THE STAFF TEAM
Officer In Charge
Flying Officer Stevie Burrows RAFAC
Flight Sergeant Tim Tolson RAFAC
On the eve of my thirteenth birthday I was excited that soon I would be old enough to join the Air Cadets. So far, joining up had been a family affair as both my parents and all of my older siblings had been a part of it. It was, frankly, the best decision of my life. I ended up spending the full 7 years as a cadet, from age thirteen to twenty, and during that time I rose through the cadet ranks and learnt many useful skills. As soon as I was able, I applied to be an Adult Staff member and a couple of days after my twentieth birthday, I was appointed.
I have been an Adult Instructor for more than 8 years now. My expertise lies in Weapon Instruction, Shooting, and Drill. These were the things I enjoyed most as a Cadet and I enjoy passing my knowledge on to the generations to come.
I joined 914 Sqn in Jan 2016 and was appointed Adjutant when the previous one moved out of wing in March 2016. As of November 2019, I fulfill the role of the Squadron Warrant Officer. Now, I try my best to ensure the Cadets get the most out of their time with us.
Flight Sergeant Chris Balls RAFAC
Sergeant Phil Beckinsale RAFAC
My Air Cadet story goes back to 1983, when at the age of 14 I joined 1032 (Yeovil) Squadron.
In September 1986, I joined the RAF at age 17. I spent 13 years in the RAF as a Medic, working at base medical centres, Aeromedical Evacuation Units, Drop Zone Medic for No 1 Parachute Training School an working with Sqearch and Rescue squadrons. Though a Regular, I still had contact with the ATC through the RAF cadet liason teams for the annual Cadets' Summer Camp.
I left the RAF in August 1999 at the age of 30. After 3 years of security work in the retail and cash transit secotr, I joined the HM Prison Service as an officer where I qualified as an Instructor in control and restraint and Person Protection, as well as a Riot Control Commander and Method of Entry officer. I enjoyed my 13 years in the Prison service, but I reluctantly had to leave in 2015 due to medical grounds.
My eldest daughter joined 914 Squadron. I thought that since i was there anyway, I would volunteer my services to the Squadron and on March 14 2017 I was certfified as a Civilian Instructor. Though I found this enjoyable, I felt I could give more. So I applied to become a SNCO and on October 12 2018 I completed my course at RAFC Cranwell.
I have always said that my time at the ATC made my RAF basic training easier to adjust to and I hope to pass on the lessons and knowledge I have accrued over the years to help the cadets as they start their journey's into their adult lives.
CI Phil Bond
Now retired, I was the Director of Outdoor Activities at Millfield School for 12 years following 32 years service in the Royal Air Force in instructional and developmental roles.
As a teenager I joined the Air Cadets. This laid the foundations for my future career and was, on reflection, highly developmental during those formative years. I took full advantage of the many activities available to me; enjoying many different sports, ultimately representing the Air Cadets at National Level. Air experience Flights and gaining my Glider Pilot Wings were definite highlights whilst completing the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh's Awards gave me experience in teamwork, problem solving, public speaking, and many other life-skills. Squadron activities also gave me opportunity to experience and develop leadership skills with my peers.
Having benefitted from my time as a cadet and spent some years as an RAF helper and as Air Cadet Liaison Officer, I am now using my time and skill sets to benefit 914 Squadron and the Wing and Regional Adventure Training teams to provide opportunities for our local youth and this tremendous volunteer organisation.