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CRANWELLIAN REUNION WEEKEND

2022

By kind permission of the Commandant, Air Commodore Chas Dickens, the Royal Air Force College Cranwell was once again the venue for the Annual Reunion of the Cranwellian Association on 21/22 May 2022.
Members and guests enjoyed a magnificent cocktail of comradeship, sports and ceremonial.
Cranwellians traveled from all points to defy and overcome the obstacles raised by the weather gods and various highway departments!

 
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More about the 2022 Reunion

This year we commenced proceedings with a football match:

Icarus Masters v Officer Cadets of MIOT 12

The President presented a trophy to the winners – You had to be there to know the score! Other members found their enjoyment around the South Kyme golf course. We asked the Cadets to put out a decent team – little did we know how “decent” that team would be!

A number of Flight Cadet entries attended in strength to celebrate significant anniversaries.

Notably   55, 70, 76, 77, 87, 91, 96 and 97.

98 Entry topped the attendance list with an excellent mini-reunion. A fantastic achievement by David Atherton of 55 Entry who first arrived at Cranwell in 1949 !!

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The AGM was chaired by Sir Chris Coville, who, ably assisted by Chris Saunby, steered matters through in a new record time!

The Commandant then gave an insightful and informative presentation that informed us as to the current and future operations and aspirations of the  Royal Air Force College. Much to assimilate in this era of change.

We were privileged to have with us Air Commodore Mark Flewin, Head Operations, Plans and Training, UK Space Command.

Mark’s presentation certainly brought us into the 21st Century. To quote:

Space, and our assured access to it, is fundamental to military operations. Loss of, or disruption to, the space domain, will impact our ability to undertake the majority of Defence Tasks and has the potential for a significant effect on civilian, commercial and economic activity.

The threat from adversaries in this rapidly evolving operational domain is real and it is here now. If we fail to understand how to operate in space, integrate space with all domains, and integrate with Allies’ and Partners’ space capabilities, we lose our competitive edge. 

Mark unpacked the above with superb clarity and as much detail as could be expected within obvious security constraints. A lively Q & A session was enjoyed by all.

Sir Chris Coville entertained and informed us with a summary of the aims and achievements of the Association and its Executive Committee,  the means by which the CA may further its relationship with the College and take its place within the architecture of the RAF ASTRA  project. We hope that our newly acquired PA system helped those of us who may be aurally challenged !!

Members were treated to a presentational overview of the Cranwellian Association website and were encouraged to explore the extensive website content for themselves.

The afternoon session wound up with members giving their thoughts and ideas as to the format and location of future Reunions and the means by which we might encourage attendance and CA membership.

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Saturday evening brought a stirring Sunset Ceremony, with music from the Band of The Royal Air Force College.  Looking skywards, who would not be moved by the even more stirring sight and sound of the BBMF Spitfire !!

We ate a superb dinner, with thanks to the chef, the mess manager, and his ever attentive staff. The brass ensemble of the RAF College Band delighted us with music throughout, including a rendering of the Post Horn Gallop that, as ever, almost literally brought the house down!

Our Commandant in Chief, The Queen, sent her best wishes for the occasion.

Members enjoyed the company of the Senior Under Officer and a good number of Officer Cadets who attended as guests of the Association. We very much enjoyed their company.

Their enthusiasm for the Royal Air Force was an absolute delight,

We were privileged to have as our guest speaker Sir Roderic Lyne, son of a former Commandant and former HM Ambassador to Russia. When Sir Roderic spoke after dinner there was nothing but rapt attention in the room. This was a man who had met and spoken with Mr Putin. He left us in no doubt as to his view of outcomes in the current conflict


After dinner, the bar was the venue for ever taller tales, with both young and not so young enjoying the comradeship that we all cherish.

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On Sunday the Church of Saint Michael and All Angels was the venue for the annual service dedicated to the Cranwellian Association.

We celebrated our heritage and remembered those who had passed, and who will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

After the service members once again met in College Hall to take refreshments prior to departure.

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Cranwell will always be a special place – where better to enjoy the company of old friends and to meet the men and women who will be the backbone of the Royal Air Force of the future.

Those who attended, and those who organised the event, enjoyed a superb weekend.

The organising team would like to give thanks to you for your support, and for your messages of appreciation, and particularly to the Officer Cadets and UAS members who gave such superb support on the day.

The weekend really is the result of a team effort, with invaluable input from the Commandant and his staff, the College ProjO and his deputy, along with the CWO and others too numerous to mention here.  You know who you are – we thank you sincerely and look forward to the next time we join you at Cranwell.

Finally, let us spread the message and encourage our fellows to engage with us in greater numbers next year.


Warm Regards

Phil


Philip Bright (95C)

Trustee and Reunion Sec