At the end of September, Kettering sea cadets showed of their exceptional drill and did the unit proud when they received the burgee from Rear Admiral Blount. As well as the burgee, medals were also awarded to Colour Sergeant Bell.
Kettering Sea Cadets strengthened their affiliations with the Fleet Air Arm by hosting Rear Admiral Keith Blount OBE, ACNS (Aviation, Amphibious Capability & Carriers) & Rear Admiral Fleet Air Arm.
The Unit carried out Ceremonial Divisions with Admiral Blount taking the salute from the Guard of Honour, with other guests including The Mayor of Kettering Scott Edwards, Commodore Jock Alexander CEO of the Fly Navy Heritage Trust, Captain Andy Barnwell Chairman of 800 NAS Kettering Sea Cadets and Lt Colonel Robert Blomfield Chairman of RFCA in Northamptonshire.
‘Training Ship 800 NAS’ (TS 800 NAS) proudly have the name of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm fixed wing fighter squadron who were decommissioned in 2011. Previously they were known as TS Pytchley; a Hunt class destroyer that the people of Kettering paid for during the Second World War.
“We are unique among Sea Cadet Units”. “It’s a great honour to be able to keep the squadron name alive. We aim to ensure that every cadet not only enjoys attending Sea Cadets and take part in all the various activities, but that they acquire lifelong practical skills to take them forward in life and a sense of self-discipline and pride in what they can achieve.”
The Kettering Sea Cadets are distinctive as the only Unit with a Fleet Air Arm cap tally and in addition to strong traditional ties with Naval Bases in Portsmouth and Plymouth can boast links to Royal Naval Air Stations at Yeovilton and Culdrose. They currently have an affiliation with 736 Naval Air Squadron is the Royal Navy’s Maritime Aggressor Squadron and it is equipped with 14 Hawk T Mk1 twin seat fast jet aircraft. The unit is based at RNAS Culdrose (with a small detachment operating from RNAS Yeovilton) and provides simulated ship attack and airborne intercept training for the Royal Navy's Task Fleet undergoing pre-deployment operational work-ups. Amongst the usual Sea Cadet activities of Sailing and Seamanship, they also take on airborne pursuits and even look at air engineering aspects as well, on visits to the Naval Air Stations.
“The Cadets get the opportunity to not only get afloat in one of our many sailing or power boats but also with our strong links to the Fleet Air Arm they also have the opportunity to see first-hand what it’s like in this key part of the Naval Service,” said Lt (SSC) Chris Jablonski RNR, Executive Officer of 800 NAS SCC. “It was pleasing today to be able to demonstrate our afloat activities to Rear Admiral Blount and for the Cadets to take him onboard out Trinity 500 rowing boat, It’s all about engaging the kids in different activities and we offer more than most Units here.,
Presenting the Unit with a prestigious ‘Sea Cadet Burgee’ for the year in recognition of continued success of the cadets, Rear Admiral Blount also presented Colour Sargent Bell with his Cadet Forces Long Service Medal for 12 years’ service