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Winter 2024

Dear Cranwellians

2023 was a good year for the Association. The highlight was the Annual Reunion in September which, despite having been unavoidably delayed from May, was well-attended and judged by all to have been a great success. This Year’s Reunion will see the progression towards a more conference-style of weekend, with an even greater set of talks from servicemen about today’s RAF. Happily, the works anticipated at the College have been delayed, so as things stand both College Hall and Daedalus Mess will be available. The new CAS, ACM Sir Rich Knighton, is planning to attend as our guest of honour, and will speak after dinner about the RAF today and some of its challenges in the years ahead.. The date for the event is June 22/23rd; so please do watch out on the CA website for the Early Bird check-in, as we expect another big attendance this year.
I am pleased to report that we continue to forge even closer ties with the College and with the Tedder Academy for Leadership, based at Cranwell.
Our President and a small team were able to attend the annual Cadet Prize Winners’ Dinner, at which Sir Mike awarded for the first time the CA prize for the best aerospace presentation. He also continued our tradition of presenting the Jack Holt Memorial award to the SNCO of the Year – a prize much appreciated by all staff at the College. With the active encouragement of the Commandant, we will be seeking even better ways to raise our profile with the younger generation, not least to improve internal recruitment into our Association.
Looking ahead, we are in negotiation with the College to commission a painting of HM The King to grace the Rotunda; more on this at our AGM. Perhaps most importantly, with the future of the RAF’s planned Astra and Galaxy initiatives (a service wide association and data base) now clarified, we are better placed to revisit our vision for the future of the Association and its place in the wider RAF community. I will update members on all this at our Reunion weekend.
One area of recent concern has been the need, for complex reasons, to change our bank account arrangements. Our previous treasurer, Chris Saunby, and the current incumbent, Dick Taplin, have been doing sterling work to overcome the many obstacles and unimaginable bureaucracy associated with the change; we believe we are now there. This will mean a change to your standing orders as your membership renewal dates approach, but I would implore you to action the change as soon as requested; our association can only survive with your support. Fortunately, the work of all our trustees has been made easier as we refine our new Veritas Members Information System, which has been progressively introduced to assist especially our treasurer, membership and reunion secretaries.
Lastly, as we approach a world more troubled than at any time in recent history, on behalf of all trustees may I wish you and your families a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year.
Chris Coville
Professor Sir Christopher Coville
Air Marshal  KCB

Chairman's Newsletter 2024: Text
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