets showed a great deal of will and determination to succeed this weekend, and learnt a lot about themselves and their teams in the process. I am proud of the cadets for completing the expedition without any problems and was impressed at their positive attitudes and great sense of teamwork and humour throughout. These cadets all started the scheme not knowing how to use a map or compass or walk with any more than a shopping bag, and have now proven that they are able to plan and execute a difficult expedition through rough terrain, being completely self-sufficient and unsupervised.”

487 Sqn’s Duke of Edinburgh programme continues and looks forward to providing training and expeditions for all levels of the award throughout the summer months.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-05-08 20:41:48
Thanks for Services Rendered to 487 Sqn

'The Two Daves' receiving their framed spitfire prints

A photo and tankard for Fg Officer Jennings

Civilian Committee:

On Thursday 28th April 2011 two long standing members of the Civilian Committee received a “big thank-you” for services rendered to the Squadron. Dave Johnson & Dave Emberson were each presented with a framed print of a Spitfire by Mrs Jane Jennings, the Chair of the Committee. Jane thanked them both for their service over the years

Both had served the 487 Sqn Committee for over fifteen years, including the last ten or so in the capacity of executive members, Dave J as Chairman/Treasurer and Dave E as Secretary, stepping down at the recent AGM. As popular members and the longest serving, they were affectionately known as the “Two Daves”.

Both have decided to remain with the Committee as active members.

Civ Com Chair, Jane Jennings highlighted their commitment and service during the presentation and thanked them for their hard work during their tenure.

Staff Changes:

The same evening saw Flg Off Simon Jennings receive a silver tankard and framed photograph of the Sqn upon his transfer to 485 Sqn. Flg Off Jennings was recently asked to take on the role of OIC 485 Sqn, a position accepted with relish.

He joined 487 Sqn six years ago, gained his commission and acted in the role of Sqn Adjutant for over four years. He also undertook many other Sqn duties including the successful role of Media Officer; he was also a member of the Wing Learning & Development Team.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill OC 487 Sqn expressed his gratitude “I\'d like to thank Simon for making my task as OC that much easier in his time as Adjutant. I’d also like to congratulate him on behalf of the whole of 487 Sqn following his appointment as OIC 485 Sqn and wish him all the best for the future. I’m sure that 485 will become a very successful unit under his guidance & leadership and expect ‘battle royale’ with them in the coming years.”

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-05-08 20:32:42
First Step on the Ladder

The bar was raised on Thursday 28th April, with 4 promotions to the rank of Corporal at 487 Sqn.

4 Cadets were promoted on final parade in recognition of all their hard work and their service to 487 over the past few months / years. Each of the cadets has attended the JNCO Leadership Course at DCAE Cosford in recent months and have all shown good levels of maturity and commitment to the staff and cadets at the squadron in a variety of different disciplines.

The squadron welcomes Cpl Bhakta, Cpl Reader, Cpl Nye and Cpl Morris into the 487 Sqn NCO team.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn said this:
“It is always a pleasure to recognise the hard work and commitment of the cadets at the squadron and put them on the first step of the management ladder within the squadron. All four new corporals show a great deal of promise and I look forward to working with them to build the strength of the squadron even further in the coming months and years.”

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-05-08 20:16:20
Hot Shot

After his recent promotion to CWO, Joe Creamer has not stopped achieving! On Thursday 28th April, he was presented with his Corps Marksman badge on final parade, by commanding officer Brendan O’Neill.

The skill needed to achieve the Corps Marksman is extremely high, and there are only a few badges to be seen within the Wing.

CWO Creamer uses his knowledge and skill to coach the younger cadets at the squadron, assisting with marksmanship principles teaching to enable as many cadets as possible to achieve a marksman standard. He soon hopes to be selected to attend further shooting courses and broaden his knowledge and skills, not before taking the 487 Sqn shooting team to Wing Training Day this year for what we hope to be another win.

