Air cadets just miss out

Watton's air cadets were pipped at the post to be named regional winners of the Laurence Rees inspection trophy in spite of impressing the regional commandant at their base.

Watton's air cadets were pipped at the post to be named regional winners of the Laurence Rees inspection trophy in spite of impressing the regional commandant at their base.

The 864 (Watton) Squadron had won the right to call themselves the best in Norfolk and Suffolk wing for the third year running but were hoping to be the first in their wing to achieve the accolade for Central and East region.

Last week Regional Commandant, Group Captain Brett Morrell and his deputy Squadron Leader Brian Shorter inspected a parade of the squadron and spoke to all 44 cadets about their achievements and ambitions.

The squadron also showcased the newly formed marching band as well as fieldcraft, first aid and radio projects. The continuity drill team impressed with their new display for the 2009 season and the modellers and Duke of Edinburgh awards team also put on displays.

Gp Capt Morrell presented his certificate for exceptional performance in the field of media communications to the squadron's commanding officer Flt Lt Michael Edney.

But wing commander Tony Hipperson broke the news that the unit was a very close second although the judges were “tremendously impressed with the inspection and all that they saw during the visit”.

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He said: “Whilst this is a bitter disappointment, it is nevertheless a great credit to Flt Lt Edney, his cadets and staff team for the exceptional effort and commitment which they have all put into this years' competition, and they should be very proud of themselves as we all are at WHQ.”

Mr Edney said “It was an excellent evening and I am absolutely delighted with the effort of all the staff and cadets. We are also very excited about the latest initiatives to boost the number of camp places and in particular GP Capt Morrell's plans to increase the number of overseas camps to Germany, Gibraltar the Falkland Islands and Cyprus. There is certainly lots for the cadets and staff to look forward to in the future.”

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