About Us

497 (Daventry Squadron), Air Training Corps

We are a friendly and successful squadron, which prides itself on our excellent  links with local communities in Daventry and the surrounding area. Our catchment area encompasses Ashby St Legers, Badby, Braunston, Bugbrooke, Dunchurch, Kilsby, Long Buckby, Priors Marston, Weedon Bec, Willoughby and many other localities around them.

We aim to:

  • Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people
  • Provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life
  • Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

Our mission is to offer, enable and support young people through the progressive implementation of these aims in the locality of Daventry and the surrounding areas. 497 squadron is exceptionally well supported and we insist on core values of respect, integrity, service and excellence. We also pride ourselves on giving our Cadets access to the full range of Air Cadet Organisation activities. We are intensely proud that the Air Training Corps enjoys the Freedom of the town of Daventry in recognition of the continuing involvement of 497 (Daventry) Squadron with the youth and community there.

In consultation with our Civilian Committee, we have agreement to seek an increase to our existing establishment by more than 35 cadets in the current financial year 2014/15. Accordingly, we are actively recruiting cadets and not operating a waiting list. Early application is strongly recommended and acceptance is subject to a short probationary period.

In fact – there has probably never been a better or more exciting time to join us!!!

We are also keen to hear from former cadets and staff and those who would like to help or support us in pursuing our objectives.

A lecture in progress.
D OF E Award Expedition

What do we do?

We develop 13-18-year-olds, offer them high flying adventure; unique experiences, challenging and rewarding activities; the chance to help others and make a positive impact on their communities. We teach them new skills and promote healthy outdoor lifestyles. Air Cadets have adventures they could never have at school or college – and we offer young people challenges that take them far beyond their comfort zone. If they’ve got potential, we’ll help them find it. At the same time, they will develop;

  • self-motivation
  • integrity
  • discipline
  • leadership
  • resilience
  • effective planning
  • problem solving
  • communication skills
  • time management
  • cultural awareness
  • loyalty
  • commitment
  • and the importance of completing tasks!

The more effort an individual puts in, the more they will get out of our organisation. We aim to give our cadets a real edge, when it comes to getting a job or university place. A flying and/or gliding scholarship, BTEC qualifications, leadership experience, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, national/regional/local representation in sport, overseas trips, instructor experience, first aid qualifications are all achievable and can significantly boost any Curriculum Vitae. 

If they have the ability and are prepared to put the commitment in; we’ll provide the opportunities.

Many of our core values teamwork, loyalty, leadership, self-discipline, maximizing individual performance and attainment, heath, well-being; coupled with a supportive culture are precisely the same values and behaviours which are in demand in the workplace and contribute to a more engaged, motivated and productive workforce. Like a good employer we  encourage innovation, growth and sustained performance by unlocking each individual’s true potential.

We are an integral part of the Air Training Corps (ATC), better known as the ‘Air Cadets’.

The Air Cadet Organisation is a UK-wide cadet force with more than 50,000 members aged between 13 and 18 years. It is sponsored by the Royal Air Force and can give hands-on experience of activities and courses that will challenge and develop Cadets skills and help them succeed in whatever they want to do. In essence, the ATC is the RAF’s cadet force, divided into six regions, 36 wings and more than 900 squadrons within communities around the UK. Key activities include (subject to age requirements or selection):

  • Powered Flying and Air Experience Flights.
  • Gliding (including solo and pilot opportunities from age 16).
  • Air Navigation courses
  • Advanced Flight Simulators.
  • Adventure Training
  • Leadership Courses
  • Aviation related Academic Training,
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Gold, Silver, Bronze)
  • Camps at RAF and military across the UK and overseas (namely, Ascension Island, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Germany).
  • Band Music Training including study for a BTEC First Diploma in Music (equivalent to 4 GCSEs, A-C grades).
  • Field Craft
  • Sports (Athletics, Cross-Country, Football, Hockey, Netball, Rugby)
  • Shooting (Air Rifle; .22 and Full Bore Target Shooting).
  • Radio Operating (VHF, UHF and HF)
  • Swimming Qualifications
  • First Aid Training
  • Drill