Sgt Andy Hudson, 487 RCO commented:
“CWO Creamer has been steadily improving since he first shot the no.8 rifle and now has the Corps Marksman he has been hoping for all along. It is a great inspiration to the rest of the cadets and shows that with hard work, dedication and coaching, they too can improve their scores and reach levels they had not previously thought possible.”

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-05-08 20:11:35
487 Sporting Success!

487 cadets showing off their Wing Blues

Recent months have seen cadets from 487 Sqn representing the Wing and Region in Football Cross-Country and Rugby.

February saw CWO Joe Creamer playing in the Wing Senior Football Team, coming away with a Winners medal, Cadet Kenny Morris, also saw action in the Wing Junior Competition.

Last month also saw three cadets from 487 feature in the Warks & B’ham Wing cross-country team at RAF Cranwell, Sgt Kerry Whiting in the Senior Girls Competition, Cdt Alex Hart in the Senior Boys and Cdt Connor Chambers in the Intermediate Boys races

F/Sgt Jack Kirby has played this season for the Wing and the Central & East Regional Team at RAF Cranwell and RAF Cosford respectively. He has also been selected to represent the Corps in a challenge match against a top junior side at Cosford next month. This is the second year running Jack has been chosen for this rare honour

A special mention must go to the 487 Squadron 11-a-side football team, who narrowly lost their semi-final tie against 479 Sqn, to an extra time penalty. The game was played in an appalling gale, with the wind effectively reducing the game to a lottery. Staff and supporters from both sides agreed that the game was very close and even allowing for the weather some good football was played by both sides. The whole team was disappointed to loose out by such a narrow margin, the final score 2:1 (aet).

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill OC 487 Sqn commented “The last few years have seen cadets from 487 Sqn represent the Wing, Region and in one case the Corps in all of the sporting competitions organised by the Air Cadets. I am pleased to see that our tradition of having cadets selected at all levels continues apace and feel that there is more to come in the future. We all look forward to the upcoming Wing Athletics Championship in May”.

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-04-21 17:24:31
Rigby Retires

CWO Rigby hands over to CWO Creamer

Tuesday 12th April 2011 saw CWO Anthony Rigby “hang up his Crowns”. He will shortly be joining the Royal Marines, an ambition he has held for some time

A cadet with 487 Squadron for nearly six years, he attended many parades, camps and courses and received awards aplenty. Some of the notable highlights include the successful completion of the Junior Leaders Course in 2010, wearing the purple lanyard with pride. He also completed the CVQO syllabus in Public Services during 2010.

A keen sportsman, he liked keeping fit and finished 2nd in the Wing cross-country competition in November last year. He played for the Squadron football team many times, where he was best described as a “spoiler”

He was also an enthusiastic aircraft modeller winning the Wing Senior competition in 2009 and when not sticking his fingers together enjoyed shooting. He was a member of 487s winning shooting team at the Wing Training Days in 2009 & 2010 and was permanently engaged in a great rivalry with good mate Joe Creamer. Joe was Wing “best shot” in 2009 but Anthony took the title in 2010.

He gained his Regional Marksman badge and was presented with the 487 Sqn “Cadet of the Year” Award, both in 2009.

Also In 2009 he received the Royal British Legion Award for the Cadet raising most in the annual Poppy Appeal, a grand total £ 250.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill OC 487 Sqn commented
“Whilst it is a sad occasion to see such a popular person leave the Squadron, it is with a great deal of pride knowing that he has achieved his ambition in joining the Royal Marines. I hope that a little of 487 will remain with him forever. 487s loss is definitely the Royal Marines gain and I hope that they are tough enough for 487s Action Man. In his time at the Sqn he achieved much, both in terms of awards gained but also the degree of respect earned by adult staff and cadets alike. I wish him all the best for the future”

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-04-21 17:21:34
Creamer Gets His 'Crowns'

Joe Creamer is the latest CWO to be appointed at 487 Sqn. Joe has served as a cadet for over five years and in the time has developed into a highly regarded member of the Squadron.

