‘Famous five’ the pride of Coningsby Cadets

Members of 17 Squadron at the presentation of the regional commendations.
Members of 17 Squadron at the presentation of the regional commendations.

Five members of Coningsby’s Air Training Cadet Squadron have received highly coveted regional commendations.

The 17 (Coningsby) Squadron is part of the Trent Wing which covers Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

It is understood to be the first time so many members of the same ‘Wing’ have been commended at the same time.

The five were headed by Warrant Officer Andrea Nash who is the Officer in Charge of 17 Squadron.

Her citation noted Coningsby was her first command and added she had risen ‘marvellously’ to an unusual challenge in ‘dragging’ the squadron back from the brink of closure.

The citation added: “Through sheer grit and determination, she has transformed 17 Squadron into a happy, healthy and vibrant unit.

“Her shrewd recruiting has resulted in the staff numbers rising to 14 and they have 48 cadets regularly parading.

Malcolm Emsden, a civilian instructor, was commended for his loyal service.

His citation read: “During the eight years of its existence, the squadron has undergone seven changes of command and come within a whisker of closure. He has been the one constant throughout.”

Cadet Corporal Lucy O’Sullivan and Cadet Ethan Stephens were put forward after giving first aid to a woma at RAF Coningsby’s station bonfire.

The cadets were tasked with keeping the crowd a safe distance from the bonfire and fireworks.

The woman was standing close to Cadet Corporal O’Sullivan and Cadet Stephens but became unwell and collapsed.

With immediate effect, the duo made the woman comfortable and carried out their first aid drills.

They stayed with the woman until an ambulance arrived and were praised by paramedics for their ‘due diligence and professional manner.’

The citation noted: “The woman felt secure in their presence. They kept her calm and reassured her until the ambulance arrived.”

Warrant Officer David Nash also received a commendation for his first aid skills - this time after an incident at Coningsby Remembrance Parade when one of Standard Bearers from the Royal British Legion collapsed.

WO Nash was nearby and managed to guide the man, who was very weak and confused, to a safe position.

He completed first aid checks and helped the man home.

WO Nash then made it to the church in time to carry on his duties with 17 Squadron.

A spokesman for 17 Squadron said: “We’re very proud of all out Cadets.”