Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Air Cadets: More than just rockets and rifles

^ Leading Air Cadet Kyle Speight (left) displays his newly awarded Level 1 (Marksman) qualification badge, while Sergeant Austin Pool displays his newly awarded Level 3 (Expert Marksman) qualification badge” , or “LAC K. Speight (left) is awarded his Level 1 (Marksman) qualification badge, and Sgt A. Pool is awarded his Level 3 (Expert Marksman) qualification badge  
(D. Desrosiers photos)

859 Crowsnest Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets

[Crowsnest Pass, AB] - It’s been a busy period for the Air Cadets with 859 Crowsnest Squadron. On February 20th, 4 cadets travelled to Lethbridge to compete as a team in the Southern Alberta Zone Cadet Marksmanship Competition. Sergeant Alyssa Gustavson, Flight Corporal Jaeger Hann, and Corporals Matthias Vanderplas and Daniel Poloni all earned a bronze marksmanship championship series pin for wear on their uniform by participating. Their skills were put to the test with the cadet air rifle, in both the prone (on the ground) and standing positions.

^ The team from 859 Crowsnest Squadron fires during the 
Southern Aberta Zone Cadet Marksmanship Competition
left to right: Sergeant Alyssa Gustavson, Flight Corporal Jaeger Hann, and Corporals Matthias Vanderplas and Daniel Poloni 
 (D. Desrosiers photos)

On Monday, February 29th the squadron held its annual effective speaking competition. The air cadet program likes to focus on leadership, self-discipline, self-confidence and good citizenship, and the effective speaking program incorporates all these things. Two cadets went on to compete in the Southern Alberta Zone Effective Speaking Competition in Calgary on March 12th, coming away with bronze effective speaking competition pins to wear on their uniform. These were Sergeant Alyssa Gustavson and Corporal Matthias Vanderplas.

^ Corporal Matthias Vanderplas (left) and Sergeant Alyssa Gustavson display certificates from the Southern Alberta Zone Cadet Effective Speaking Competition

A skills training day on March 6th continued the cadets’ development. The day started with some refresher classes on how to use a topographical map and 2-way radio communications. It continued with a circumnavigation of Blairmore. The day concluded with further air rifle marksmanship and an activity involving the launching of water rockets.

Flight Corporal Brennen Clarke prepares his water rocket for launch

859 Crowsnest Squadron cadets typically train at least 1 weekend-day per month in addition to their weekly training on Mondays (6:30 PM to 9:15 PM, Elks Hall, Blairmore). New recruits are always welcome, for youth from 12-18 years old. There is no cost to join and uniforms are provided free of charge. Pincher Creek youth have the option of van transportation from the Pincher Creek Legion to the Elks Hall in Blairmore each week. Questions can be directed to

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