Assisting Squadron staff, as a Master Cadet (old syllabus Staff cadet) for nearly two years, Joe has been able to contribute to the training of junior cadets. At the moment, following the success at 487 Sqn Shooting Team, he helps out with marksmanship training having recently qualified on the Basic Weapons Coaching Course at RAF Wattisham. He was Wing Individual Marksman at Wing Training Day in 2009 and is a member of the successful 487 Sqn shooting team and a Regional Marksman.

Having attended many camps and courses in his time with the Squadron, he is now is able to pass on this knowledge and experience to younger cadets. A keen sportsman Joe recently represented the Wing in the Senior Football competition at RAF Cranwell, coming home with a winners medal. He has also recently received the CVQO BTEC in Public Service and was awarded the “2010 Best Overall Cadet” at the Sqn Presentation evening on 5th February.

Joe has also assisted the Squadron in community services liaison and fund raising activities for the Royal British Legion, selling poppies and taking part in the Remembrance Sunday Parades in Birmingham City Centre. He has also assisted with fund raising events for the RAFA and RAF Benevolent Fund.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill OC 487 Sqn commented:
“487 Sqn has again ensured continuity of its quality of cadet leaders. I feel that CWO Creamer will help maintain the Squadron’s success of recent years. He’s a likeable fellow, a team player and an excellent role model to the younger cadets”

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-04-12 18:08:24
The First Of Many!!

On the weekend of 31st March – 2nd April, 10 cadets and 2 staff from 487 Sqn headed to Earlswood campsite for a weekend of initial expedition training.

The weekend was for most cadets their first time camping and so was a steep learning curve which they would soon get to grips with. The focus of the weekend was to introduce the cadets to camp craft and navigation skills in a practical environment to prepare them for starting out on their Bonze DofE careers.
Campcraft lessons began with the fundamentals of pitching a tent, along with maintenance and care of equipment. Once the tents were (finally!) up the navigation training began. The cadets were taken through the theory of map reading, navigation and team-leading before setting off into Earlswood to put the lessons into practise.
Each cadets got a chance to lead a group over the weekend, and all did well under the watchful eyes of Flt Lt O’Neill and Plt Off Cotton.

Plt Off Cotton organised the weekend and said this about the cadets:
“For most cadets this is the first time they have experienced camping or map reading in a practical setting. They coped well with the change in environment and all learnt valuable lessons which they will take forward with them to begin their Bronze DofE training in the summer. This kind of weekend not only teaches the cadets vital practical skills, but also enables them to get what could be their first chance to lead a group, and you can really see them develop throughout the weekend. All said they enjoyed the weekend and are looking forward to their bronze practise walks in the summer.”

487 Sqn is well underway with DofE training now, and is encouraging all cadets to take part in the scheme at all levels. Please visit http://www.dofe.org/ for more information.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
487 Sqn

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-04-06 19:03:51
487 Cadets Get The Gift of Life (Saving)!

Plt Off Robinson with Cdt Bhakta

On Thursday 24th March, 5 cadets and 2 staff from 487 squadron underwent training for the new HEARTSTART First Aid programme being rolled out through the wing. The course is designed by the British Heart Foundation and teaches the valuable skills required to deliver First Aid to a casualty until professional help arrives. Plt Off Rosie Robinson from 84 Sqn was joined by a cast of ‘Annies’ to deliver the training.
Cadets Hart, Reader, Nye, Bhakta and Johnson attended the training.
It was off to a swift start as there was a lot to cover in one night, starting off with dealing with an unconscious casualty. After a demonstration and explanation, the cadets were all paired up and practiced the recovery position in their pairs.
The session also covered dealing with a non-breathing casualty (CPR), suspected heart attacks, choking and severe bleeds, all explained and demonstrated with time for the cadets to practice. The cadets were also shown the techniques for dealing with these situations with a baby Annie.
Plt Off Sarah Cotton attended the training on the night, and comments:
“Any form of first aid training is a valuable skill for any cadets or staff member. This is something that the cadets are able to learn, enjoy and more importantly transfer across to any cadet activity and their civilian lives. The course was delivered in an easy to understand but comprehensive way, which held the cadets attention throughout. I’d like to say thankyou to Plt Off Robinson for delivering the training.”
Plt Off Cotton and CI Ashcroft also attended the training and pending assessment will be able to deliver the course to cadets, further expanding the number of trained and skilled cadets who may someday be called upon to put these valuable skills into practice.

