Who are the Air Cadets?

The Air Cadets, officially known as the ATC (Air Training Corps), is a national adventure youth organisation, run by highly qualified volunteers, for boys and girls between the ages of 12 (year 8) to 17 years, with support from the RAF. What it isn’t is a youth club! All meetings and activities are planned in advance and although not strictly part of the RAF, our organisation, structure and uniforms broadly mirror the RAF.

With almost 40,000 cadets, within nearly 1,000 Squadrons, the ATC is one of the country’s premier youth organizations and the world’s largest youth air training organization. The Cadets are supported by a volunteer staff of over 12,000 plus 5,000 Civilian Committee Members.

What do the Air Cadets offer?

It offers the chance to fulfil your potential as a confident, self-disciplined and articulate young man or woman. It is for this reason that it is often commented upon that cadets, upon leaving the Air Cadets to embark on their chosen career or higher education, stand out amongst the crowd. Additionally, a well earned BTEC in Aviation Studies and the highly respected Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards are all recognised by potential employers.

How old do I have to be to join?

The age limits for 146 Squadron are currently 12 (Year 8) if joining in March and 13 (Year 9) if joining in October.  The upper age is 17 years old.

13 years old is slightly higher than other units, because of the way Northwich Squadron integrates with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

How often do the Air Cadets meet and for how long?

Northwich Squadron meets every Tuesday and Friday, from 7PM – 9:30PM. For the first 18 weeks, new cadets will also meet on Sundays, between 10PM and 12PM

What if I already have existing commitments that clash?

We always recommend to anyone with other existing commitments, that they come along for the first few weeks and see how they get on.  There is no initial firm commitment to the Air Cadets, financially or otherwise, for the first two weeks from joining, so nothing lost if you come down when you can for a few weeks and see how it goes, before making a final decision.

How much does it cost?

For the first two weeks of joining, there is no cost or commitment, the second two weeks are also free, however, a refundable £30 uniform deposit is required at this point.  If you decide to continue after the first four weeks, the cost will then be £20 per calendar month when paid by direct debit.

Some camps and activities are at extra cost, but normally heavily subsidised. A week away costs on average £50-60.

Will I need to buy my own uniform?

You will be provided with all uniform free of charge, we do request a £30 deposit however, to ensure its safe return. Cadet parade shoes, which do not have to be bought straight away, are ordered separately and cost £30

What are the aims of the Air Cadets?

The Air Cadets has three main aims, they are;

  • To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force.
  • To provide training which will be useful both in the Services and in civil life.
  • To foster the spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

What will I do as an Air Cadet?

The Air Cadets has lots to offer you – the sky is the limit – literally!

The following list is not complete but for starters how about :-

Flying in light aircraft
Gliding – even earn your wings as a solo pilot!
Adventure Training
Target shooting and marksmanship skills
Marching band musician
Model making
Sports, including hockey, netball, football, rugby, cross-country, canoe polo
Visiting and/or staying at RAF bases
Opportunities to travel to overseas units
BTEC in Aviation Studies, Music and Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community
Duke of Edinburgh Awards

How often do Air Cadets fly?

Most cadets fly about twice per year, but this does very depending on available places and weather conditions.

Older cadets have the chance to apply for gliding and flying scholarships, where they will spend several weekends, or a whole week, being trained to solo standard in an aircraft!

How can I find out more?

Simply visit, call or complete the contact form on the Join Us page. Visit the Contact Details page for further information

What does the 146 motto “Percutit Insidians Pardus” mean?

It is Latin for “The Watchful Panther Strikes”

Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community

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