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CAF PAYS A SPECIAL VISIT TO AN ATC SQUADRON

W/O BUZZ HARVEY

On 8 December, Chief of Air Force AVM John Hamilton, paid a special visit to No 17 (City of Christchurch) Squadron, Air Training Corps. He was the Reviewing Officer for the end of year parade and presented the trophies and awards to the unit’s deserving cadets. CAF was most impressed with the parade and made particular comment on the parade’s format and standards. As the trophies were presented, CAF scanned the names of previous trophy recipients taking delight in noting names he recognised, including that of one Cadet F/S David Lampen-Smith!

14 years as a Cadet Forces Officer, he has demonstrated outstanding organisation, instructional & leadership skills. He conducts himself with a high degree of enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism and has made a huge contribution to the training of NZCF cadets. SQNLDR Cole displays unquestionable commitment and loyalty to furthering the aims of NZ Cadet Forces and is an extremely worthy recipient of this commendation. Two other important presentations were made including an Air Cadet Commendation from Commandant NZCF to Cadet F/S Leon Van Der Plas, (A) for his outstanding contribution and commitment to the ATC. CAF also presented the Squadron with the Air League Trophy, as the most efficient ATC Squadron in New Zealand. No 17 Squadron has won this trophy for the past four consecutive years. The Squadron is the largest in NZ, starting 2005 with over 100 .

SQNLDR Shane Cole was awarded a commendation in recognition of his outstanding contribution to NZ Cadet Forces. (B,C) Throughout his

CAF was accompanied by WO AF Keith Gell. He spoke to the Squadron’s NCOs on leadership and the role of WO AF.

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CADETS PITCH IN FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS

F/S VINCE BINDING

In late October 2005 NZ Cadet Forces were asked to assist organizers of the Special Olympics due to an organisation’s last minute withdrawal. The initial contact was made with the RNO Christchurch, CDR Rex Edwards, who suggested that NZ Cadet Forces could probably fill this void. So began the preparations to assist NZ Special Olympics with the Opening and Closing Ceremo- nies, and all Medal Ceremonies at the six sports venues. The six NZCF Units in Christchurch, (17 Squadron City of Christchurch ATC, 18 Squadron Avon ATC, 38 Squadron Wigram ATC, City of Christchurch Cadet Unit, TS Cornwell and TS Steadfast), were approached to see whether they would commit to assisting the NZ Special Olympics, and all agreed to support this major event.

The NZ Special Olympics allows athletes with Intellectual Disabilities to participate in

a competitive environment. Special Olympics fosters attitudes of acceptance through sport to allow them to be accepted in society.

The games attracted over 1500 athletes, coaches and team officials, from New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region, not to mention nearly 700 volunteers and 112 Cadets and Officers from these Christchurch units.

The Opening Ceremony required 55 Cadets to each lead participating teams into the Westpac Stadium, and three further (one from each Corps) to raise the NZ Flag (CDTSGT Aaron Howell), the Special Olympics Flag (CPOCDT Melissa Morgan) and to light the Olympic Flame (CDTW/O Kendyl O’Regan).

The Medal Ceremonies required a little more co-ordination to ensure proceedings were completed in the manner normally associated with NZ Cadet Forces. This included liaisons

with the venue Sports Director, the VIP Medal Presenter and the athletes. MP for Wigram Jim Anderton said ‘the Cadets gave the ceremony a degree of formality that would not have been there’ and the Chairperson of the Games said they bought a ‘touch of class’ to the event.

For NZ Cadet Forces, and these units in particular, this would have to be one of the biggest single community events undertaken, and my expressed thanks go to the Cadets for their exemplary conduct, performance and understanding of these athletes, to the Officers who gave up their time to assist with the co-ordination of this event, and a special thank you to Major Wayne Henderson (NZCF) for his inside knowledge and assistance to bring it all together. The reputation of NZ Cadet Forces was enhanced by these Christchurch units, and they can all feel justifiably proud of their efforts.

www.airforce.mil.nz

AFN67 FEBRUARY 06

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