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
487 Sqn

Plt Off Sarah Cotton
Published 2011-03-25 22:10:54
Service Honoured With Promotions!

FS Jack Kirby

Sgt Adam Reynolds

Two NCO’s from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC have been promoted in a recent ceremony at the Sqn headquarters.

Sgt Jack Kirby was promoted to FS by Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn. FS Kirby has been with 487 Sqn for over 3 years now and in that time he has accomplished a great deal. Most notably he has been selected to play for the Wing, Region and the ATC Rugby teams, and he was again selected to play for the Corps team only two weeks ago.

Cpl Adam Reynolds was promoted to Sgt. Again, Sgt Reynolds is a stalwart of the Sqn and he had a particularly good year in 2010. He is a member of many Sqn sports teams and he was also selected to attend the Cadet 150 parade at Buckingham Palace.

Both FS Kirby and Sgt Reynolds have a full year ahead of them and it’s all systems go at the Sqn in terms of the Wing Training Day.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-03-23 08:51:29
Smiley Faces Over Cosford!

Sunday 20th March saw a total of 13 cadets from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC and 487 Sqn Detached Flight travel to RAF Cosford to take part in flying at 8 AEF.

The weather forecast for the day didn’t look good, however, for once, it looked liked the forecasters had got it wrong! When we arrived at the airfield the sun was just breaking through the clouds, and the temperature was on the increase.

Following the mandatory briefing by the staff cadets and OC 8 AEF, the cadets were soon being kitted out in their flying suits and helmets and walking out to the tutor aircraft.

Eleven of the 13 cadets had not flown at the AEF before and once their particular sorties had finished, there were lots of smiley faces walking back in to the crew room and the cadets were soon swapping stories of the aerobatics they had carried out!

The first time flyers were all given a certificate that marked their first experience at the AEF. On what turned out to be a lovely day, all the cadets left RAF Cosford having had a great experience.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-03-20 21:33:44
CVQO Success for 487 Sqn NCO's!

FS Joe Creamer

Cpl Robert Andrew

Two NCO’s from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC have received yet more recognition for their service in the ATC. FS Joe Creamer who was awarded the coveted best cadet award for 2010, and Cpl Robert Andrew who was awarded the Service To 487 Sqn trophy, have succeeded in passing their CVQO public service award.

Both NCO’s signed up to the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation award scheme in 2010 and they both completed the necessary work to gain this important qualification.

CVQO provides the opportunity for members of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), Sea Cadet Corps (SCC), Army Cadet Force (ACF) and the Air Training Corps (ATC) to gain internationally recognised vocational qualifications.
CVQO offers all cadets over the age of 16 the opportunity to earn at no cost, one or, maybe more vocational qualifications. Employers, colleges and universities will all recognise and be interested in the extra qualification. It does not matter if the cadet is heading out to work or college, a qualification through CVQO can give the additional edge needed to reach those goals.
A further seven cadets at the Sqn have signed up for the CVQO programme in 2011 and we hope to see more awards being presented later this year.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-03-10 17:31:05
487 Sqn Cadets Put To The Test!!

Tuesday 8th March was a testing time for the cadets of 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC. The first exams of the year were there for the taking, and a record number of 21 cadets sat a whole host of differing subjects on the night.

Cadets at all levels were taking exams in the core subjects; there were some very strained faces in the room! The cadets will soon be receiving their results and hopefully marching up the classification ladder within in the ATC.

Flt Lt O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn commented “To have this many cadets sitting exams is fantastic, and when you take into account that we actually had 42 cadets parading on that Tuesday night, it shows how the squadron is going from strength to strength”.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-03-10 16:57:28
487 Sqn Power Into The Semi-Finals!!

