Welcome to 306 (Runcorn) Squadron RAFAC
Hello, and welcome to our new Website.
I’m Flight Lieutenant John “JT” Williams, and I am the Officer Commanding 306 Runcorn Squadron RAF Air Cadets. I’ve been involved with All Things Air Cadet since November 1988, but as each member of staff will be called upon to give a separate potted biography, I’ll say no more about myself at this stage. Suffice to say I’ve been an officer at 306 since July 1995, with a four-year break to command 316 Leigh Sqn from February 2010 to November 2014.
306 Squadron is based at the former TA Barracks at Crown Gate in Runcorn. This is a superb, modern building, only completed in 1994, and offering a wide range of advantages for the Cadet organisations.
It’s also capable of catering for at least 100 Cadets on a parade night, and it is my goal, my aspiration, to attract as many young people to our organisation as possible.
Obviously, if you’re reading this, you’ll already have some insight into the kind of adventures and advantages which the RAF Air Cadets can offer. I suppose you’d say that I would say this, but in my opinion, RAFAC is the greatest youth organisation in the World – run by people who are dedicated to giving youngsters the best opportunities they can have, to express themselves positively, to excel, to have adventures, to make friends for life, and to be truly valuable members of society.
306 Sqn was formed by Royal Decree in February 1941. The scroll for its establishment hangs proudly in my office, as does the photograph of that very first Parade.
In addition to the aviation-based activities in which we take part – which have been somewhat limited recently, for various reasons, but are slowly coming back “on line” – we offer shooting (under the mostly strictly controlled of conditions), archery, kayaking, clay shooting, sports, adventure training, fieldcraft, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Nordic skiing, Camps at home and overseas (this year for example, I’ve been on Camps in Troodos, Cyprus; RIAT at RAF Fairford; the RAF 100 Aerospace Camp at RAF Syerston; and the Merseyside Wing Annual Adventure Training Camp at Nesscliff DTE). 306 Sqn also possesses a fully-functional state-of-the-art Flight Simulator.
Subscriptions are £13.50 per month (may shortly be subject to slight increase); uniform is issued free and is updated as the Cadet grows; shoes (and where applicable tights), I am afraid must be supplied by yourselves. We have a limited supply of “Green” uniform but, as we are not – to use military parlance – “scaled” for this, it may be more reliable to supply your own. Boots, again you must supply yourselves. Camps are unbelievably cheap – this year’s Nesscliff is only £35, most RAF Camps come in at between £65 - £85, but overseas camps are obviously significantly more expensive.
Let me be blunt – I would not still be sitting in this chair, if I did not believe wholeheartedly in this Organisation, in what we can offer, and in the greater good and terrific potential of our young people. They are a constant source of inspiration to me. There is nothing to compare to the huge grin on the face of a Cadet when they land after their first flight, or first glide, or have just completed something amazing, something of which perhaps they did not believe themselves capable. I am terrifically proud to be a part of this organisation, and particularly proud to be Officer Commanding 306 Sqn.
The old, traditional motto of the Air Training Corps rings true as soundly today as it ever did – “Venture – Adventure”! We staff believe in it as passionately as ever. Any young person who joins the RAF Air Cadets, is joining the greater family – that of the Air Cadets at their Squadron, in their Wing, in their Region, and countrywide. And more than that, the great family of the RAF at large. I endorse our Organisation to all young people, and to all their parents. Come and join us – be a part of what we do! There is nothing else like us.
Flight Lieutenant John “JT” Williams RAFAC
306 (Runcorn) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets