Worcester’s RAF Air Cadets have been presented with a prestigious trophy after they were awarded the number one spot in the UK.
On Saturday (2 December) 187 Squadron held a ceremony where they were presented the Lees Trophy in front of around 100 guests made up of family, friends and VIPs.
The Lees Trophy is awarded to the squadron judged to be the best in overall achievement and efficiency and is the most distinguished award available to the Air Training Corps.
Officer Commanding 187 Squadron, Flying Officer Karl Nicholson, was presented with the award by Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE. A cash prize of £2,500 was also received which will go towards providing the youngsters with excellent opportunities.
The trophy is named after Air Marshal Sir Alan Lees, a senior Royal Air Force officer in World War Two, who awarded the first trophy for the top cadet squadron in 1949.
It is the third time 187 Squadron have won the award with the last win coming in 1972.
They competed against 970 squadrons across the United Kingdom in the past year, and underwent a difficult three-part marking process before being crowned the winners on 21 July.
During the presentation, a total of 30 cadets were given awards by special guests Group Captain Roger Simon and Wing Commander Andy Griffin. Commandant Air Cadets also took the opportunity to promote 5 cadets to corporal.
Local MP Robin Walker also attended the ceremony and all enjoyed afternoon tea and a raffle which raised money for the Squadron.
The Squadron have also had a special Squadron Print commissioned to mark the momentous occasion. The print features both of the gate guardian aircraft that have been at 187 Squadron, with every current cadet and member of staff receiving a copy.
Flying Officer Nicholson said: “Winning this award represents for us the culmination of hours and hours of hard work and dedication, by the cadets and the staff team. It’s amazing to have received this recognition and we are humbled to have been selected as the best Squadron in the whole of the UK.”
In the past 18 months the Squadron has seen a huge turnaround in numbers, going from three members of staff to 11 and fifteen cadets to more 50.
The Squadron are currently recruiting for new cadets to start in February 2018. If you are interested, or want more information, contact Flight Lieutenant Chris Title, OC Training Flight on firstname.lastname@example.org