487 Sqn Power into the Semi-finals!

Sunday 6th March saw the eleven a side football team from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn play their latest game in the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing football competition.

The Sqn’s last game was in December 2010 when they beat 8F 6-1 and they were then drawn against 2286 Sqn in the Quarter finals.

On what turned out to be a lovely sunny morning, the team set out to travel to the North Leamington School for the fixture. A total of sixteen cadets had arrived at the Sqn on the Sunday morning, a reflection on just how keen the cadets are to play for their Sqn.

Flt Lt Les Vile, OC 163 Sqn had kindly said he would referee the game and he got the proceedings underway with 2286 taking the kick-off. It was a tense-nervous opening few minutes with both sides venturing towards the goal, but both sides were falling foul of the off-side rule. However, the 487 Sqn team soon started to dominate the proceedings and after approx 10 minutes, Sgt Jack Kirby powered through the penalty box to knock home the first. Unfortunately for 2286 Sqn, the 487 Sqn forward line started to get their shooting boots on and by half-time, the score was 8-0 in favour of 487 Sqn.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn brought 3 substitutes on at half time, but the team kept their shape in the early part of the second half and they were soon scoring more goals.

At full time the final score was 17-0 to 487 Sqn. Special mention must be made to the forward line for the Sqn, Cdt Connor Chambers scored a total of 7 goals, Cdt Kenny Morris netted 4 goals, Cdt Hart scored a hat-trick and FS Joe Creamer scored two goals playing from midfield.

Flt Lt O’Neill commented “This was a great effort against an under-strength team from 2286. Some of their more senior players were away on their Junior Leaders Course and they were understandably weakened by their absence. That said, to have a total of 16 cadets turn up at 0900 on a Sunday morning wanting to play for our Sqn is tremendous. They showed a good understanding of playing good football, they kept their shape well and everybody knew which position they playing in, and they weren’t chasing the ball. We all now look forward to playing 479 Sqn in the Semi-Finals. I would like to finally thank Flt Lt Les Vile for agreeing to referee the game and to 2286 Sqn for arranging the fixture”.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-03-06 21:11:48
Come in Number 28, Your Time Is Up!!

Cpl Daniel, Cdt Nye, Cdt Hart

Three cadets from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC have spent three days with the Royal Air Force Regiment on a work experience course with a difference!

Cpl Daniel and Cadet’s Nye and Hart travelled to RAF Honington on 14th March to take part in what turned out to be a very physical, and tiring few days!

Following their arrival the cadets were issued day sacks and helmets for the course and there then followed a presentation which showed the cadets exactly what they were in for during the week!

On the first full day on the course, all the cadets were asked to take the RAF Fitness test (the dreaded bleep test!). There was no let up once they had finished the test though, it was straight outside to take part in combat PT. This involved the cadets running around a rugby pitch and at regular intervals the kind instructors gently told them to hit the ground and crawl. The combat PT also involved the cadets breaking out into teams and then carrying 75Kg stretchers over a measured course.

The second day started with all the cadets being given information on the RAF Regiment, their current theatres of operation and what the cadets could expect if they actually wanted to join their ranks. The cadets were soon getting physical again though when they all took part in an obstacle course run. They then got the chance to shoot on the DCCT range and the cadets were also shown all the weapons currently in use by the Regiment.

The last day saw the cadets visit the RAF Regiment museum. The long history of the Regiment was explained to the cadets, paying particularly attention to all the conflicts that they have took part in over the years, and indeed, their current service in Afghanistan.

All the cadets really enjoyed their few days with the RAF Regiment and all would recommend the course to their colleagues. Cpl Daniel commented “We were all given a personal number at the start of the course, and I will never forget mine, number 28, it seemed to be used quite a lot during the course, the Regiment are very good at shouting”!

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-03-05 18:08:41
Cadet Officer Cotton Becomes Pilot Officer Cotton!

