Local MP Alan Mak presented commemorative coins to RAF air cadets at a special event to celebrate 2327 (Havant) Squadron being chosen to receive a prestigious national prize.
The 2327 (Havant) Squadron, which is in its 65th year, has been awarded the Marshall Trophy for the 'most improved Air Training Corps unit over a protracted period of time'.
After the pandemic it was down to just four cadets and was struggling to survive. But since reforming in May 2021, it now has more than 50 cadets enrolled between the ages of 12 and 20 and is thriving under the leadership of Squadron Leader Brian Swan.
Following an opening address by Air Commodore Tony Keeling OBE, Commandant Royal Air Force Cadets, the solid silver trophy was presented to cadets Faith Guinea and Katherine Denton by Christopher Walkinshaw from Marshall Aerospace at a special event held at Havant College.
The Marshall Trophy was donated by the family of Sir Arthur Marshall, an engineer who created an airfield that is now Cambridge Airport and started Marshall Aerospace. It commemorates his lifelong interest in aviation.
Families watched on with pride as Havant MP Alan Mak also presented cadets who had been promoted with surprise commemorative coins to mark winning the Marshall Trophy and the squadron's special anniversary.
The four cadets - Sergeants Tristan Cooper and Samuel Kisiel and Corporals Aimie Hart and Adrian Frost - had each been selected to become NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) because of their personal development and contribution to the squadron.
The evening also saw the unveiling of a new squadron badge, which features on the coins. The design includes the motto 'Loyalty and excellence'.
Mr Mak said: "I’m a strong supporter of our Armed Forces and I’m delighted that 2327 (Havant) Squadron has won a national prize for their growth and success. It was great to meet local air cadets and I hope they will consider a career in the RAF because our young people are the future of our military.”