Super-Squadron


#82

Ultimately it’s uncharted waters for all of us.

The Squadrons staff are all very close, and were before the merger. That helps.

But we will see how things unfold, being only 3 weeks in its impossible to tell how we will be in 12 months time. The OC stood in front of all the cadets on the first night and promised them he and his team would do their best for every cadet, and the plans are there to do this. The OC has previously been involved with change management projects which has helped too. The staff team are also a real mix of background, a teacher, a social worker, a police officer, a micro-biologist, this years Ganderton Sword winner, to name a few, with 8 none executive Wing Staff roles between the team too.

If nothing else it’s a staff team that will lay a foundation for an exceptional squadron, and at best it’s a team that will ensure success for the unit for a number of years.


#83

Good luck with it as it sounds as if this has been thought through unlike at my former Squadron.


#84

Was sorry to hear about what happened at 7F.


#85

i wouldn’t be remotely surprised if this merger does work, purely because the Sqns were - in real world terms - next door to each other, knew each other, there was a big shiny wriggling worm in the shape of the excellent new HQ facility for all to share, and the fact that it has been some time in the brewing.

unfortunately i wouldn’t be remotely surprised if HQAC - who, unless i’m greatly mistaken, were kept at arms length from Stoke - took this as a blueprint and decided to merge all the Bristol (for example) Sqn’s into two, or decided that Shrewsbury and Oswestry aren’t that far apart, or indeed that Llandridnodd Wells and Aberystwyth are almost on top of each other…

10+ years ago no one would have batted an eyelid at this merger, unfortunately 10+ years of cronic incompetence allied to delusion and derangement mean that everyone knows what will come next.


#86

Aberystwyth isn’t close to anybody. This is a great problem for them. The round trip for their WSO is about 75 miles. Sectors or co-location is largely irrelevant to them. Getting to wing events is a major headache for them normally involvinga 4 hour rouns trip.


#87

You know that, and I know that, but…


#88

It’s a sad day when staff (including myself) get the feeling that many among our blue family want us to fail - not because of who we are and what we do, but instead because of what we represent; a fully functioning Super-Squadron risks green-lighting other mergers in less favourable circumstances. However, the job of the staff at 388 is to make it a success regardless of wider political feeling, I’m sorry to those reading this that hope the venture fails; it won’t. We were well prepared, everything was planned and well executed, and will continue to be so, and we will continue to be excellent. If other mergers go ahead as a result of our merger, then hopefully people involved will look at 388 as an example of good practice, then hopefully lessons can be learned about how and why it succeeded in Stoke on Trent, and that can be applied to other areas in the same situation.


#89

You have a PM.


#90

Cheers Bob - dropped you a reply.


#91

Far too many people have the view that if it’s not their idea, it’s the wrong idea.

Keep doing what you’re doing.


#92

We will be doing.


#93

I wish you all the best and hope it is a success, especially as it is clear a lot of hard work has been done between the staff and cadets.


#94

Again. No one hopes it fails. You have completely missed the point.


#95

Again. You have missed the point. It’s got nothing to do with individual “ideas”.


#96

I really haven’t.


#97

Well this could go on all night.


#98

It could.

But ultimately as the person receiving messages, comments etc, not just the odd one on here but elsewhere too, I’m best placed to state my own opinion on what I feel others are saying to me. You’re free to disagree.


#99

It’s not about seeing this fail.

The problem is that across the country people will recognise a similar situation in their local area in terms of similarly distanced squadrons and the myopic ATC management unable to see beyond the end of their eyelashes, wanting to embark on their social engineering project. HQAC have been mumbling like the bloke on the library steps about super squadrons and would use this as a model, completely ignoring the unique circumstances that brought it about.
As you have said this came about due to some extraordinary funding and the staff know each other and seem from the description swept up in the moment.
I don’t think it’s about seeking its failure, just more a realistic view adopted.

We’ve got 3 squadrons in our Wing that almost mirror the three squadrons in this instance in terms of crow flight distance from each other, although they are in 3 different towns. You couldn’t trust HQAC to not look at these and similar and do something silly.

If HQAC do see this as a model they need to leave if for 5 years, to have a few cycles of cadets and see how stable the staffing is, as the latter is the real key to how well it does over a prolonged period.

At the moment this squadron it is new married couple; they’ve been doing things together in the loose relationship that is being engaged for a few years, they’ve got married and they’re still hyped from the wedding day and idyllic honeymoon and just getting into their first home together, family and friends still abound and life hasn’t changed that much from their pre-marriage days.
Five years on with one or more kiddies and maybe a dog, friends may have moved away or got their own families, jobs may have changed, family have got older, the wedding day and honeymoon are long distant memories and the house is not quite as they would like as they haven’t had the time and or money to do the things, a night out means asking someone to babysit, but it’s not the same as before, as they are tired and feel odd not having the kids around. Like this squadron no one wants to see a marriage fail, but like this you can’t tell if a marriage will be successful just after first few weeks. The newlyweds will say it’s all wonderful, but parents looking on just nod sagely as they know it’s hard work to make it work, seeing beyond the daily slog and if one or other doesn’t do their bit or looks elsewhere, it will fall apart or just be an existence.

So do not see this as people saying they want it to fail, but more of people outside who’ve been around a while and not so easily ‘excited’ by something new and need to see it in a few years’ time.


#100

You said enough there - Wing and Region were involved. Region acts as an arm of the ACMB so there is little scope to argue.

And if there was a large meeting of parents, were they all sufficiently aware of Charity Law that they were sufficiently knowledgeable to make the proper decision on disposal/dispersal of assets. 60+ parents does not sound a lot for a super squadron - how many out of that number were Civcom?.

And if this super squadron managed to retain its’ staff and cadets, what has actually happened to the Civcoms. As I see it there were essentially three separate Civcoms or Excepted Charities which Charity Law requires that each make and record decisions. They each represent their respective communities in which the Cadets provide the visible presence. I cannot see that the ACO undertakes any consultation, but whatever, the Civcoms need to make proper decisions and that can involve dissolving the existing Charities and creating a new one. Given that the term ‘super’ is being involved here, suggests that asset value of the one could be substantial and that suggests the importance of becoming a registered charity, which would give more public identity and accountability. That is a Trustee decision not one to be made by the ACO and I would not mind betting that the niceties of the Law were never discussed.


#101

Too right.

I met someone from the now limping along 863 squadron some time ago who told me that, although outright merger was not directly proposed, the fact that it was a super squadron sat uneasily with Wing who ultimately engineered the demise of the squadron without any reference to the legal considerations. It caused a lot of upset and a lot of misinformation was put out at the time. In that instance, Wing preferred a quiet 30 or so cadets not doing much than well over 100 strong squadron doing well in the Region.

Despite a new building (which the cadets are apparently still not allowed into approaching one year after completion), the Civcomm there are repeatedly forced into funding schoolrooms for the squadron nights just 150 metres from the building.

Yet it is comfortably mediocre in line with the ambitions of the Wing, despite the efforts of all the volunteers and staff who continue to try. But the spirit is much reduced when the only answer is for cadets to join another squadron.

If left me thinking that under the current leadership, there is little to be gained by succeeding. Keep your head down, tick the boxes and hope to have some fun on the way … largely unnoticed and doing your own thing.

Very wise words …