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Air Cadets Travel in Style with Combi Van

Published: 28 Jul 2016

The Greater Manchester Wing of the Air Cadets proudly demonstrated its new combi van at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT). Assisted by a £12,750 grant from the RAF Charitable Trust, the Wing is finding the vehicle an indispensable aid to their operation.

The vehicle was officially handed over only a couple of months ago. With seven seats in the front and a large space at the rear, the combi van went into immediate service transporting cadets and their gear to various events. The vehicle carried uniforms and equipment for 20 cadets and five staff to RIAT.

Flt Lt Phil Barnwell, Squadron Commander at 318 Sale Sqn and second in command of flying and gliding for the Greater Manchester Wing, said, "I'm flabbergasted how valuable the combi van actually is. It helps our deployment to RIAT no end and enables us do it better and quicker with minimum fuss. From my point of view it's a fantastic piece of kit."

One of the largest Wings in the country, the Greater Manchester Wing had previously struggled to carry gear to various events. Flt Lt Barnwell said: "The biggest concern for any Air Cadet going on camp is 'I've got no ironing or wash facilities, is my kit safe and tidy?' and it was for them using this vehicle. It's a massive boon."

The cadets' pride in their smart new vehicle was evident, as Sgt Dan Whitelegg, aged 19, explained: "It's fab! We have a bus that has our Wing logo on it. It advertises us at every single event that we go to and lets everyone know that we're here looking professional and ready to win."

Caption: The Manchester combi van with another vehicle supported by the Trust - a minibus from Cumbernauld Air Cadets.

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