Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Happy Birthday Flight Sergeant Ainsley!

Flight Sergeant Beth Ainsley celebrated her 18th birthday on Tuesday, 27th November and was presented on first parade with a birthday cake which had a squadron photograph printed on it in edible icing. 

She also received a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday to You" from all squadron members who all later had a share of the cake (so some of the cadets had the pleasure of eating themselves...).

Sunday, 25 November 2012

How NOT to Get Lost

Corporal Gordon and Cadet Potts were both presented with their National Navigation Award Scheme Certificates which are awarded when a set standard in practical map reading and navigation skills is achieved.
Cdt Potts (on the right) was presented with a Bronze award whilst Cpl Gordon (Left) achieved a Silver award having previously gained a Broze.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

More Fieldcraft Training (or how to get lost in the woods)

A further group of 361 (Gateshead) Squadron cadets attended a Fieldcraft training day on Saturday, 17th November to learn survival and concealment skills.

Pictured below are some of the cadets who took part on the day.

Monday, 19 November 2012

We Will Remember Them...

On Sunday, 11th November 361 Squadron took part in the Gateshead Remembrance Service and Parade.

The 361 squadron band led the cadet contingent which included Sea Cadets, the Army Cadet Force as well as cadets from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron Air Training Corps.


Cadets and staff from 361 squadron after the parade

Altcar Band Camp

In late October, Cadets from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron attended the first North Region Band Camp held at Altcar in Merseyside.
Drummers from North Region during a practice session at Altcar
The week long camp allowed cadets to improve their band skills and the programme also included flying and gliding at RAF Woodvale.

The 361 Squadron band is pictured below at one of their regular practice sessions at the RFCA Centre in Gateshead.
Cdt Josh Rayner was also selected to play the Bass Drum in the Air Cadet National Marching Band at the Lord Mayor's Show in London on 10th November.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Fieldcraft Training Day

On the 6th October, 12 cadets from 361 squadron took part in a fieldcraft training day where they learnt about the skills of camouflage and concealment as well as learning about living in the field. 
Now you see them
Now you don't (They are there, somewhere - honest!)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition

Cadets Paul Dixon and Lloyd and Harvey Simpson recently successfully completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition in the Thropton and Rothbury area of Northumberland.

All three cadets were required to complete an overnight camp and a hike, navigating with map and compass (no GPS allowed!) and having to carry all their equipment and prepare their own food.

Throughout the expedition they were assessed on their navigation and camp-craft skills.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Social Night at Namco Funscape

On 23rd August the squadron had a very successful social night at Namco Funscape in the Gateshead Metrocentre, .
All Cadets enjoyed their games of tenpin bowling and riding on the dodgems.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Recent Presentations

A number of cadets from 361 squadron recently received awards including BTEC Awards and Instructor Cadet Certificates.
Above: Cpl Michael Rear and Sergeant Chris Dolphin both received BTEC First Awards in Public Services valued at 4 GCSEs at A* to C Grades.
Above: Sergeant Jamieleigh McPake, Flight Sergeant Beth Ainsley, Sergeant Chris Dolphin and Corporal Ross Laws all received BTEC Certificates in Aviation Studies valued at 2 GCSEs at grades A* to C when they qualified as Master Cadets.
 Above: Cpl Laws, Sgt Dolphin, Flt Sgt Ainsley and Sgt McPake also received their Instructor Cadet Certificates which confirm their ability to instruct other cadets.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Annual Camp at RAF Brampton / Wyton

Between the 21st and the 28th of July, cadets from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron attended a summer camp at the twin RAF stations of Brampton / Wyton in Cambridgeshire.

During the camp cadets took part in a wide range of activities including a visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford (where the film "Battle of Britain" was made), target rifle shooting at RAF Wittering, flying in Tutor aircraft at RAF Wyton, swimming at RAF Henlow, and participating in a laser battle at Laserforce in Peterborough.

Other activities included visiting the Air Traffic Control tower, Fire Section and Pathfinder
 Museum at RAF Wyton and the Chiltern Air Support Unit police helicopter at RAF Henlow.

