Sea cadets with strong FAA roots
Kettering Sea Cadets strengthened their affiliations with the Fleet Air Arm by hosting Commodore Jock Alexander OBE, Commanding Officer Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton at their Burgee efficiency award evening.
‘Training Ship 800 NAS’ (TS 800 NAS) proudly have the name of the last Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm fixed wing fighter squadron who were decommissioned in 2011. Previously they were known as TS Pytchley; a Hunt class destroyer that the people of Kettering paid for during the Second World War.
“We are unique among Sea Cadet Units”, said Lieutenant (SCC) Marc Pether RMR, Commanding officer of 800 NAS. “It’s a great honour to be able to keep the squadron name alive. We aim to ensure that every cadet not only enjoys attending our Sea Cadet Unit and take part in all the various activities, but that they acquire lifelong practical skills to take them forward in life and a sense of self-discipline and pride in what they can achieve.”
The Kettering Sea Cadets are distinctive as the only Unit with a Fleet Air Arm cap tally and in addition to strong traditional ties with Naval Bases in Portsmouth and Plymouth can boast links to Royal Naval Air Stations at Yeovilton and Culdrose. Amongst the usual Sea Cadet activities of Sailing and Seamanship, they also take on airborne pursuits and even look at air engineering aspects as well, on visits to the Naval Air Stations.
“The Cadets get the opportunity to fly on air experience flights with 727 Naval Air Squadron at Yeovilton in the Grob trainers and we have been to RAF Shawbury where some flew with the Navy’s basic training 705 NAS,” said 1st Officer Chris Jablonski Merchant Navy, First Lieutenant of 800 NAS SCC. “It’s all about engaging the kids in different activities and we offer more than most Units here.”
Sea Cadet Units was established in 1854; created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. The tradition of community based Sea Cadet Units continues today with 400 across the country, each with charitable status enabling them to raise funds. All Units are members of the Sea Cadet Corps and are governed by the national charity, ‘The Marine Society & Sea Cadets’ (MSSC). Their core purpose is to celebrate Britain's maritime heritage and contribute to its future development by supporting young people as Sea Cadets.
Presenting the Unit with a prestigious ‘Sea Cadet Burgee’ for the year in recognition of continued development of the Unit and cadets, Commodore Jock Alexander OBE was impressed by the facilities and friendly atmosphere at the Unit. “It’s a real; pleasure being here tonight to share with you and your parents the award of this Burgee. There’s real excitement in the Fleet Air Arm as we introduction a new generation of aircraft and the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers. I hope some of you will look into joining the Royal Navy, but more importantly that you see what the Navy can offer.”