Every newly commissioned officer to the RAFVR(T) holds a conditional commission until passing the Officers Initial Course at RAF Cranwell. The regular RAF Initial Officer Training lasts a gruelling 32 weeks, and we have to squeeze the most relevant sections of this into one week, meaning it is an intensive course with lots to take in and develop.
Pilot Officer Sarah Cotton looks back on her week at Cranwell.
There was an air of trepidation in the ante-room on Sunday night, as we all sat sipping coffee in Daedalus Mess awaiting our first briefing of the week from Flt Lt McGavigan, Training Officer for the ATF.
From that briefing onwards, it was clear we were in for a physically and mentally demanding week, requiring us to be on our absolute best form. Back to our accommodation we went, white hat bands issued, to bed in for a night of uniform preparation.
The week required all 18 Officer Cadets to be highly alert from when we went for breakfast at 0630 each morning, until we finally managed to get to bed at gone 0000 most nights. With inspections every day, we often spent a number of hours each night in preparation, irons and shoe polish in hand until the early hours.
The course covers oral communication skills, drill, leadership, health & safety, styles of command, child protection, interview technique, and officer qualities. Particular focus is to given to leadership, which all prepares you for a day in the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre, where you are given the lead of a team who must perform a certain task.
On the Thursday evening of our course, the students held a reception and dinner for three dignitaries from Ghana, including Ghana’s Education secretary and the Commandant of the Ghanaian Air Cadets. We also welcomed along guests from the ACO, in particular the Wing Commander (Training) who would be presenting us with our commissioning scrolls at Graduation on Friday.
After making it through the week it was finally time to head off to the graduation ceremony within College Hall of RAF Cranwell. Every one of the 18 students on the course passed, and were all presented with their scrolls at graduation. The final task for the day was to get our photo taken as a course standing on the red carpet in the rotunda, all incredibly tired but proud of our achievement.
It was an intense and busy week, which often put us outside of our comfort zones and stretched our learning capacity to the limits. The skills I have learnt will certainly stand me in good stead throughout my officer career and are an excellent basis for development within the ACO.
The staff at the ATF; WO Mitchell, Flt Lt McGavigan and Sqn Leader Pelcot, all delivered an action packed and streamlined course, perfectly tailored to turn us into effective officers of not only the ACO, but also the RAF. My fellow students provided encouragement, knowledge and entertainment throughout the week and I wish them all the best in their careers with the ACO.

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-02-28 20:38:12
487 Cadets shine on JNCO Leadership Course!

18th – 20th February 2011 saw the first JNCO Leadership Course take place at RAF Cosford. A total of 36 cadets from across the Wing had volunteered to undergo a weekend of learning and development.

Three cadets from 487 Sqn attended the course, they were:

Cdt Nye
Cdt Chambers
Cdt Morris

Fg Off Simon Jennings and Officer Cadet Cotton also attended the course as members of the Wing Learning and Development Team.

In this fast moving course, the cadets were soon sorted out into their various syndicates and it was then time for the cadets to introduce themselves to their other team members. The assessment of the cadets is under taken by members of the Wing Learning and Development Team and each syndicate has two assessors, normally an officer and a SNCO.

The training that takes place on the Saturday of the course is intensive and starts with the cadets been inspected by the Wing Warrant Officer and other SNCO’s. The training then continued with topics such as the role of a JNCO, the RAF SMEAC system, leadership and leadership styles, communications and presentation skills all been discussed with the cadets.

After dinner on Saturday night, the training continued with all the cadets returning to Fulton Block to put some flesh on the bones of their syndicate presentations.

These presentations along with a host of initiative exercises took place on Sunday morning. The cadets were able to put into practice all that they had learnt during the weekend.

