Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force, officially opened the new home for Australian Air Force Cadets at Illawarra Regional Airport on Saturday 6 February 2016.
The Royal Australian Air Force has overseen the $900,000 development of this new home for No 338 Squadron, which serves the Shellharbour area and has 34 cadets aged between 13 and 20, and five Officers and Instructors of Cadets who lead them in the youth development program run by the Australian Air Force Cadets.
“I know it has taken more than a decade for 338 Squadron to find a permanent home and this new building gives the Squadron the capacity to grow with room to accommodate more Cadets and staff in the years to come,” said Air Chief Marshal Binskin.
No 338 SQN is located near the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society, which operates aircraft that are significant to Australia’s military and civilian aviation history.
“As a result of their close proximity, No 338 Squadron has enjoyed a close relationship with the Society, allowing Cadets to gain a greater appreciation of Australia’s aviation heritage and what careers the aviation industry has to offer them.”
A former Cadet of No 303 (City of Camden) Squadron, Air Chief Marshal Binskin said he was pleased to continue his association with the Air Force Cadets.
“The time I spent in the Air Force Cadets fuelled my enthusiasm for flying and set me on the path to become a pilot – first in the Royal Australian Navy and later in the Royal Australian Air Force.”
Cadets in their mid-teens are able to undertake three weeks per year full-time tertiary-level training in leadership, decision-making, initiative, self-discipline, time-management, clear thinking, public speaking, management and administration that will qualify them for a TAFE Certificate III in Business Management.
“Air Force Cadets offers young Australians an opportunity to develop their leadership qualities, self reliance, discipline and initiative. These characteristics provide a good foundation for those who choose to pursue a military career, but the knowledge and virtues instilled in the Air Force Cadets will hold them good stead no matter what career path they choose,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
By Raveena Carroll-Kenney, ADF Regional Manager Public Affairs NSW