PHOTO: The 746 Lightning Hawk Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron’s 52nd annual ceremonial review took place June 4 at Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary. (Rima Dickson photo)
In the words Norm Scott, the B.C. representative of the Air Cadet League of Canada, the 746 Lightning Hawk Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron annual ceremonial review “was fantastic.”
Scott said he doesn’t often see Squadrons of this size and that the year-end parade was impressive.
The 746 Lightning Hawk Squadron, that has grown to 156 cadets and is based at Langley Regional Airport, held its 52nd annual ceremonial review June 4, with than 200 guests attending the ceremony held at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School.
Commanding Officer Captain Nathan Groome shared that he was proud of the many successes of the Squadron.
Over the past year the drill team competed at the regional and provincial competitions, and is regarded as one of the top drill teams in B.C.
The marksmanship team also did very well this year, competing at the Fraser Valley Wing at the Canadian Forces Base in Aldergrove, where they took second place.
The band also had a good year at competitions and participating in community parades and events.
As well, an unprecedented nine cadets have been selected for summer provincial and national scholarship courses that include gliding, flying, aerospace, and an international cadet exchange with the U.S.
The program got underway with cadet fall-in to the parade area, march on of the flags, arrival of the Reviewing Officer and special guests, an inspection of the cadets and then cadets marching past the Reviewing Officer and other dignitaries.
A halftime show consisted of a drill team routine, band marching demonstration, and entertaining demonstrations of activities by cadets.
This year’s Reviewing Officer was Captain Balazova, who serves as the flight commander at 192 CEF Aldergrove. She graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a degree in Civil Engineering and attended the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at CFB Gagetown.
During her address to the cadets, Capt. Balazova stated that she was impressed with her first experience with the 746 Squadron, noting that she looks forward to working together in the future.
Special guests included Langley City-Cloverdale MP John Aldag, Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese, Langley City councillor Nathan Pachal, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 21 (Langley) president Wilma McEwen, Air Cadet League inspector Norm Scott, and Matt Offer from the Canadian Museum of Flight.
The highlight is the cadet award presentations. These included the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence presented to Sgt. Angeli Lumumba for her excellence in citizenship both inside and outside of the cadet program. and the prestigious Lord Strathcona Medal bestowed upon Flight Sgt. Timothy Ro in recognition of his exemplary performance in physical and military training.
Other awards included:
• Most proficient 1st year cadet – Flight Cpl. Kimberly Becker
• Most proficient 2nd year cadet – Flight Cpl. Nathaniel Van Rumpt
• Most proficient 3rd year cadet – Sgt. Pria Munnalall
• Most proficient Junior NCO – Flight Cpl. Andrew Dewit
• Most proficient Senior NCO – Flight Sgt. Timothy Ro
• Best Drill and Deportment – Warrant Officer Second Class James Liu
• Fred Sutton Memorial Award – Sgt. Jayden O’Farrell
• Top Instructor Award – Sgt. Laura Sarmiento
• Training Officer’s Award – Warrant Officer Second Class Jeffrey Yoon
• Best All-round Cadet – Warrant Officer Second Class Nicolas Ouellette
• O’Brien Plaque of Outstanding Performance – Warrant Officer Second Class Jodi Cheung
• Flight Lieutenant Fraser Award – Warrant Officer Second Class Jeffrey Yoon
• Wing Commander Roland J. Harvey Award – Warrant Officer First Class Michael Montano
Other Squadron year end awards included:
• Clyde Price Memorial Trophy (top pilot exam marks) – Warrant Officer Second Class Jodi Cheung
• Most Improved Shot – Air Rifle – Leading Air Cadet Ballendine
• Top Shot, Air Rifle – Flight Cpl. Tuininga
• Top Competition Average, Air Rifle – Sgt. Tessier
• Greatest Contribution, Drill Team – Cpl. Wong
• Top Military Drummer – Sgt. O’Farrell
• Top Military Band Musician – Cpl. Wong
• Most Improved Cadet – Sergeant Z. McDonald
• Top Flight of the Year – Band, led by Flight Sgt. Maddison Taylor
Bruce Foster, Chair of the 746 Sponsoring Committee, thanked the community, squadron officers, civilian volunteers, and parents who support the squadron in time, donations, and financially.
“You cadets are the reason we volunteer at the squadron… We have watched each and every one of you grow and mature as cadets and responsible young men and women,” he said. “You are the future citizens of our society and we are truly proud of all you have achieved this past year.”
The final presentation was McEwan, Branch 21 (Langley) Royal Canadian Legion, who presented the squadron with a donation,.
“You are just a great bunch and help us with our poppy campaign,” McEwan said. “We really do appreciate it.”
After the review, cadets shared displays of their achievements from the year and an excellent video of the 746 Squadron activities was presented, created by Warrant Officer Second Class Jodi Cheung and Sgt. McGill.
Youth between the ages of 12 -18 interested in joining the 746 Lightning Hawk Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron are welcome to attend the Squadron Open House on September 10th . Check the squadron website at www.746lightninghawk.com for further information or to make donations.
About air cardets
The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is a federally-sponsored national program for young Canadians ages 12 to 18 interested in participating in a variety of fun, challenging and rewarding activities.
The purpose is to develop in youth the attributes of leadership, engaged and active citizenship, and physical fitness.
This is done within an environment that stimulates an interest in the activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Air Cadet program operates within a partnership agreement between the Department of National Defense (DND) and The Air Cadet League of Canada (ACL), a civilian volunteer organization.
There are more than 450 squadrons across Canada with roughly 23,000 air cadets enrolled in the program.
For more about The Air Cadet League of Canada, visit www.aircadetleague.com and the national Cadet program at www.cadets.ca
For more on the 746 Lightning Hawk air cadet program visit 746lightninghawk.com.
PHOTO: The 746 Drill Team led by Warrant Officer Second Class James Liu. (Rima Dickson photo)