At the end of the course, it was announced by Sqn Ldr Harrison, Wing Learning and Development Officer, that the following cadets had been judged as the best performing cadets in their respective syndicates:

White Syndicate Cdt Huggins 198 Sqn
Yellow Syndicate Cdt Wilkinson 198 Sqn
Blue Syndicate Cdt Alsworth 497 Sqn
Red Syndicate Cdt Maher 2030 Sqn
Green Syndicate Cdt Bowyer 29f Sqn

Sqn Ldr Harrison finally thanked all the staff and cadets for the effort that had been shown throughout the weekend and he also thanked those members of staff from across the Wing who had taken the time to transport cadets to, and from RAF Cosford.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
487 Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-02-20 20:43:12
487 Sqn Cadets Raise Thousands for the Royal British Legion!

Sgt Andy Hudson ATC receiving the RBL Shield from Mrs Nina Hall

Staff and cadets from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn Air Training Corps have once again pulled out all the stops and raised thousands of pounds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

The Sqn has traditionally worked with the RBL branch in Kingstanding and this year was no different. The sqn’s staff and cadets travelled to Birmingham City Centre on two occasions in November 2010 and they also collected in the local area on the final Saturday prior to the Armistice Day parade. Many staff and cadets also took poppy boxes and collecting tins home with them and these were soon been rattled under friends and families noses, not to mention work colleagues.

The Sqn actually raised a grand total of:


Although this figure is slightly down on last years total, in fact it’s a great achievement because we did not have the help of cadets collecting in Erdington High Street this year.

It was announced at the Sqn’s recent presentation evening that Sgt Andy Hudson ATC had collected the most amount of money. He actually collected over £330 pounds, and he was duly presented with the RBL Kingstanding shield on the night.

We go forward into 2011 and the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion pledging that we will continue to help those who have served their country, both now and in the past.

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-02-16 15:48:31
487 Sqn Celebrate Their Birthday in Style!!

Saturday 5th February 2011 was a special day for 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn ATC. Not only was it their 70th Birthday, they were also holding their annual presentation evening.

Over 150 guests, staff and cadets gathered at the Kingstanding British Legion Club along with guests of honour, Mr Jack Dromey MP, Councillor Peter Kane and Sqn Ldr Stuart Iles.

The evening started with Fg Off Simon Jennings giving a brief history of the sqn and the ATC and there followed a piece of video which the Sqn had managed to find on the British Pathe website. This showed Sir Archibald Sinclair, minister for Air in 1941, announcing the formation of the ATC. There then followed pictures of the 487 Sqn old boys, a number of whom were sitting in the audience. At the start of the evening, Fg Off Jennings was given an enrolment card that was given to a 487 Sqn cadet in April 1941!

Following the look back to the start of the ATC, things were brought bang up to date when the new ATC promotional DVD was played to the audience, all a bit different than 1941!

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill, OC 487 Sqn, then took a look back at the remarkable year 487 Sqn had had in 2010. This obviously culminated with the Sqn finishing first at the Wing Field Training Day and winning the coveted Per Ardua Trophy.

It was now time for the cadets to take centre stage. A total of 32 NCO’s and cadets marched forward to receive their individual certificates of achievement from Mr Jack Dromey, MP for Erdington. Mr Dromey went on to give a rousing speech to the audience where he commented on the commitment shown by not only the cadets, but the staff as well. His final words were that he thought the ATC were the best of the best and he wished the Sqn all the best for 2011.

The winners of the various cadets awards were then announced, they were:

Best Sporting Cadet Sgt Jack Kirby

Best cadet – drill Cpl Tom Bell

Service to 487 Sqn Cpl Robert Andrew

Best Flight Merlin Flight

Overall Best Cadet FS Joe Creamer

Three more awards were given out on the evening, CWO Rigby and Cpl Reynolds received their CVQO awards, and Sgt Andy Hudson ATC, was presented with the British Legion Poppy shield for collecting the largest amount of money during the 2010 poppy collection campaign.

