WARRNAMBOOL’S Australian Air Force Cadets yesterday had their final parade and award ceremony for the year with the local branch of the RSL gifting the group a large ceremonial sword.
Commanding officer of the 413 squadron Paul Marsland said the Warrnambool-based cadet group numbers had soared since starting 18 months ago.
Commander Marsland said unit 413 had 68 cadets and about 40 took part in yesterday’s parade.
“I’ve been involved in squadrons in Geelong and Melbourne during the past and we identified a need for this sort of activity in the region,” he said.
“Our youngest cadets are 13 and the cadets can stay with us until they are 20 years old. Training involves drill and ceremonial activities as well as powered flights and glider training.”
Commander Marsland said the gliding training was done at Ararat with the powered aviation at the RAAF Point Cook base.
“Each cadet is granted funding for flights. We’ve had four cadets participating in private licences. One is now licensed and three others have gone solo,” he said.
“We’re based at the army depot in Pertobe Road and have nine staff of various backgrounds with skill applicable to our training program. We train every Thursday night during the school year and have a minimum of four weekends of field craft/bush activities.”
“Although still in our early stages we’ve been delighted with the development of the cadets,” Commander Marsland said.
“We’ve now got cadet corporals and sergeants and we’re starting to get a real structure.
‘‘We’ll be recruiting again in mid-February next year and anyone interested is invited to pop in and have a look at the program,” he said.