This page has been created with the intention to keep all cadets and parents fully updated with all relevant updates from RAFAC (Royal Air Force Air Cadets) about COVID-19, and how it is affecting Air Cadet Squadrons operationally throughout the country. For further information and updates please also refer to https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/
23 SEPTEMBER 2020
A message from our Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Simon Cooper
As we move into the Autumn, and the return to Face to Face activities seems still sometime away, I am putting this email together to give you an update on where we are.
As you are aware, Face to Face activities were halted following direction from the RAF Command Board in response to the Pandemic back in March. This was disappointing especially for our latest intake of new recruits who were just coming to the end of a large part of their Initial Training.
I held several meetings virtually with my staff to discus how we could move forward following the advice and guidelines. There are many difficulties in providing Virtual Activities for the Squadron as I believe these activities need to be relevant and also of interest to the Cadets. Some of my staff, myself included, are essential workers and emergency services workers and have continued to work throughout lockdown. This has added to the difficulties in preparing for and delivering Virtual Parades. So far, we have held 5 Virtual Parades. We (get rid of this comma), also made the decision with the restrictions being lifted over the summer, we would not hold any virtual parades in an attempt to allow the cadets and staff time to get outside and try to return to some sort of normality. The program we run over the summer usually involves more outdoor sports and fieldcraft activities. This is not something we would be able to deliver through Virtual Parades.
You should have received an email from Commandant Air Cadets a few months ago that gave you an update and plan as to how we as an Organisation would continue through this pandemic and into the future. For those that did not see the email, a copy has been posted onto the Squadron Website which can be found at www.2fsqn.co.uk . If you follow the COVID 19 update you can download a copy of it.
Moving forward, we had hoped that we would be looking around to some sort of return to Face to Face activities, however, this is something that is outside of my and my staff’s control and can only be commenced once a decision had been made as at HQAC and also Region. It is important that we follow the Government advice which is the basis for the decisions being made. It is impossible for me to say when we will return to face to face activities, but I remain optimistic that we will.
As we move into the Autumn and our cadets return to school, we will be running at least three Virtual Parade nights per month. These are advertised through the Cadet Portal which all the cadets have access to. It can be found at www.cadets.bader.mod.uk . If they can’t for whatever reason access their account, they need to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reset it for them. The Cadet Portal advertises activities the cadets can sign up for both on and off the Sqn. Please get them to have a look at this as there are some excellent talks and presentations by some very interesting relevant individuals. The Portal also allows access to Utilearn which holds all the training material. Each cadet can log in and carry out their own study through the Cadet syllabus.
In an attempt to improve contact and updates, I have set up a facebook group. This is for all current cadets and parents to allow the staff to update everyone and also allows us to advertise to the cadets the different activities. It is a closed group only for current members of the unit. I appreciate that not everyone is on Facebook, however this is the starting point, and we will look at other ways to get the messages out over the next few months. Please feel free to sign up to the group is can be found by searching for The Current 2F (Watford) Sqn. There are a couple of questions to ensure that only members of 2F join. Please feel free to sign up and encourage your son / daughter to do the same.
The next Virtual Parade will take place on Thursday 24th September. It is advertised on the Portal. If you have any questions, please come back to me and I will try to answer. Please stay safe.
22 MAY 2020
31 MARCH 2020
24 MARCH 2020
The Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE, has released an official statement which has been outlined below.
Due to the developing situation with COVID-19, and the recent announcement by the Prime Minister to effectively lock down all non-essential movement, the RAF Air Cadets has decided to cancel all face-to face air cadet and staff events currently planned to take place between now and 31 Aug 20. This aligns with Government direction to restrict non-essential activity.
The decision, whilst regrettable, has been taken to prevent false hopes and expectations, avoid nugatory work and the possible loss of irrecoverable costs. It also enables all staff and adult volunteers to focus on delivering the best alternative cadet experience they can until normal operations resume. Much work is on-going to design and deliver bespoke on-line training material and all members of RAFAC are encouraged to share best practice via their dedicated Training Officers at Wing and Regional level.
A decision to recommence face-to-face activity from September onwards will be made in light of emerging Government guidance nearer the time but, for now, plans for events and activities from September 20 can continue but all staff should be prepared to change plans if the situation demands it.
For the interim, all staff, volunteers and cadets are advised to continue to follow all Government advice with regard to protecting themselves and others from the virus and helping to slow the spread of the pandemic. To that end, working from home is the default for all RAFAC personnel and no staff or volunteers are to visit RAFAC facilities to conduct building checks or undertake RAFAC duties since these journeys are not essential.
Any questions about the impact of this announcement are to be directed in the first instance to your chain of command who stand by to advise and support colleagues as much as possible. Please remember that our senior staffs are human, too, some are self-isolating, most are working from home, and everyone is facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty. Be kind to each other and we will all do our best to answer your questions and continue to engage to the best of our ability.
Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty
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