I am Flight Lieutenant Paul Howes RAFVR(T) and I have taken command of 2158 (Sevenoaks) Squadron from the 1st January 2017.
My ‘career’ in the Air Cadets Organisation started back in 2002 as a cadet on 578 (Langley Park) Squadron. I spent a full 7 years here going away on camps, adventure training weekends, my gliding scholarship where I got my solo wings, as well as the Nijmegen marches and the death march multiple times to name but a few. During my time here I moved up the ranks to become a Flight Sergeant.
When I aged out as a cadet I moved in to a unformed staff role (Sergeant) and moved squadron to 1903 (Penge) Squadron. As with many of us volunteers, work had different plans for me and after almost two years here, I moved to Wales for a year, moving squadrons to 1378 (Mold) Squadron in no.2 Welsh Wing. This time in north Wales allowing me to get many of my current qualifications which I use within cadets, these include Basic Expedition Leader, single pitch award (climbing), British canoe union level 2 coach, GNAS GB archery instructor, Mountain Leader (trained awaiting assessment). When I moved back to the South East I joined 228 (Bromley) Squadron. In the two years I spent here I worked closely with Flt Lt Dowling and his team here at 2158 on many adventure training activities - assisting on your lees trophy inspection by running the kayak session/exercise gritty bottom in the Peak District to name a couple. Whilst at 228 squadron I applied for my commission and when my promotion was confirmed I moved to 593 (Swanley) squadron to take my first command where I spent just over two years. Whilst here I was also given the wing staff role of Kent Wing’s Duke of Edinburgh Officer. Other roles I have in the wing include being part of Kent Wings Adventure Training team, Sport Team (Hockey mainly) and also a Basic Expedition Leader tutor for staff wanting to obtain their award. I also from time to time help out with the shooting.
As you can see I have been new on many squadrons in my time, but never felt more welcome than I have by moving here. Coming in to a new squadron and taking command is always a disruptive time. However I have a very good staff team here at 2158 to ensure we are able to provide fantastic opportunities to your sons and daughters.
Outside of the Air Cadets I am a Facilities and Estates Manager working in East India Docks. The saying ‘a tidy house is the sign of a wasted life’ is very much apt for my flat with outdoor kit everywhere! If I’m not busy with the cadets, I can be found outside.
My door is always open should you need any information on upcoming activities/training. I look forward to meeting you all soon.