The RAFAC in 2019


Did you not read my comments about actual teachers?
Just from that by yout remark, the education system would collapse.

We operate in an organisation where people come in, not really knowing very much about it, except we wear an RAF uniform and go flying. Other than that they have to fit in and do things. Expecting to get every single bod off the street come in and be into the subject matter we cover is naïve. People join as they want to do things with teenagers and feel they have some time on their hands to do so.


The same applies to older cadets as much as staff.
Many older cadets don’t have the base knowledge as all the most of them do is sit in front of a screen and answer questions, and their attendance is ropey once they hit GCSEs and it doesn’t improve when they move into FE, be that 6th Form, FE College or apprenticeships and then there are the jobs in retail in evenings and or weekends. So those that do stay on find it harder to commit as much the Air Cadets expect.


although that is true, there must be a reason they joined the RAFAC rather than the Scouts, St Johns, or Fire Cadets.
they’ll be an interest in the RAFAC “syllabus” and with than more likely to see people with knowledge in our teaching/training subjects.

I suspect there are more pilots/former pilots in the RAFAC than there are the Fire Cadets or Scouts. We’ll have more Volunteers interested in the subject of Air Nav simply because aviation is a topic which interests them. Thus we are better placed to be teaching Air Nav than they are…


There are still many who join on the back of their children being cadets. Some come along because they were cadets.
Although there are no doubt a number of pilots/flyers in the Air Cadets as staff, I only know of 3 in our Wing and you know what they say about pilots.
The majority I have seen have been parents.
We have to be grateful for who we get when we get them, well unless you want a staff of two or three on squadrons.
I do wish that the process of becoming staff was made less onerous and more immediate in terms of getting on the squadron.


doesn’t matter who they are or where they comes from, the fact is if they stay with the RAFAC then they see something that interests them and they feel they can contribute…

…would they feel the same with the Scouts, or St John’s Cadets?
it is almost a case by case basis and one CI’s contribution might be very generic to the Squadron, happy to run the Canteen and look after the register, while another maybe a SAAI or RCO, a Radio or Cyber instructor or a former RAF Air Traffic Controller happy to teach aviation topics

but those with RAFAC relevant skills will be sticking around for some reason


It would depend on their motive for joining.
Several senior Guide / Scout leaders I know have said they took their sons and daughters when they were little, got asked to help or offered and stayed.
I’ve seen parents come to help in the ATC and be treated appallingly, consequently leaving and taking their children with them.

The danger of coming into a forces’ cadet organisation is having a very specific intention and finding that you’re not doing it all the time and or the organisation isn’t as 'accommodating as you thought it would be.


indeed - read the line after the one you quote and it answers that point


My experience with parents being on the same squadron as their kids has never been good, but that’s a story for another thread! :joy:


Why would you want to ‘waste’ a CI running the canteen? In 40 odd years I’ve never known of a CI that runs the canteen. They have been doing classes and involved more the longer they are in. This has included parents.


it isn’t up to me or anyone else what a volunteer chooses to do.

I have been on 7 units and on at least three know of CIs who have been happy to come down each night to run canteen, input the register to Bader and call it a night.
One turned up on odd weekend events as an extra set of eyes, but was certainly not someone who taught or got involved greatly with the Cadet experience.

this is a “waste” if this is what they choose to do. there is no quota on time or persons to suggest the investment in this person is a waste of resource.


Something i was thinking about on the way home from work is D1 licenses. Given the CFAV population that have through grandfather rights will over time become minimal. Now the current solution of attending the D1 course at lecolnfield isnt really volunteer friendly (Basically CFAVs get drop out places at last minute notice based on 3 weeks they may be able to attend). My local MT section has the capability to do the testing on D1 but the organisation is not permitted to use that function. Whats the stumbling block in place preventing that?


That isn’t true. It certainly wasn’t when I went. We paid for the bus and so had priority with other users backfilling.



I went and had two other CFAVs on the course. We could have had a regular fill the forth place but it remained empty.
when i applied I had a choice of weekend to choose from with plenty of notice. (months not weeks)

if the system has changed and it isn’t volunteer friendly i agree with your statement but given they (DST) struggle to fill the four places per course I don’t understand why they would only offer us (CFAVs) drop out places as courses are rarely full based on my experience and others i know who have been…


Ill have to look. I made the call to them 18 months ago and they advised me this was the current situation. My works not flexible enough for me to book a week based on i might need it off might not


The D1 problem isn’t unique to the Air Cadets, just that youngsters can get it cheaper than others.

But again this is one of those things where it would be most useful to have it mobile around the UK and not just Leconfield.



I got my first choice of dates for the course. On my course we’re 3 RAFAC staff, and one RAF Cpl.

There was no suggestion of us filling places on a ‘last minute drop out’ basis!


Staff from my Sqn have obtained D1 within the last 18 months with no issue - I believe ACTO 151 is still extant? However it does require WEXO auth and then attendance at Leconfield as mentioned by other users - I believe their may be a strand for D1 training at a more local level under investigation with the CEB/ACMB.


Whilst I’d allow for a week - when I took the course it was training on Mon/Tues and test on Wed - thankfully I passed on the first attempt so I was homeward bound by Wed afternoon, the need for retests would certainly extend the duration.


One thing I’d like to see from HQAC over the next year or two is greater support with regard to recruitment material and content, as well as other “Air Cadet” clothing.

We are currently pointed towards the Defence Brand Portal as the place to go to for copies of the logo, but can’t we do better?

As usual I’m Comparing to the Scouts who have the scout shop with a huge range of Scout branded kit (and uniform) on sale, and the Scout Brand center with loads of different poster designs, display boards, logo creation tools, name badge designer etc etc
Most stuff with the option to buy direct from the brand center and have it posted to you, or download the digital file and you can locally source.

Why are we constrained to getting Cranwell/serco media to print stuff and send them out?
Why can we not purchase more copies of the Air Cadet and locally distribute to schools, libraries etc?


How are the medicals and provisional applications being funded? I am asking for a friend as I must have great grandfather rights on my old license!!