2017 has been another great year for the Australian Air Force Cadets and this would not be possible without the support of many people.
Firstly, I thank the 690 uniformed Officers and Instructors of Cadets who are the backbone of our program, which included 3,500+ activities being conducted in support of delivering the Cadet experience across the country. This also included 2,300+ plus hours being flown in our Air Force-owned gliders, providing great opportunities for young people to experience hands-on flight.
I also thank the many non-uniformed supporters who do an incredible amount of fundraising and specialist support that allows our Squadrons to prosper.
The passion, dedication and commitment to the development of our youth is extraordinary and as Commander I thank you all for your commitment and dedication to the program.
Our efforts are truly nation-building, and I know from the many parents and community supporters, and ex-Cadets I speak with, that this hard work is highly valued and appreciated.
To the 7,021 Cadets who have taken up the challenge, you are the reason why so many people give their time to support the Australian Air Force Cadets.
I recently attended a promotion course graduation parade and your achievements and growth as young men and women filled me with a great sense of pride. It is impressive to see your discipline, dedication and teamwork in action, and the benefits of being part of something greater. You have all taken on a challenge and grown much richer for the experience. To the very proud AAFC parents, thank you for placing your trust and confidence in our organisation.
I also thank our parent Service, Air Force, and in particular, the Chief of Air Force, for his support through the Cadets Branch team and our Director General. They provide the support to make us happen and their efforts are often hidden in the background. This organisation relies on a great and diverse team of people, and I thank you all for your efforts.
With the holiday season upon us, I know a great many of you will be sacrificing family time to be a part of the various training camps around the country. I am grateful for your efforts and looking forward to visiting a number of our courses during the holiday period.
Please have a safe and enjoyable Christmas period, no matter what you are doing. The new year promises to be challenging but potentially rewarding as some highly-valued activities are reintroduced to the program. I look forward to sharing my intent early in 2018.
Best wishes and Merry Christmas.
Group Captain (AAFC) Mark Dorward
Commander | Australian Air Force Cadets