All our cadets benefit from a structured training programme. Starting as a Junior Cadet, they can learn what it means to be a Cadet and progress through the various classification; possibly finishing off as an Instructor Cadet, a grade where they get to teach other cadets the subjects that they have learnt. We have a modern and relevant programme of academic studies, which will assist anyone embarking on a career and which is of special value to those seeking to enter civilian or military aviation-related organisations. Fields of study include:

  • Air Training Corps (Organisation and Development).
  • Royal Air Force (Organisation and Development).
  • The Rifle.
  • Initial Expedition Training.
  • First Aid.
  • Basic Radio Communications.
  • Map Reading.
  • History of Flight.
  • Airmanship.
  • Drill.
  • Basic Navigation with Map and Compass.
  • Principles of Flight.
  • Aircraft Handling and Flying Techniques.
  • Air Power.
  • Piston Engine Propulsion.
  • Jet Engine Propulsion.
  • Rocketry.
  • Airframes.
  • Avionics and Aircraft Electrical Systems.
  • Military Aircraft Systems.
  • Basic Air Navigation.
  • Basic Principles of Pilot Navigation.
  • Advanced Radio and Radar.
  • Data Communications.

Cadets are able to obtain a BTEC Certificate in Aviation Studies (equivalent to 1 GCSE, A-C grade) on completion of their Leading Cadet examinations; or a BTEC Diploma in Aviation Studies (equivalent to 2 GCSEs, A-C grades) on successful completion of their ‘Master Cadet’ qualification. Cadets may also qualify for a BTEC Diploma in Public Services (equivalent to 4 GCSEs, A-C grades). As Cadet’s gain classifications, notably ‘Leading Cadet’, they become eligible for promotion (to Corporal, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and Cadet Warrant Officer).

They can also complete a number of challenging leadership courses to develop their leadership and management abilities. Successful completion of the challenging Junior Leader Course can lead to the award an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Certificate in Team Leading – Level 2.

The Air Cadet Organisation is divided into 6 regions, each region is controlled by a Group Captain (Gp Capt) who is a retired RAF Officer.

Our Regional Commandant is Group Captain Nigel Gorman BEd MA FCMI RAFR. He has a Regional Headquarters (HQ) located at RAF Wyton; a Regional Staff Officer, full-time civilian member of staff and a part-time typist to assist him as well as a small number of Regional RAFVR(T) Officers.

The Region’s main task is to develop and implement enabling strategies for the 6 wings and 178 squadrons under their command. These people together with cadets, volunteer civilians and uniformed personnel share the task of shaping the future of the Corps and, indirectly, our parent service, the Royal Air Force.

The Regional Commandant has a Regional Civilian Council to assist in running the Region. Together they determine Regional Air Cadet policy; maintain sound financial management and ensure that the training programme in the Region is implemented correctly.

The Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing is a formation of 27 individual Air Cadet Units comprising of approximately 1200 cadets (aged 12 to 20) located in a geographical area covering Warwickshire, the West Midlands and parts of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

The Wing is committed to supporting its squadrons and enabling the staff and cadets obtain appropriate qualifications to further the attainment of the Air Cadet Organisation’s objectives. It also provides a number of further opportunities for cadets by hosting a number of wing parades, adventure training activities, sporting and other events each year.

Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing is led by a Wing Commander Stuart Iles, who has a small full-time staff, who undertake a variety of administrative duties which include coordination of the Wing’s activities and provision of vital support to individual Squadrons.

Wing Commander Iles is also supported by a number of Wing Staff Officers RAFVR(T) who are often given responsibility for functional areas of training (e.g. as Wing Training Officer, Wing Physical Education Officer and Wing Adventure Training Officer). Each Wing Staff Officer (WSO) is assigned to support a group of squadrons within the Wing. They are responsible for visiting and liaising with their units on a regular basis, acting as a conduit and relaying relevant information to the Wing Commander, Wing HQ or vice-versa. WSO’s also oversee certain cadet examinations, perform an annual inspection of squadrons and provide general advice and assistance to Squadron Commanders.

Our Wing Staff Officer is Squadron Leader Bryan Coats RAFVR(T).

The Wing has a Wing Civilian Committee, who provide financial oversight; assists with fund raising and seek to ensure that the training cadets receive is fully effective.

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