Pictured below are cadets and staff from 361 squadron alongside cadets from other squadrons from Durham/Northumberland Wing in front of the historic Brampton Park Officers' Mess.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Cadet CV

Sgt Christopher Dolphin was last night presented with a Cadet CV which is awarded to cadets when they have achieved the following goals:
  • Flown in RAF training aircraft as a pilot under instruction showing confidence and ability to follow precise instructions.
  • Taken part in Target Shooting which requires self-discipline and an ability to follow exact training and instructions and good Hand-eye co-ordination.
  • Achieved a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award - this award requires motivation and persistence and also demonstrates the ability to work as part of a team. It includes sections that require voluntary service to others, skills and physical achievements as well as an unaccompanied expedition in a small group which demands resilience and courage to complete.
  • Attended a residential camp demonstrating personal organisation and the ability to interact with others.
Sgt Dolphin has achieved all of the above and in addition has completed a Gliding Scholarship which culminated in a solo flight in a Vigilant motor glider at 645 VGS, RAF Topcliffe which he achieved at the age of 16 (i.e. before he can legally drive a car on the road).

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions

On the 5th and 6th May, nine cadets from 361 Squadron packed their rucksacks to take part in Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions in the Hadrian's Wall area in Northumberland starting in Haydon Bridge and finishing at Stonehaugh (including an overnight camp and approximately six hours of hiking on each of the two days).

The participants must be self sufficient throughout the expedition, carrying all their camping kit (including tents, sleeping bags and food) and preparing their own hot meals as well as navigating a route using map and compass. (Sat-Nav is not allowed!) Each participant must complete both a practice and an actual expedition to qualify for this part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
Pictured above at the start of the expedition are cadets Robbie Graham, Lloyd and Harvey Simpson, Josh Gordon, Matthew Purdy, Paul Dixon, Alice McGregor, Ellisha Clelland and Sam Hogg. (Cadets Graham, Gordon and Purdy completed their actual expeditions whilst the remaining six took part in a practice expedition.)

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Gliding Course Success

Cadets Robbie Graham, Alice McGregor and Matthew Rutland today completed their first Gliding Induction Courses with 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at RAF Topcliffe in North Yorkshire. During their flights all three cadets took control of the aircraft under the supervision of a qualified instructor.
With a Vigilant Motor Glider are: (from left to right) Cdts McGregor, Rutland & Graham
This course (known as a GIC 1) is the first of a series of three courses which are designed to teach the basic effect of the controls of the Vigilant Motor Glider and can later lead to the award of a gliding scholarship (once over the age of 16) where a cadet is taught to fly the aircraft up to solo standard.

Click here to find out more about Flying and Gliding with the Air Cadets and click here to go to the 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron website..

361 Squadron BTECH Awards

Four Cadets from 361 squadron were presented with their BTECH First Diploma in Public Services on Thursday, 26th April. This internationally respected qualification is equivalent to 4 GCSEs at A* to C level.
Pictured above with their certificates are three of the cadets who gained awards (from left to right) Sergeant Beth Ainsley and Corporals Ross Laws and Jamie-Lee McPake.

To find out more about the BTEC awards available to cadets visit the Training and the BTEC Qualifications page on the sqaudron website by clicking here.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Barry Buddon Band Camp

Cadets Ellisha Clelland and Joshua Rayner (together with Civilian Instructor Darren Taylor) recently attended a week long band camp at Barry Buddon Training Camp, near Dundee in Scotland.

Both cadets are members of the 361 (Gateshead) Squadron band and Ellisha attended with other cadets from Durham/Northumberland Wing, whilst Joshua attended as a member of the Air Cadet Organisation National Marching Band which consists of cadets from squadrons from all of the United Kingdom.

Pictured below are cadets from the Durham/Northumberland Wing contingent with Cdt Clelland holding the Cymbals, centre right on the front row .

The video below is of the Air Cadet Organisation National Marching Band performing at Barry Buddon Camp. (Cdt Rayner is one of the two Bass Drummers in the band.)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

CVQO Launches New Online Voucher Book

A new online voucher book with loads of great money-off discounts and special offers has been launched by CVQO (Cadet Vocational Qualifications Organisation) for all cadets, their families and friends 
For the past ten years educational charity CVQO has delivered real learning and real benefits to young people and adult volunteers through its BTEC, ILM and City & Guilds training and development programmes.

Now CVQO is pleased to add even more benefits with special deals based around having fun, making the most of leisure time and, above all, being able to do this with friends and family.

And don’t miss the special video message from CVQO patron Lorraine Kelly inside the first page.

To access the CVQO VOUCHER BOOK, click here  or on the picture above, or copy and paste the link below into your browser.

