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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



15 June 2016

With exams out of the way, the training programme at 825 Air Cadets in Bangor stepped up a level.

It started with an evening of keeping the “AIR” in Air Cadets with a VIP guided tour of the Ulster Flying Club. Cadets and staff were up close and personal with all the club aircraft and over 25 different types of privately owned flying machines, some dating to the 1940’s.


Of particular interest to the cadets was that examples of the previous three basic trainers have their home at the Ulster Flying Club. The Tiger Moth, Chipmunk and Bulldog. Cadets regularly get the opportunity to fly in the current basic trainer, the Grob Tutor at RAF Woodvale, with great news that Northern Ireland cadets will soon get their own Tutor to be based at Aldergrove.

The following week the Squadron made the short march across the Newtownards Road to spend the evening with the Northern Ireland Fire Service Cadets who were able to expertly demonstrate their practical drills and of course the visit concluded with a thorough soaking with the fire hoses. It’s amazing just how much kit is carried in one of the three fire engines and our cadets were allowed to literally crawl over the tenders in between two live fire calls. Whilst the two cadet organisations are very different the approach to training and adventure is exactly the same with a full range of leadership and skills training in the syllabus.


A reciprocal visit was hosted by the Air Cadets and we were joined on the night by a team from the PSNI Tactical Support Group complete with a vast amount of equipment necessary to make their role effective. This proved to be very popular, with shields raised, rifles held and the Landrover explored. It’s amazing how many tones those vehicles can make!

The final trip of the season was again keeping the “Air” at the forefront of our activities as we were hosted by the PSNI Air Support Unit at Aldergrove. “Air cadets are responsible young people and have the integrity to report any damage they may cause”. On that basis our cadets and staff were given the freedom of the hanger and permitted to climb, pose and generally “play” with the equipment. Despite such latitude our eagle eyed team of instructors kept a watchful “eye” on proceedings.

825 Air Cadets meets on a Monday evening in the Army Reserve Centre in Balloo Bangor. Recruiting is now open for our entry in September. Cadets need to be in school year 9 at the start of September and while we keep our cadets to 20 recruitment stops at 17 years old. The unit currently has cadets from Bangor, Newtownards, Comber and the whole of the Ards peninsula.

The unit is one of 17 in Northern Ireland and follows an aviation based syllabus but the emphasis is on discipline and fun. The programme includes adventure training, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Flying, Target Rifle Shooting, Fieldcraft, sport and a thoroughly good time.

Contact for details, Facebook “825 Bangor Squadron Air Cadets” or ring 07510 302697.