Soaring success for Tower Hamlets air cadet squadron

The trophy winning cadets: (top row, left to right) Sergeant Josh Taylor, Cadet Dean Marshall, Cadet

The trophy winning cadets: (top row, left to right) Sergeant Josh Taylor, Cadet Dean Marshall, Cadet Sravudh Tanhai and Cadet Warrant Officer Malcolm Smith (bottom row, left to right) Cadet Kim Dinh, Corporal Michel Santos and Cadet Darrell Kovac - Credit: Archant

Nine members of Tower Hamlets Air Cadets were recognised for their achievements at the squadron’s annual awards ceremony at Bow Territorial Army (TA) Centre.

Cadet Warrant Officer Malcolm Smith received the commander’s cup for top cadet from Sergeant Mark Malpas and Flight Lieutenant Nick Cogley from 31 Squadron RAF, the unit’s namesake squadron. He has also been invited to spend the day at RAF Marham, where they fly the Tornado.

The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, who have supported the squadron since it was established in 2011, were welcomed as guests of honour and Clerk of the Fishmongers, Major General Boag, presented three awards- the endeavour award to Corporal Michel Santos, the Wales Award for academic achievement to Corporal Isha Hussein and the Nicholls Award for marksmanship to Sergeant Josh Taylor.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse and honorary president of the squadron, Commander John Ludgate, deputy lieutenant of Tower Hamlets, and Councillor Lesley Pavitt, speaker of Tower Hamlets council, also presented three awards.

Cadet Dean Marshall was awarded best junior cadet, Cadet Sravudh Tanhai won the embodying the spirit of the squadron award and Cadet Michael Saunders received the Jack Petchey achievement award).

The other winners were Cadet Kim Dinh, who received the young award for best recruit, and Cadet Darrell Kovac, who won the best attendance award.

Emma Warden, from the Canary Wharf Group, attended the evening as a special guest. The property company purchased top-of-the-range first aid training equipment for the squadron which helped cadets obtain 60 first aid qualifications last year.

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Cadets also received certificates for completing bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards and for other academic and sporting achievements. Ten cadets completed their first solo skydive in the last year and seven were among the first air cadets in the country to complete the British Science Association CREST Awards.

Flight lieutenant Rex Nicholls, who runs the cadets, said: “The awards are the culmination of a year of very hard work by this outstanding group of young people. They are a celebration of how much they have achieved, perhaps by learning a new skill, excelling academically, or contributing to the local community.

“The awards, and the fantastic support we receive from members of the local community, are a welcome indication of the positive impact the air cadet group has on the local area, and we look forward to inviting new members to join our success.”

*An open evening for young people aged between 13 and 16 years old who are interested in joining the squadron will be held at Bow Territorial Army (TA) Centre on February 7 from 7.30pm.

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