Cadets from 31 (Tower Hamlets) Squadron celebrated being named the best Air Cadet Squadron in the country at an awards ceremony in Tower Hamlets Town Hall on Friday, 2nd December.
Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, was on hand to present the Lees Trophy, the annual award given to the best UK squadron. This was the second year in a row the Trophy has been won by a squadron from London after the success of 56 (Woolwich) Squadron in 2015.
Beyond the Lees Trophy, the squadron also celebrated a comprehensive win at the Cadet Inter-Services Skill at Arms Meeting, bringing home ten trophies and dozens of gold medals, which were presented at the awards night. Taking pride of place amongst the silverware was the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services - the equivalent to an MBE for voluntary groups, which the squadron won earlier this year.
The evening saw over 150 certificates and awards presented, recognising cadet achievements, including classification badges, first aid, marksmanship, communicator badges, BTECs in Aviation Studies, Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (including a Diamond Challenge badge for the Cadet Warrant Officer), Air Cadet Leadership Certificates, and flying awards including the squadron’s first Bronze Aviation Wings
Since their formation as a squadron in 2013, the unit have gone from strength to strength, and were joined on the night by 25 VIPs, including representatives from the Air Cadet Organisation, but also GL RFCA, and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, who have supported the volunteer staff in their endeavors to deliver a comprehensive cadet experience for young people in the local area.