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Welcoming James to the CCF

A huge congratulations to Head of Transport, James, for completing his officer training - he is now a PLT Officer. After some impressive feedback following his training, we sat down with James to discuss his future in the CCF.

"!I was a former Air Cadet myself having left the Air Training Corps as a Cadet Warrant Officer. I had an amazing time as a cadet and was fortunate to have experienced so many great things, including the honor of serving the then Lord Lieutenant, Sir Andrew Buchannan for 12 months as his Lord Lieutenants Cadet. I virtually lived in my cadet uniform and my parents only saw me when I came home from a weekend away or from summer camps, which included camps at RAF Gibraltar and RAF Bruggen in Germany. Cadets were the best thing I ever did as a teenager. It gave me so many key life skills and such confidence.

When I retired from the police I got a little part-time job at the college as a bus driver and soon went on to become the Transport Coordinator when a vacancy emerged. Despite working in a none teaching role I was keen to get involved with supporting pupils and volunteered to assist with the Duke of Edinburgh's scheme. This was managed by Mr. Simon Payne, who is also the Contingent Commander of the CCF. As soon as he discovered my cadet background and enthusiasm for adventure training I found myself signing on the dotted line to become a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer as a uniformed Commissioned Officer.

I was interviewed by the regional Squadron Leader before attending two residential courses, the last of which was a week on the Command and Leadership course at RAF Cranwell where I graduated with my commission as a Pilot Officer. It was a fantastic course and I learned so much about myself and what the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) offer young people.  The aim of the CCF is to "provide a disciplined organization in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-resilience, resourcefulness, endurance, and perseverance".

Cadets at Worksop college have such a fantastic opportunity to pursue a variety of practical and academic interests such as;

  • Leadership qualifications that are recognized by the Institute of Leadership and Management
  • Academic subjects that include principles of flight, airpower, satellite and data. communications, air navigation, and much more that lead to a level 2 BTEC diploma in Aviation Studies.
  • Qualification from the cadet Progressive Training Syllabus that includes shooting, gliding, flying, first aid, radio, and cyber qualifications.

The cadets offer so much more than when I was a cadet and I am really excited about supporting cadets at college to access every opportunity they have. In the near future, I am looking forward to taking cadets flying at RAF Cranwell as part of the cadet aviation training package and to Austria skiing in April as an adventure training activity.

Worksop College Contingent Commander Maj. Simon Payne told us, "it's a great pleasure to welcome Plt Off J Keightley to our expanding RAF section and Contingent. He has already proved himself to be a worthy Officer and our Cadets will gain a lot from his positive and enthusiastic attitude."