About 863 (Thurston) Sqn

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If you’re a fan of aviation, action or adventure, love sports and getting to know people then you’re in the right place. Aside from all the great experiences that you see below and new skills you’ll gain as an air cadet, you can also take away real qualifications that will set you apart from the crowd when you head to university or begin your chosen career - for example the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Leadership training, First Aid, City & Guilds & BTEC qualifications. 863 (Thurston) Squadron has a lot to offer if you are willing to put in the effort. If you are aged between 12 and 17 why not attend our next recruitment evening to find out more!

Are you ready?


Are you up for fun, adventure, incredible experiences & making new friends? Are you looking for something to give you the edge in life? Then welcome to the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) - better known as the ‘Air Cadets’. UK-wide with more than 40,000 members aged between 12 & 20.

We’re supported by the Royal Air Force and can give you hands-on experience of activities and courses that will challenge and develop your skills to help you succeed with whatever you want to do.

The Air Cadets motto is ‘Venture - Adventure’ and our cadets know that it’s more than just words - it’s an attitude that helps you stand out from the crowd. As whichever career or course of study you follow, your CV will be greatly enhanced, and your ability to talk at interviews about interesting activities you have undertaken or lifetime challenges achieved will set you apart from your peers.

Interested in joining?


If you’re still reading then you’re probably looking for a challenge; something to bring out what you’re really capable of. Well, Air Cadets is where you get to prove it - you may even surprise yourself with what you can achieve. Check out the information in this leaflet and then come & have a look, chat with a few cadets that you will see on a parade night & judge for yourself if it is for you. We hold recruitment training camps numerous times a year, so pop down, email or call and find out more information today and get ready for an adventure!

Parents/Guardian Information:


The Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) has links with the Royal Air Force who help fund some cadet activities, however, it is not a recruitment platform for the RAF or any other service - it is a youth organisation that inspires young people.

The Ethos of the Air Cadet Organisation is made up of the distinctive character, spirit and attitudes which together inspire young people to pursue the spirit of adventure.

There are four ACO Core Values:
Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence
or R.I.S.E for short!

The ACO is community-based and open to anyone aged between 13 (or 12 if in year 8) & 20 years. Uniform is provided free of charge & there is a small subscription per cadet of £11 per month. However, we have a civilian committee who fund-raise for the squadron & will provide funds for those who cannot afford any of the costs. In addition the committee also raises funds for squadron wide activities, equipment & events.

If your son or daughter may be interested then please get in contact with us and we can arrange a tour of the squadron and answer any questions you may have - further info can be found on our website; info for recruits, parents & volunteers.

  • Air Cadets has enabled me to try many new things and experiences! It's great fun and I'm very proud to be involved.

    Cadet Smith
  • We have seen a huge change in our son since he has become an Air Cadet, he has matured and taken on responsibility; the successes he has gain have proved to be tremendious boost for him.

    Parent of current cadet