We hope you enjoy using the vouchers!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Duke of Edinburgh Award Resources

We have added some useful resources to our Duke of Edinburgh Award page on our web site including a direct link to the eDofE sign in page and a eDofE participants guide.
Click here to go directly to the DofE page where you will find these links at the bottom of the page.

Relevant Duke of Edinburgh links have also been added on our resources page and general links pages.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Flying High at RAF Leeming

On Wednesday, 21st March Cadets Dover, Rutland and Graham went flying in Tutor aircraft with No. 11 Air Experience Flight at RAF Leeming.
This was the first flight for Cdt Dover (above) who was able to take control of the aircraft over North Yorkshire.

Presentation of BTEC Certificates

On Tuesday, 20th March Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, N Sherlock Esq OBE, presented cadets from Durham/Northumberland Wing with their BTEC First Diploma in Public Services Award Certificates.

Corporal Kerry Armstrong from 361 (Gateshead) Squadron (pictured above with the Lord Lieutenant) was one of the recipients of the award which is equivalent to 4 GCSEs at A* to C Level.
Pictured above are all the cadets from the Wing who receievd their awards last Tuesday, together with the Lord Lieutenant and the Durham/Northumberland Wing Training Officer, Sqn Ldr C Miller.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Flying High

On the 15th January, Cadets Fox, Rutland and Graham from 361 squadron made their first flights in Grob Tutors at RAF Leeming. All three cadets enjoyed their flights and were able to take control of the aircraft in the air over North Yorkshire.
More flying to come on the 21st March.

Monday, 6 February 2012

National Navigation Award Scheme

Following a period of training and a practical assessment at Chopwell Woods, Corporal Ainsley and Cadets Dixon, Fox, Gordon, Hogg, Purdy and Rear all qualified for NNAS Bronze certificates which were presented to them on the 2nd February.
They now have no excuse to "get lost" when out on an expedition!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

First Time Flyers

Yesterday, on a very cold but clear day, Cadets Adam McIntyre, Ryan Swailes and Ethan Stevenson went flying in Tutor aircraft of 11 Air Experience Flight at RAF Leeming.

For all 3 cadets this was their first flight in Tutors and they have therefore qualified for their "First Flight Certificates".
 We have more flying to come this month on the 15th February.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Flying High

On the 11th January, Cadets Hogg, Rayner and Snaith were the latest to complete Air Experience Flights at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire. During their flights they were given the opportunity to take control of the aircraft and perform some aerobatics.

More cadets will be going flying on the 1st and 15th of February.

Heartstart Success - Staying Alive

Ten cadets from the squadron were the latest to qualify for their Heartstart certificates as a result of a course run by Sgt Laws.

This course covers CPR skills and gives cadets the knowledge and skills to perform recucitation on a casualty. It is squadron policy for all cadets to qualify for Heartstart and the successful candidates on this course were Cadets Jon Fox, Ryan Swails, David Gordon, Liam Hewitson, Alice McGregor, Jeni Blatchford, Ethan Stevenson, Josh Dover, Matthew Rutland and Robbie Graham all of whom were presented with their certificates.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

November / December 2011 Update

On the 17th November we had a recreation evening at NAMCO Funscape at the Metrocentre in Gateshead. Uniform for the night was fancy dress and our cadets really pushed the boat out with their creativity and effort with costumes ranging from a banana and a sumo wrestler through to the Mario Brothers (or as they were female cadets, should it be Mario Sisters?), the Men in Black and James Bond (with a wide variety of characters in between!)


At the end of November, 3 cadets went Air Experience Flying in Tutor aircaft at RAF Leeming. They had an opportunity to fly the aircraft (and for those who like being turned upside down, some aerobatics).

Grob Tutor

December was also a busy month for the squadron starting on the 3rd with with 3 cadets gliding with 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at RAF Topcliffe. They completed Gliding Induction Courses in Vigilant motor gliders which included taking control of the aircraft and learning how to fly the aircraft in the air.

Vigilent Motor Glider

On the 8th December we were again due to go flying at RAF Leeming, however the winter weather conspired against us and high winds resulted in flying being cancelled. (We have another allocation on the 11th January so hopefully our cadets will get into the air again on that day.)

On two occasions in December our cadets went climbing at the indoor climbing centre in Simonside, South Shields and at the Sunderland Wall.


Cadets are working towards a NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme) certificate which will help them achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.