2016 has been a period of enormous excitement and challenge for the Australian Air Force Cadets. The year commenced with the Governor-General His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) launching ’75 years aloft’, the AAFC history, written by AAFC historian FLGOFF(AAFC) Matthew Glozier. The launch took place at Government House in Canberra. The 75th year has been marked by numerous parades and ceremonies across the country. A significant number of squadrons have been granted and/or exercised freedom of the city honours granted by local municipalities with a number of wings being granted freedom of their capital cities. The AAFC has been presented with the Governor-General’s banner at a ceremony and parade on 1 October 2016.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse conducted mid-year is due to announce its findings at the end of 2016. Following the First Principles review into Defence, and influenced by events reported in the Royal Commission, the structure of the Australian Defence Force Cadets will be changed in 2017. The Chief of the Defence Force will have direct accountability in relation to the protection of minors working in and with Defence. A new tri-service ‘One Cadet’ structure has been approved. Whilst the new operation may have little initial impact on the AAFC there is no doubt that we will see greater scrutiny applied to our operations. Of primary concern is the responsibility and accountability that all AAFC adults accept as ‘special carers’ for cadets who rely on them to deliver safe and yet challenging activities. There will be no tolerance of unacceptable behaviour and new tri-service training in regard to child safety awareness and associated programs will be mandated across the ADFC for all adult participants.
Development of the Next Generation Cadet Curriculum is in full swing under the Defence Approach to Structured Learning (SADL) process. Exciting training content will be delivered in a contemporary environment using modern teaching methodologies. Director Training will be speaking with you on this and the new Staff Training Continuum in the new year. The remaining 3 gliders are due for delivery shortly meaning there will be a total of 22 gliders in the AAFC fleet. Air Force has a project in play to establish a fleet of new powered aircraft to insure that all cadets can enjoy an aviation experience in each year of their service should that be their desire. Director Aviation Operations will update you on that project as it develops. All in all there is a lot to be excited about as we move from celebrating our 75th year and prepare for the next milestones ahead. The level of support we have enjoyed in recent times from Air Force is being maintained and enhanced. We are working hard with Air Force and our community partners through the AAFC National Council to identify and establish pathways for cadets and staff to follow toward a career in aviation.
When the appointed AAFC Commander, GPCAPT (AAFC) Greg Williamson, was unable to continue in the appointment I was appointed to carry on as the T/CDR-AAFC pending a formal appointment being made. The process has now been run and a new CDR-AAFC will be announced by Chief Of Air Force in the coming days. For me what is left is to thank the organisation for supporting me as the T/CDR over the past 6 months and to wish all members and supporters of the AAFC and their families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy the holiday period and any AAFC activities you are participating in, stay safe and we will come together early in 2017 to achieve even greater things as we continue to move the enterprise from good to great.
Group Captain (AAFC)
Commander – Australian Air Force Cadets