The evening was rounded off by Sqn Ldr Iles who gave a great speech in which he again praised the efforts of the Sqn and he urged that all try their best in 2011 to replicate the success.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill commented “Yet again we have had a great evening and I would like to thank all involved. In particular I would like to thank the members of the civilian committee for all their hard work during the year. Amanda Walden has tonight provided our superb buffet, and she has also provided the buffet at 165 Sqn, a remarkable effort! We are very lucky at the Sqn in that we have the best cadets and the best staff in the wing and they make my job a lot easier. We are looking forward in 2011 to protecting our status as the top sqn in the wing and to also getting as many cadets as possible through the Duke of Edinburgh’s award”

Fg Off Simon Jennings
Sqn Media and Communications Officer
487 Sqn

Simon Jennings
Published 2011-02-09 21:19:20
FS Joe Creamer Qualifies on his Basic Coaching Course

FS Joe Creamer who is a regional Marksman has taken his weapons training to another level by passing a Basic Coaching course.

Along with Sgt Andy Hudson from the CESATT team he travelled to Wattisham Airfield to take part in the course. In what proved to be an intensive weekend of training, FS Creamer was soon learning the basics of range safety and supervison and also marksmanship principles. He was also taught about the principles of zeroing of weapons and also how to run the different shooting practices.

It wasn’t all practical work though, all the course attendees had to take a written exam, and also take a No.8 Weapons Handling Test. They were also assessed in coaching practices on the range.

FS Creamer can now assist with range practices and be of particular help to the range conducting officer.

Sgt Andy Hudson
487 Sqn

Sgt Andy Hudson
Published 2011-02-09 20:58:15
487 Sqn Stride into the next round!

487 Sqn's Victorious football Team
FRONT: Joe Creamer, Adam Reynolds, Jack Kirby, Kieran Farrell, Steve Lycett, Ryan Borhara
BACK: Alex Hart, Kenny Morris, Connor Chambers Nik Bhakta, Andrew Lysaght, David Bowyer.

Following the recent spell of inclement weather, the postponed fixture with 8F Sqn, took place on Sunday 12 December 2010 at the Grace Academy in Coventry. The team from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr) Sqn coming out winners with a Six to One scoreline.

Although the final score suggests otherwise this was a tight affair, with the result in the balance until the latter stages of the game. In a 35 minute first half it was not until about the 18th minute that the 8F keeper was beaten, although F/S Steve Lycett had earlier hit the bar with a powerful header. The goal scorer was Cdt Connor Chambers who scored straight from a corner kick. The game until then had been end-to-end stuff with both teams creating chances. Even with the score at 1:0 the game continued to ebb and flow. Cdt Nik Bhakta in the 487 goal was in fine form making several timely saves from the 8F forward line. He was ably assisted by the defenders who made many crucial tackles. Then came the mighty run of F/S Joe Creamer, from his position, deep in midfield, like a stream train in full flow, side stepping tackles from the defenders before finally unleashing a powerful thunderbolt which whistled past the 8F keeper. Reminding this correspondent of Duncan Edwards. Half time score 2:0.

The second half began in the same vein as the first, more cut and thrust football. Then three minutes into the new session, 8F scored a goal their first half efforts had deserved. The goal might have rocked some sides but the 487 players kept to the game plan, maintained their shape and with 8F roaring forward in search of an equaliser broke away and scored a magnificent third, the final pass allowing Connor Chambers to net his second of the game. 3:1.

Although 8F continued their high tempo game this goal seemed to knock them back slightly and as the game wore on and perhaps, with confidence waning, 487 scored three more late goals (two more from Connor Chambers and one from Kenny Morris). Final Score 6:1.

The game, although hard, was played in good spirit by both teams and credit should be given to the 8F side who more than contributed to an entertaining spectacle. The scoreline did not reflect the reality of the encounter. This was, until the final quarter of the game, a close battle and the dividing line between success and failure a fine margin. Many players in both teams will attend the next wing trials and hopefully will be selected to play for Warks & B’ham Wing in the Regional Competition.

A delighted Conner Chambers afterwards commented “I don’t know what the score was, but I got FOUR”

The team have again been drawn away in Coventry in the next round, at 2286 Sqn.

Flt Lt Brendan O’Neill

OC 487 Squadron

Flt Lt Brendan O'Neill
Published 2011-01-10 14:04:21