Air cadets were delighted to return to face to face training at the end of last year – albeit briefly – after nearly eight months of meeting in the virtual space.
Although the pandemic led to exciting new opportunities for virtual training and development, a return to face to face training as soon as it was feasible and safe was always a priority for the Air Cadet organization.
Several conditions had to be met to ensure each unit was Covid compliant operating the safe ways of working in this new age. In addition, some squadrons were also restricted by local lockdown restrictions, which affected some more than others.
2478 (Abergavenny) Squadron was the first squadron in Wales to receive approval and return to face to face activities. Their first parade night back was the 17th November 2020, almost 8 months after they were forced to close due to the pandemic.
Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions currently placing Wales in tier 4, face to face activities for Air Cadets have once again this year now been suspended.
Officer Commanding 2478 (Abergavenny) Squadron, Wing Commander Darran Williams said, “It was a good feeling to be back parading after 8 months away. The cadets had been very keen to return and the parents were even more keen to get them back parading. We had built up a waiting list whilst we have been away, so were expecting an additional 10 new cadets to join us. It was a lot of work ensuring the premises were Covid ready, but everything was worth it to see the joy and laughter on all the faces.”
The return of 2478 (Abergavenny) Squadron was a catalyst to help push other squadrons through approval. Within weeks over half the Squadrons in No 1 Welsh Wing returned to face to face activities, which have now once again been suspended, while Wales is in tier 4.