The key in Staffs was the one time availability of a significant amount of cash. This wasn’t so much about money saving by RFCA but taking advantage of the available funds to best serve the Cadets of the 3 units.
What bob said - availability of cash, plus space issues at one squadron, aging building in another, equalled opportunity.
The new squadron building will have both a 4 lane .22 range, and an Air Rifle range, qualified staff to run every activity in the cadet experience, 5 minibuses, and a top notch new HQ, it’s a good thing for the kids of Stoke.
If you have several sqns a few miles apart i dont see any harm in this i thnk it would provide a better opportunity to the cadets.
I think that this is a fantastic opportunity, so some cadets may have to travel further, but how bad is the travel in Stoke, and how big as a city actually is it.
Have any cadets left the ATC as a result of the Merger and being unable to travel to the new HQ?
By bring the staff/cadets/resources together I’m sure that a better cadet experience can be delivered, even if they were already working together there will be an improvement to the parade night experience .
With these extra staff, I’m sure people will be able to take a night off and not feel guilty and potentially need to look at shutting the squadron as a result.
Whilst I agree in principle to your comments, and good luck to the lucky cadets around Stoke, how many other squadrons will be ‘joined together’ with no RCOs, nor minibuses!
Just as a cost saving measure, that actually won’t be much in the long run.
Go back to the last massive upheaval of 1999, when we lost a Region, lost some Wings and amalgamated others. How much money was actually saved after the whole rebranding exercise was complete.
I agree that measures need to be taken on the underperforming squadrons, but will this lead to larger squadrons being drawn together to form ‘super squadrons’ at the expense of the ‘poorer’ squadrons, that with a little help, would flourish.
The rumour mill is that GM wing is also creating a super squadron, who will share the site with a Wing training centre. Except that the building that they have chosen is: a) In desperate need of renovation, and b) currently for sale.
It does does sound like a great opportunity for the cadets of Stoke - how do the other units feel? I wonder how the super squadron will fare vs ‘normal’ units in inter-squadron competitions?
I think we are lucky that it’s been well thought out to choose the right units to merge - as you say it wouldn’t have worked with 3 units with no kit, no staff etc.
Not sure how other units feel - sure there will be the odd hint of jealousy, but that can’t be helped.
In terms of how the unit will fare at Inter-Squadron competitions - probably pretty well, but then the 3 units all did very well on their own previously - all top 10 finishers at WFD, good performers in sport etc, so will only be a slight improvement on what happens normally.
Should open up the competition to other squadrons not normally in the top 10 too!
The other thing is, that we have always worked closely with other units - we are very much made up of staff who are in it to help the cadets.
As a result we have already extended offers of help to other squadrons locally who need access to minibuses, who would like to use a shooting range etc. So this super squadron will be more than just a large group of cadets that get the best opportunities, it will give us the staff and equipment to support the rest of the Wing too, and as someone said previously, the large staff team gives us scope to support others without having to do 4-5 nights a week.
I hadn’t realised you were on the squadron. Would be interesting to hear how it all goes from the horse’s mouth as it were.
Best of luck with it!
Will let you know tomorrow…first parade night tomorrow evening 1900hrs
Well it all went remarkably well, we’ve had 2 parade nights now and key points as follows:
Cadets mixing well with other Squadrons and within their flights.
Inter flight sports night as our second night helped solidify new friendships within flights which is great as the natural worry was that we’d just have 3 Squadrons sat seperately.
Having so many qualified staff is a godsend - last night for example had basketball, dodgeball, football and climbing all running seperately at a local sports hall, worked very well.
Squadron photo on the first night also a good shout made everyone feel part of something new.
One issue was that all cadets bar a couple that we knew were going elsewhere are on our SMS but didn’t all turn up for the first night - so some ringing around occurred to track who was doing what. Final squadron strength is 88.
All in all - went very well, feedback from cadets and parents has been really good - next few weeks are key however!
What happened to the three Squadrons separate Civ Coms and most importantly their non-public assets and their cash heldin the bank. Was a meeting held of all those involved including parents in regard of disposal of said assets as possibly required by Charity Law. Any information would be appreciated as I suspect my old Squadron is being railroaded into this situation.
I’m not involved with the Civ Com side, as I understand it the Wing and Region chairs were involved in the process and all relevant processes were followed. There was a large AGM open to parents and interested party - 60+ attended.
Thank you for the quick reply
No problem Rob.
How does this new entity plan to cover local community events?
Say for instance Poppy collecting in two or three areas simulataneously or two Armistice Parades simultaneously or those things that the combined squadrons attended in their own areas?
They have enough staff and resources of 3 units. If required they could easily cover multiple areas if needed.